Romans 8:30 – Glorified — A Christian Growth Message - Hope 103.2

Romans 8:30 – Glorified — A Christian Growth Message

We're going to spend four weeks looking at four words considered the "golden chain" of Romans 8:30 – predestined, called, justified and glorified.

By Simon ManchesterSunday 19 Feb 2023Christian Growth with Simon ManchesterFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Heavenly Father, as we turn to this portion of your word this morning, we pray that you would help us to see you more clearly, to love you more dearly and to follow more nearly. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I have a very difficult task this morning because, um, I’m basically trying to think with you about the long plan of God for the future of his people and because I haven’t been into the future and because I can’t see the future. This is quite a challenging thing to do. But thankfully, we have the Scriptures which tell us what God is planning for his people. And that’s what we’re going to think about for a few minutes now. Where will God take us who belong to Christ eventually.

So this is our last look in case you are visited today. It’s our last look at one verse in the New Testament in what is perhaps the most famous chapter in the New Testament. Romans Chapter eight And we’re looking at just a verse that has four significant words.

I don’t know if any of you remember those little gadgets that people used to have on their desks, where there would be steel ball bearings hanging on threads. Do remember those gadgets and you would raise one and release it, and it would strike the second strike. The third strike the fourth, and it’s impossible to raise one and release it and not have the second, the third and the fourth struck. And we’ve been looking at a verse in the New Testament that has four words which flow into each other. Uh, basically that God is the God who plans things for his people, grabs the attention of his people, makes his people fit for his company and takes his people safely home. That’s what we’ve been thinking about.

Paul calls these actions of God the pre destiny of God, the calling by God, the justifying by God and the glorifying. And that’s what we’re thinking about this morning, the fourth of the four, that God will glorify his people. Somebody has said, if you want to think about it like this, that God drops the seed of the tree into the soil. That’s the pre destiny.

Then he causes the trunk of the tree to grow. That’s the call to follow Jesus. Then there’s the foliage of the tree. That’s the justify. And then there is the fruit of the tree. That’s the glory that is still to come. Now, when we read in the Bible that God glorified his people. It doesn’t mean that he praises and worships us. It means he perfects us and you’ll notice in this verse. Romans eight, Verse 30. It doesn’t say God will glorify his people. It says God glorified his people.

God glorified his people. So God predestined his people chose where we would go. God called his people. Yes, he called us through the gospel. He justified his people. He made us clean and fit in his sight. And he glorified his people and my friends, since we’re not in heaven and we have not really been taken to heaven, what is Paul talking about?

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And the answer is he’s using a word which is so certain that he puts it into the past tense. He is so certain that all four ball bearings will strike one another that he puts it into the past tense. This is very comforting, one writer says. You see, God has settled the issue.

Another writer says the process is unbreakable. Another writer says. None of Christ’s people can drop out of the plan, and another writer says this is the most daring anticipation in the New Testament. It does make sense, however, because if Christ has risen and we belong to him, then we must rise as well. If the head of the body has gone over the high jump bar, as Christ has gone over the high jumper, the body, the believers must follow as well.

Now this is very different thinking from secular thinking. I was at a funeral this week for a 25 year old boy, and at the funeral I would guess half the crowd would be looking and saying, It’s all over for this guy. There’s nothing more. And the other half of the crowd would probably be thinking he’ll be fine because he was a nice boy and the son of God and the word of God, says the exact opposite to those two conclusions.

The son of God says it’s not the end when you die, and the son of God says it’s not conditional on being a good person that you’ll go to heaven. The future according to Jesus is very real. He tells us in the scriptures that in front of people is either eternal life or eternal grief.

And the future is very conditional on who you’re trusting, so that if your trust is in yourself, you won’t arrive. But if your trust is in Christ, you will arrive. And Paul has spent the bulk of this very famous chapter Romans eight, showing that all who belong to Christ will come safely through to be with Christ. So I want to think with you very briefly about two things this morning. What is the significance of a believer being glorified one day, and how should we think and respond today?

First of all, what’s the significance? What will it mean to be glorified? And I want to say again, I have not been to heaven. I can’t see all the way into heaven. And so I’m telling you really what God tells us in his word and what it means if a person is one day going to be home with Christ, is that first of all, God has achieved his goal. Did he plan a global eternal family? Yes, he did. And he will achieve a global and eternal family. If you read John’s gospel, for example, Jesus says, I’ve come down that I may take my people up, he says in John 14, I’ll come and take you to be with me that where I am, you may be also, he says in his pair in John 17. Heavenly Father, I want my people to be with me in glory so God will achieve his goal. Even in Romans Chapter eight, we’re told that God in his kindness, will take away the condemnation that God will take away the trap of death and that God will make us heirs with Christ. Now you may be doubtful about this, and it’s easy to be doubtful because there are so many voices coming at us that say all sorts of things.

But I’m encouraged that on one occasion a group came to Jesus course agencies and the sad cases were kind of socially religious, but they were spiritually dead, and they came to Jesus, and they said to him as a joke, not believing in heaven to come, a story they made up, which tried to show that heaven looked ridiculous and Jesus turned to this group and he said, You know your problem, you don’t know the scriptures and you don’t know the power of God. And he reminded them that when God made friends with Moses at the burning bush, God said to Moses, I am the friend of Abraham. I am the friend of Isaac. I am the friend of Jacob, even though they died long before. Because the friendship with God never breaks, it cannot break so God will achieve his goal. Second, salvation will be perfected today. Every Christian has been set free from the penalty for sin. Penalty has been paid by Christ and every Christian is set free from the power of sin. Sin cannot dominate us. It can influence us. It can annoy us. It can frustrate us, but it cannot dominate.

But when we get to glory, the Christian will find that he or she has been set free from the presence of sin. There’ll be no more sin in the heart and there’ll be no more sin around us. I remember interviewing a man as he turned 70 with a tape recorder, and I said to him, What are you looking forward to? Now that you’ve reached 70 and he said, I’m looking forward to having no sin, meaning I’m looking forward to being home with Christ. You may feel today that your sin is very real and you may feel that you are not free from sin at all. But my friends, why do you care? You probably care, because God has made you somebody who cares about this.

And why do you fight the sin?

Well, probably because God has set you free to fight, and the unbeliever has no idea of the issues. The battle, the fight but God himself causes us to wake up to the battle, and one day he will free us from the battle.

The third thing is that to be glorified means that will be resurrection people in a resurrection place without the Bible. Of course, we can easily think the future will be terrible. Some people have said, Why would I want to have eternity? It’s just going to be dreadful.

But you see heaven is not going to be sitting in the dentist’s chair. Heaven is going to be a place without tears, grief or trouble. We’re not going to be floating around on a cloud in a white nightie playing a harp for eternity. That would be dreadful. The biblical view is that the believer will have a resurrection body, a new body, an improved body fit for eternity. Just as Jesus had a resurrection body when he came out of the grave.

And God promises a resurrection body to the believer, and we’ll be in a resurrection world we won’t be in an inferior creation will be, in a renewed creation, something to look forward to Now, if you don’t really get the biblical view of a resurrection body in a resurrection place, you’ll fall into despondency. Listen to George Bernard Shaw, he said. Heaven as conventionally conceived is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day there, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside. Well, my friends, if you do think that heaven is going to be floating on a cloud or an eternal church service in wooden pews, would not be dreadful or even to be in an amphitheatre singing the same chorus endlessly, endlessly for eternity. May God spare us from that.

It’s easy to agree with George Bernard Shaw, isn’t it? It sounds dreadful, but just look at what the New Testament says.

The New Testament says that God will bring us to a place which will be this creation without the problems. Is this fiction. This is what Jesus has promised and Jesus himself long to be home in glory and the Apostle poor longed to depart and be with Christ, which he said will be better by far.

So keep thinking about heaven is a place where Christ is central, which means all danger and evil has been removed and all blessing and joy has been brought home, and we’ll see him face to face and all fear and danger will be gone. Remember, Jesus said to the thief who is dying beside him on the cross today, you’ll be with me in paradise.

And then, fourthly, and lastly, when God achieves his goal of bringing his people to glory, there will be more grace to experience, Peter says in his letter. Grace will continue. We will continue to grow in appreciation for Christ. We’ll continue to learn more Seymour, enjoy more. There will be things that we don’t have answers for in this world, which will be likely to be answered in the next people who we have missed for a long time restored.

And the God who didn’t spare his own son, says Paul, will give to us graciously all things God is able to plan a glory. So when a person gets to glory, there’ll be more living to do. There will be more learning. There’ll be more loving. There’ll be more enjoying. There’ll be more experiencing. There’ll be more travel according to the scripture according to God himself. Back in 15 61 the Belgian people wrote a summary of their faith. Um, and they wrote this. The faithful shall share in the glory, and the son of God will confess their names before God. Tears will be wiped away, and their cause, which is now condemned by the world, will be seen to be the cause of the son of God.

And the Lord will cause such a glory has never entered the heart of man to conceive. It’s a beautiful way of saying the future for the people of Christ is very wonderful. And again, I want to say to you, this is not a fictional fairy story. This is a non fictional gospel reality. It’s built on the resurrection of Jesus, the historical resurrection, and it’s built on the promises of God. Well, I wonder how this affects you this morning, Jesus said. You can tell a tree by its fruit. We can often tell what a person is like by what excites them. I wonder whether this gets into your bloodstream and makes you think it’s just possible there’s something ahead, which is really going to be remarkable, prepared by a remarkable God who makes remarkable promises and keeps them.

So how should we respond today as we wait? I’ve just finished this week reading The Book of Ruth Graham, who was the wife of the great evangelist Billy Graham. I may have told you this story before, but she was once travelling to her home past a building site, which had been a great nuisance to drivers because so much of it had interfered with the traffic.

But now the building had been perfected and finished, and there was a massive sign outside the building site, which said, this reconstruction completed Thank you for your patience and Ruth Graham, who was a very down to earth, Christian said. I’m going to have that on my gravestone and on her gravestone, it says, “Reconstruction completed. Thank you for your patience.”

How do we respond to this? How do we respond? Well, first of all, we need to respond by faith, not sight. In other words, we need to go on the promises and not our opinions or feelings.

I wonder whether you find the idea of believing in Christ and one day being glorified. I wonder whether you find that an easy thing to believe. I do not. I don’t find it an easy thing to believe.

I wonder whether you naturally trust the promises of God. I don’t naturally trust the promise of God, but I do know that God doesn’t tell lies. And I do know that he has a very good track record of keeping his promises.

Remember that time where Jesus said to the disciples, Go round to the next village and you’ll see a man carrying a water jar. Follow him and he’ll take you to the upper room, where we’ll have the Last Supper. And then he said, I want you to go to the next village and you’ll see a donkey tied to a post. And as you untie the donkey, somebody will say this and you say this and it all happened exactly as he promised.

And sitting around the table, you remember he said to Peter, You’re going to deny knowing me. Peter said. That will never happen. But it did. And he said to Judas, You will betray me and he did, because everything Jesus spoke to do with the future. It was a promise that he kept. And if you think God has a good track record of keeping his promises, I’ve noticed that people who don’t trust the promises have a very good track record of making a mess, a mess of their lives.

Therefore, we must walk by the promises of God. As you look in the scriptures, collect the things that God promises because they will strengthen and fortify you. And since we trust many sinful people, we should certainly trust the sinless god. Second way to respond today is be secure because you should be secure. But be careful. The process of Romans eight verse 30 is very comforting. Those who come to Christ will one day be with Christ the last verses of Chapter eight tell us that nothing will separate the believer. Nothing from the love of Christ and millions of Christians have turned to the Great Romans, Chapter eight, when they’ve been in very deep water. And you’ll notice that the queen at her funeral, which she probably put together with the archbishop, included Romans Chapter eight because, as the conductor of the orchestra said, it gets to the heart of a relationship with Jesus, so the Christian is wonderfully secure, but we’re not meant to be stupid.

We’re told in Romans, Chapter eight that we should be led by the spirit of God. We need to follow carefully, not foolishly, because we drift very easily and we need to work at the relationship that God has given to us with Jesus, and then we need to be confident and humble. It’s not arrogant for me to say to you, I will one day be with Christ, and you may immediately think, Oh, yes, that’s because he’s a clergyman, but it’s not.

Or you might say, that’s because he’s very consistent. But I’m not the reason I can say that I will one day be with Christ is because Christ died for sinners and makes promises to sinners. It would be more arrogant for me today to say I’m very uncertain about the future when Christ has been so clear. The person who says today I just hope I will go to heaven either doesn’t know Christ or they don’t know the promises.

But we must stay humble at the same time. There’s nothing worse than somebody talking about their future salvation and giving the impression that they’re going to go one day to heaven because they’re so great. No, no, it’s because Christ is so great. That’s why Paul says. I know whom I have believed. I know where I’m going because he is able to save. And finally, we should be grateful but generous.

I’m not sure that we really have eternal life unless we’re deeply grateful for eternal life. The Christians, eternal life has come at the great cost of Jesus giving up his life at the cross. Why does it believe to have eternal life? Because Christ gave up his life at the cross.

Why does a Christian one day go to glory? Because Christ forsook his glory at the cross? That’s the gospel. That’s the hope. So I’m not sure that we really have eternal life if we’re not at least a little bit grateful, and I’m not sure that we have eternal life. Unless we care about people who don’t have eternal life, how could we value something so special, so available and not care for people who don’t have it?

And one of the proofs of the grace that has come to us is that the graces passed on by us and we care for people and we pray for people and we speak to people if we can, and we point people to Christ and perhaps we give them something. And I’m so thankful for the members of the church who told me how concerned they are for people who in their family or friends are not yet Christians.

It just says to me that person has a real eternal life, which they long for others to have as well. So there is a home awaiting for the people of Christ and dear friends. Let’s not despair as we travel towards it, John Newton says. Suppose a man was travelling to New York to take possession of a very large estate and his carriage should break down a mile before he got to the city, which obliged him to walk the rest of the way with some difficulty. What a fool we should think him to be if we saw him wringing his hands and blubbering all the way, saying, my carriage is broken, my carriage is broken. No, there’s such an inheritance in front that we can press forward with trust and faith.

Let’s bow our heads and thank Him.

We thank you, our gracious God, for not only giving us a Saviour who has died for us and risen, but for giving us such precious promises of your plans for your people. We pray that you would help us despite our sin, despite our doubts, despite our foolishness to trust Christ.