The Apostle Paul has the habit of writing sentences that go on, it seems, for paragraphs.
An excellent example of this is Romans 3:21-26. Yes: all six verses can be considered a single sentence...or at the least a single thought!
In this blog post I want to focus on one phrase in this sentence: verse 23, which is very well known in many religious circles. I've been shown truth from this verse that i believe will inspire you to worship, trust and obey Jesus Christ more than you ever have before!
I want to put this verse in the context of the sentence it is a component of; you must promise me, however, that you won't get distracted by the wonders in the rest of the sentence, OK?
Great...then let's begin...
“But now the Righteousness of God without the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the prophets; even the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God; being justified freely by His Grace through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation through faith in His Blood, to declare His Righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the Forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His Righteousness: that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” -- Romans 3:21-26 KJV
Whenever verse 23 is read, in our minds we ALWAYS place the emphasis on the word "all." This makes sense, in a way: first because "all" refers to us (or me, rather) and second because the verse compels (us | me) to acknowledge that (we | I) (are | am) (sinners | a sinner)...completely and utterly WORTHLESS to GOD and fit only for Eternal Divine Incineration (The Lake that burns with Fire and Sulfur, which is the Second Death)
Nevertheless, with your cooperation i'd like to try something different...let's change our focus to the word "Glory" from this verse for ever so brief a moment.
In the original languages of the Bible there are three words (two Hebrew, one Greek) that are translated "Glory" that cover a rather wide range of meaning.
As for myself, whenever i think of "Glory" i think of the Sun: named "Sol" after the Roman god of the Star that enables life to thrive on our planet, the Earth. In this context "Glory" is used to describe a celestial object (or, in the case of GOD, a Family of Three Persons) possessing a stupendous and incalculable level of Power, Splendor, Brightness or Brilliance.
It has been my distinct privilege to experience the "physical" Glory of GOD (which doesn't distinguish me at all from my fellow humans, since all of us--living or dead--will encounter The GODHEAD Face to face on the Last Day); there is a good reason why every creature in the immeasurable heavens above, on the beautific face of the Earth, and even throughout the vast realms of the Abyss fall on their faces and worship This GODHEAD...This Dreadful Creator-Ower Who has lived from Eternity without a beginning, does live this very moment filling all things and continues to live for ever and ever and ever...
Another idea conveyed by the word "Glory" is that of weight; i'm not referring to a strong man, a sumo wrestler, an elephant or a blue whale (the largest living creature known to still exist on Earth)...
...i'm talking about a mountain range like the Himalayas: so huge they have never been weighed; so enduring their age has never been calculated; they have watched billions of creatures come and go into extinction while they themselves have endured eon after eon...nearly as constant as the stars. The magnificent mountain ranges of the Earth are but a poor metaphor for the Eternal GODHEAD which, far more ancient and immovable than the fathomless halls of the universe, is the Faithful Chronicler of all that was, is or ever will be.
"Glory" also refers to fame, renown and popularity.
Time and space on this electronic page are far too short for me to list the superstitions, religions, beliefs and pantheons of gods, demons, demigods, imps and fairies whose names and deeds have fallen into the oblivion of forgotten human memory...never to return to the chronicles of recorded history.
In stark contrast...from the very dawn of human thought and before spoken language ever became recorded on tree, clay, papyrus or stone, the Fame, Reputation, and glorious Deeds of Adam and Eve's Divine Father have endured countless millennia; increasing in number, power and renown. We know from the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 24:14) that when the Knowledge of our Savior and GOD reaches the last tribe, tongue and people ignorant of His Glorious Name, the End of all things shall be upon us and the Desire of all nations shall fill every eye and ear...living or dead.
So we see that GOD's GLORY transmits Splendor, Weight, Endurance and Renown; is there anything else this word tells us about our Lord?
Indeed It does!
GOD's GLORY also includes GOD's Majesty (His matchles beauty, handsomeness and dignity ["dignity" referring to the regalness with which He carries Himself as being The One worthy of all honor and respect]). We rarely think of GOD as being visually beautiful; i humbly remind you that, according to the Bible, that GOD is SO GORGEOUS and BEAUTIFIC that to look upon Him with unfiltered eye would literally destroy you (Exodus 33:20).
Yet there is more...
...the GLORY of GOD also communicates His Faithfulness (His commitment to be TRUE TO EVERY PROMISE HE HAS EVER MADE), His Justice (His commitment to right EVERY wrong in Righteousness and without partiality), His Reputation (His IMMUNITY to corruption of any kind), His Honor (His unwavering determination to adhere to a righteous code of conduct, regardless of the cost to Himself [The Cross of Jesus Christ]) and--most of all--His Holiness (GOD being true to His Divine Nature and NEVER denying Himself).
Perhaps now, through these few penned words, you have caught a better glimpse of your Creator; i pray you are inspired to better worship, better love towards your GOD (and your fellow humans) as well as better obedience of Faith (to trust Him more than ever before).
But wait, Dear Friend and Reader; i'm not quite done yet!
It is important--nay, CRITICAL--that i remind you: THERE WAS A TIME WHEN HUMANITY DID NOT COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD!!!
There was a day, deep in the far recesses of forgotten history, when Man and Woman wore the GLORY of GOD as you and i would wear a tuxedo or a wedding dress!!!
And HOW PERFECTLY did The GLORY of GOD fit them!!! So perfectly, there was no need for them to wear anything else!!!
And our parents Adam and Eve, wrapped in the Splendor, Weight, Endurance, Renown, Majesty, Faithfulness, Justice, Reputation, Honor and Holiness of their Loving Father, did not buckle under the heaviness of This Divine Garment that would unmake any sinner...
...but to them It was light as a feather, as though it had been woven just for them!
(Tears) oh how foolish they were! Not having known anything other than the GLORY of GOD, how easily they forfeited their Priceless Garments for a piece of fruit that was never theirs to take or eat!
They were driven from Paradise; they wept and cried for days, filled with regret, fear and SHAME...
...yet they were not the only ones who wept; theirs were not the only hearts broken. God also wept--how could He do otherwise?! His Empathy was not something He could turn off like a switch. Adam and Eve were in His Image and Likeness...clothed in His GLORY. In a real sense THEY WERE HIS OFFSPRING...
...and now they were DEAD.
i have a daughter who died before i died...who was supposed to out-live me and bury me in my old age...
Such grief is inexpressible...such loss is unimaginable.
The Good News of Romans 3:21-26 is that GOD MADE A WAY to bring Adam and Eve--and all their children and descendants--BACK TO LIFE FROM THE DEAD.
And not only did He make a way to RESURRECT them, but to RECLOTHE THEM WITH HIS GLORY!!!
It's called The Gospel of Jesus Christ...It WORKS and It's ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!!!!