SHORT OF GLORY
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 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; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Very little is made of sin any more from the pulpits in our land. Therefore it has become a non-issue in the hearts and minds of the masses of religious church members. But our text reveals a far different picture of the awful seriousness of sin. For it reveals that it is a matter of losing the glory of God! Therefore it is a matter of losing that which, of ourselves, we cannot recover.
Just what does it mean to “come short” of God’s glory? That exact same Greek word is elsewhere translated as “being destitute” in Hebrews 11:37. So we have become destitute of having any glory of God. We have lost that completing image of God. For God is a Trinity. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But now fallen man, having lost that spiritual likeness is now no longer a complete three; that is, spirit from God, body and soul. He is merely a self-conscious being within a human body. Our spiritual man gave us contact with God. Our soul gives us contact with ourselves, and our bodies give us contact with the world.
Since the fall of man into sin every child born of woman has come into this world naked. Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. And it was the awareness of their nakedness that revealed that Adam and Eve had lost the glory of God. At first they were without natural clothing, but they were covered with the outgoing glory of God. Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
But once sin came in by their disobedience to God’s command, their eyes were opened to the reality that they had lost the covering of God’s glory. Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And carnal religion has ever since attempted to cover its members with the rotten fig leaves of justification by moral works.
But without the garment of God’s glory provided them by grace alone, they shall be cast out into outer darkness! Even though strongly dedicated to their practice of religion, without the recovered glory, provided solely by the grace of Almighty God, they shall be cast out into outer darkness for eternity. Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For glory cannot be obtained by religious works. Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: For all our righteousnesses are but filthy rags in the sight of a Holy God! Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
How then is any person of the human race ever to regain the glory and be able to stand again in the presence of God? The only one who now has that glory, and is both willing and able to provide it for his people is the God-man, Christ Jesus! John 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Zechariah 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Precious Lord Jesus! Precious Saviour! Glorious Lamb of God! Listen to him petition the Father for the recovery of the glory for his people! John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
John 17:20 ¶ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 ¶ Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
And the Apostle John reports that when we shall see the Lord in his final degree of exalted glory, it shall change us into our final degree of glory! 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
For because the Son was willing and able to go so deep into the horrible darkness of separation from the Father, the Father has highly exalted him! Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy the works of the Devil and its effects upon the human soul. 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Hebrews 2:14 ¶ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
And this God-provided salvation returns to its recipients the good hope of glory! 1 Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. 2 Thessalonians 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In fact, as the true believer continuously looks unto the Lord Jesus by faith, he is progressed from a lesser degree of glory to a higher degree thereof. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Therefore these truly Spirit-born believers, like the sun flower which turns its head up to the advancing sun, and follows it across the sky throughout the day, are continuously looking unto Jesus! Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
For they, being born of the Holy Spirit seek those things which are spiritual, which advances them into the glory of the Lord! Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
And as they “seek for glory” they are brought to a full and complete salvation of eternal life. Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
Whereas religion without glory brings eternal death! Romans 10:1 ¶ Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matthew 7:21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Be very careful, dear Reader for it is your eternal soul which is at stake. Remember that our Lord told us that these last days would be like unto Lot’s days! And these kind of warnings were then ignored as mockery! Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Genesis 19:12 ¶ And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: 13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. 14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
It’s the same God! It’s the same issue! And it shall therefore be the same outcome! Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
May God have mercy on this generation of deceived religionists!
Pastor Gene Breed
May 13, 2023