The Two Basic Issues
What we are apart
from God could never
meet His standard
In our recent notes we have been considering the golden reed as God’s standard for determining what belongs to Him (Rev. 21:15-16, 11:1-2; if you missed those Notes, they are on our “Brief Notes” page). The gold signifies God’s divine nature, while the reed signifies our human nature. Therefore, as we said in our last email, the golden reed is a picture of how God desires to impart Himself into our being, that is, to uplift our humanity with His divinity.
Now we want to consider this same point from the plain words of Scripture. Romans 3:23 tells us:
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Paul’s letter to the Romans, of course, is the primary book in the New Testament that explains to us what salvation is. And here, just before he begins to show us how salvation works, the apostle tells us that we have two basic problems God’s salvation must deal with for us to be fully saved.
We all know—too well!—about the first problem, the problem of sin. However, the apostle also tells us that, before God, we have another problem, one we may not be aware of: we fall short of the glory of God.
Have you ever really considered this? To put it in personal terms, salvation in Christ is not just about dealing with my sin and making me a better person; it is about how I can share in God’s own glory!
Surely this is something far, far beyond our own, natural concept. We really need a revelation to see this: God did not create us just to forgive our sins; He created us so we could share in His glory.
Due to the fall, however, we have come short of the glory God created us to have. Thus, Paul goes on to show us in Romans that, ultimately, when our salvation is completed, we will not only be justified from sin, but we finally will have this glory:
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
— Romans 8:29-30
As the many sons of God, and the many brothers of Christ, the Firstborn son, we already share in His divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4); in that day, our glorification will simply be the shining out of this marvelous divine nature from within us. At this point, we will surely meet the standard of the “golden reed!”
Praise the Lord for such a marvelous, complete salvation in Christ!
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“The Bible in One Verse”
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— 20 September 2021 —