I have been reading this chapter for weeks now in the English Standard Version. I've read it multiple times and the main message I could see is that there is no one righteous - Jew or Gentile. (:10-11) And that we, Jew and Gentile, are only justified and made righteous again through Jesus Christ. (:22) Both wonderful thoughts but nothing revelatory to me. I knew this and celebrate the amazing gift of Christ's sacrifice so I can be made righteous again and reconciled to God.
But here is the verse that got me.
I know, you are all saying that is one of the most famous verses in the Bible. It is the first step in The Roman Road. You've known it all your life. Why did it make such an impression now?
The reason came in the NIV Study Bible footnote. "glory of God. What God intended man to be. The glory that man had before the fall. (see Ge 1:26-28; Ps 8:5-6…."
I had always thought of "fall short of the glory of God" meant that we did not live up to His level. And in many ways it does in that our sin separates us from God. But it can also imply that I must strive to reach a level that I can never fully attain, therefore, why should I try. And if I have sin and don't reach His level, I will always fall short.
But when you look at it from the perspective that I was created in His image, designed to be like Him, and that was how Adam and Eve were made, it opens up a whole new picture of who I am in Him and the potential to be made new or made again as God intended through the blood of Jesus Christ.
When I first read the footnote, a tremendous sadness overwhelmed me. We have chosen to lose so much by choosing sin. We have actually lost the glory of God, meaning the praise and honor that was our very essence through His perfect creation. There has been no greater loss than this. We devastated our perfect hope and existence for what? Sin?!?! While there are temporary pleasures, it will always be that which destroys, separates, confuses, devastates, and ultimately kills us.
We were born into a positive world. We were born into glory, and we traded it for death.
BUT, through our Lord Jesus Christ, we can return to that original glory in which we were first created. Even though I know that I am completely justified and redeemed into a right relationship with God right now. And that if I died today, I would be with Him for eternity. I also know it will not be Eden again until heaven. We will constantly battle the sin we chose to rule over this world. Daily we must take up, reclaim, choose, remind ourselves again that we are covered by the cross and made new through the blood. But even though we must daily, sometimes moment by moment battle the demons within and without, once we've received His gift, we are made so much closer to the original image of our Creator than ever before.
Lord, I grieve for what we lost through our rejection of the glory of You. But my joy cannot be adequately voiced for the hope and the reality of regaining that glory through Jesus Christ. So be it.
- Read Genesis 1:26-30. What glory did God bestow on us in creation?
- Read Hebrews 2:5-18. What is our hope in Christ Jesus?
- Do a study of the word glory.
- How is this post related to my previous post, Here's a Thought?
- In what way do you see your daily life differently in light of our original created glory?