by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 14 October 3, 2010 Dayton, Texas
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1901 ASV Translation:
5 to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I. The Apostle's Greeting.
A. The issues of "grace" and "peace".
1. The significance of "grace" [See notes for Aug. 29(018)].
2. The significance of "peace" [See notes for Sept. 5(020)].
B. The focus upon the action of the "Lord Jesus Christ".
1. In this text, it was the "Lord Jesus Christ" Who did the "giving" of Himself for our sins [See notes for Sept. 12(022)].
2. In this text, the "giving" was designed to "deliver us" [See notes for Sept. 19(024)].
C. The attribution of the purpose of the actions of the "Lord Jesus Christ" to "the will of our God and Father" [See notes for Sept. 26(026)].
D. The ascription of "glory" to God "unto the ages of the ages".
1. This type of ascription is only found again in the epistles of the New Testament at 2 Timothy 4:18, Hebrews 13:21 and 1 Peter 4:11. Acts 12:23 is an interesting comment upon the refusal of Herod to disavow the acclamation of the crowd.
2. The issue of "glory" boils down to one basic concept: the characteristic(s) of the one in focus.
3. Around this central concept sit at least two related ideas.
a. The verbal idea, "to glorify", addresses activities (speech and action) that bring the characteristic(s) to the fore.
b. The ascription of "glory" addresses speech/writings that name the one who is to receive the "credit" for the activities that have been delineated.
4. In our text, the issue of giving credit is in the forefront.
a. Paul has just laid out the major thesis of our "deliverance" and he deliberately says that the God and Father of us gets the "glory" forever.
b. This means that Paul is saying that it is the Father Who must be seen as bringing the benefit of "deliverance" our way.
c. This is no small matter.
1) The ascription of "glory" to someone is a declaration that the one in view is to be seen as the one who has accomplished a result.
2) Since the beginning of man's period of rebellion, "getting the credit" has been a major point of contention between men and God, but the reason for the conflict on man's side of the issue is significantly different from the reason on God's side of the issue.
a) Men seek "the credit" for accomplishment for one basic reason: to bolster their status in the eyes of others so that the quality of their lives might be greater. This attempt is rooted in a falseassumption: that "Life" arises from beingseen as the root cause of some result. The truth is that "Life" arises from being a partner in the accomplishment of some good result. It does not matter if anyone other than God "sees" the partnership; it is enough that the "partners" are in a knowing relationship of effort.
b) God seeks "the credit" for a totally different "intermediate" reason: to bolster the quality of the lives of those who see Him as the One Who has accomplished the result. God does not "care" about people "giving Him the credit" in view of "self-aggrandizement". His concern is that people who give the credit where it is due are operating on a level of Life-producing Truth and those who seek credit where it is not due are wallowing in Death-producing lies.
3) The content of biblical revelation includes the idea of a "shared" glory in which a man may claim to have accomplished certain results in tandem with his willingness to point to God as the Root of his accomplishment (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 15:10 and Galatians 2:9).
a) This, most fundamentally, means that man can never "glory in" his own good accomplishments because they are rooted in God. It is a most fundamental reality that a "creature" is never the root of any action; the "creature" can only act out of the dispensation of power granted by the God of Power. However, even though the dispensations of power are at the root of all activities, there is another consideration that has to do with what is done: the decision-making that directs the power. The decision-maker may glory in the decision, but not in the actual accomplishment. By way of an illustration, consider a man "boasting" of digging a 100-yard ditch while using a backhoe. The boast is empty because all he did was manipulate the controls of the machine as it dug the ditch. This reveals this truth: man is desperate to "be seen" as the "root of the power" while, in effect, all he is is the director of the power. Every man "deserves" the credit for all of his decisions, but is never to be credited with the power to accomplish them. The judgment of God of men's "works" is, in reality, a judgment of their motives and decisions, not of their accomplishments. It is the greatest evil to "decide" to use the power granted by God to attempt to subvert the divine will. God will permit this, but He will also judge it.
b) This also most fundamentally means that men are most fully "alive" when they are accomplishing objectives as the outworking of God's presence in them.