Expecting the Coming Glory of Christ

Grace trains us to live expectantly for the coming glory of Christ. “Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13). The participle “waiting” (prosechomai) means “anticipate” (Gingrich); with a sense of expectation. (Friberg) We are waiting for “the blessed hope.” The blessed hope is the appearing of Jesus Christ. This hope is described by the word “blessed”—“blessed hope.” This appearing is described by the phrase, “of the glory”—“appearing of the glory.” We are waiting for the blessed hope of the appearing of the glory of Christ.

Wendy Murray Zoba tells of her little boy, Ben. He resisted his parents’ invitation to give his life to Christ. He said that he wasn’t ready. His reply bothered his parents so much.

One day, he announced that he was ready to give his life to Christ. Then he went upstairs. His parents thought that he would pray in his room. When they got there, he wasn’t praying. He was folding his pajamas into his suitcase. His parents said, “Ben, what are you doing?”

Ben answered, “Packing.”

“Why?”

“To go to heaven,” he said.[1]

Ben thought that following Christ means leaving earth and traveling to heaven that day. He was not thinking of waiting for the coming of Christ.

Our blessed hope is the appearance of the glory of Christ. The word “blessed” (makarios) means “happy usually in the sense of privileged recipient of divine favor.” (Gingrich) For so long, I’ve read these words without understanding it fully. Now I understand it better. It is a “blessed” hope because the hope of the appearing of Christ blesses us. The hope of the coming of Jesus gives us joy. Paul wrote, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2, emphasis added). We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Hence, this hope blesses us by making us rejoice in the expectation of the appearance of the glory of Jesus Christ. The anticipation of the glory of Christ makes us glad. That is what makes the blessed hope the blessed hope.

This hope is the expectation of the “appearing of the “glory.” Paul is not merely talking about the coming of Christ, but the coming glory of Christ. Words cannot explain adequately the glory of Christ. But I will describe it a little. The word “glory” (doxa) refers to “brightness, radiance, splendor” of Christ. It refers to the power, the immortality, and the eternality of God. Paul wrote, “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever” (1 Tim. 1:17). This is the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Note that Paul ascribes the glory of God to Christ. Christ therefore is God, having the glory of God.

Paul called Christ “our great God and Savior.” There is an article for “God” but none for “Savior”—“the great God and Savior.” There is the conjunction “and” connecting “God” and “Savior.” According to Granville Sharp’s rule in Greek grammar, when there is the article in the first noun “God” and none in the second noun “Savior,” with the conjunction “and” joining these two nouns, both nouns refer to the same person. Thus, the phrase “the great God and Savior” refers to no other than Jesus Christ (2 Cor 1:3; Eph 6:21; Heb 3:1).

C. S. Lewis wrote the book, “Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” In that book, Lucy and Aslan were talking. Aslan is the lion who is the figure of Christ in the story. Lucy was looking sad. Aslan will soon go away. Aslan tells Lucy the following.

“Do not look so sad. We shall meet soon again.”

“Please, Aslan,” said Lucy, “what do you call soon?”

“I call all times soon,” said Aslan; and instantly he was vanished away.”[2]

Grace trains us to renounce sin and to live godly and uprightly. Grace teaches us also to expect the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. His coming glory is soon at any time. It is soon at all times.

[1] Wendy Murray Zoba, “Future Tense,” Christianity Today magazine (October 2, 1995). Cited March 18, 2017. Online: http://www.preachingtoday. com/illustrations/2008/october/4102008.html

[2] C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Cited March 18, 2017. Online: https://www. goodreads.com/work/quotes/3349054-the-voyage-of-the-dawn-treader.

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