The Eternal Weight of Glory
"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Lately, I've been hanging out a lot in 2 Corinthians, particularly in chapter 4. As you know, we've been talking about grace. I have not touched on this yet, but grace actually has to do with the glory of God (and this is part of what I will talk about today). But I learned something about the glory of God that I found to be very encouraging. I hope it will encourage my readers as well... let me know what you think!
If you remember, we've been learning that grace is strength and that we get this strength from the Word of God. So what does all this have to do with the 2 Corithians passage? The other day, I was listening to a KCM broadcast. Marty Copeland was teaching this particular section of the broadcast. I do not remember if she mentioned the above Scripture or not, but she was talking about the glory of God (which is something that I also learned in church). She mentioned something so interesting, and as I began to ponder it, I thought of this verse in 2 Corinthians. She said that the glory of God is like a weight; it keeps you down when everything is turmoil around you! I thought, "Wow!" But the more I think on it, the more I realize the depth of what this means: When everything is happening around you, when the storms of life are threatening to tip you over, the glory of God keeps you weighted down.
The analogy I had come to mind was of a paper weight holding down a paper so that it does not blow around in the breeze. This is what the Word of God is to us! Paul said in chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians, "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart" (vs. 2-3). So you see, we are a lot like that paper -- the Word of God is written on our hearts! The Bible says that if we are planted by the Word of God, our roots will grow down deep and we will not wither. Furthermore, if a tree's roots are planted down deep, it's not going anywhere! This is exactly what Jeremiah says: "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit" (Jeremiah 17:8). This is why the tree is not anxious: because it does not look at the circumstances; it just keeps soaking up the water. In our opening passage, Paul said that he didn't faint. Why? Because he was not focused on the turmoil around him; he was looking at the things which he could not see -- "Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfector of faith." The Word of God is what keeps us weighted when the storms of life are raging!
In fact, Jesus told a parable which illustrates this quite well: "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27).
Both houses had the storms raging around them, but only one of them remained. Why? Because it was founded on the Word of God -- that was it's foundation. Jesus said, "Whoever hears these words of Mine..." Hearing is not enough; Jesus said, "and does them" -- the man who built his house on the Word of God did God's words, and his house didn't go anywhere in that storm! Likewise, if we do the will of God, we have a strong foundation, and our house isn't gonna move!
Romans 6:16-17, 22-23 states, "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.... But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." You will notice a parallel here with that of 2 Corinthians: the "ETERNAL weight of glory" and the "EVERLASTING LIFE/ETERNAL LIFE" that are mentioned by Paul. A few weeks ago, we saw from this passage that when we obey the Word of God from the heart, we are righteous. Well, a few verses later in that same passage in Romans, Paul says that this makes us holy. But he doesn't stop there; he says that the result of holiness is everlasting life.
So here is how it works:
1) The grace of God is the strength so that you can walk in the Spirit (and you obtain it through the Word of God which you obey from the heart).
2) As you walk in the Spirit, you are becoming "holy as He is holy." And you are not doing it on your own; it is by His strength (see step one).3) This leads to eternal life. 4) The glory of God is manifest every time you do what God is calling you to do no matter what you feel like, no matter what it looks like, no matter WHAT. Period! Each time you obey from the heart the Word of God, more of that glory is manifest -- that glory that keeps you from flying about in the wind of doubt (James 1). This glory is eternal! That is why the Scriptures say that the end is eternal life. Thank God that we don't have to be weighed down by the weight of sin; we have the eternal weight of glory!
"And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the Gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister" (Colossians 1:21-23).
Romans 1:16-17 "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."