Bringing Sons To Glory
Human life is a struggle. We are constantly faced with the choice of good or evil. Sin is a horrible thing. It is anything that is contrary to the nature of God or anything that is in opposition to His commandments. Sin is a transgression of God's law. "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4) We also sin by knowing what is right and failing to do it. "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17) Our prejudices can likewise cause us to sin. "But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors." (James 2:9) Our sin needs forgiveness. God's purpose is to rescue us from sin and bring us to glory through the sacrifice of Jesus. The Hebrew writer wrote, "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:10)
Truth is involved in bringing sons to glory. Pilate asked "what is truth?" In John 17:17 we see his question answered. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." Jesus said, "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) It is only in obedience to the truth that we purify our soul. Peter wrote, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:22-23) Sons will never be brought to glory without truth. Have you obeyed the truth in your life? Those who have learned the truth must love God enough and love others enough that they are busy teaching them in order that those precious souls can also be brought to glory.
The Holy Spirit is involved in bringing sons to glory. There is a great deal of confusion as to the work of the Holy Spirit in process of conversion and spiritual growth. But, the Holy Spirit revealed the truth. It is through the gospel of Christ that the Holy Spirit does His work. Our Lord's promise to the apostles was that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." (John 16:13) The words of the Bible are Spirit given words. "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63) Truth has been revealed by the Holy Spirit of God. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17) We must value the Spirit revealed truth. We must obey it from our heart and use it daily to patiently lead sons to glory.
The apostles are involved in bringing sons to glory. The Holy Spirit revealed truth. The work of the apostles was to confirm truth. As they went forth to preach God was working with them confirming their word. "And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs." (Mark 16:15-20) The apostles confirmed the faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints. Jude wrote, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3) The apostles confirmed truth and if sons are to be brought to glory it can only be accomplished by the truth. John wrote, "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:6) As we learn and grow in the truth we are hearing the apostles. As we help bring sons to glory they are also hearing the apostles.
Preacher and teachers are involved in bringing sons to glory. What part does the preacher or teacher play in conversion? The word of God must be taught in a patient and persistent way. We must love people. It is our duty to teach them the truth. We must also struggle with them as they go through the process of spiritual growth. The power to bring about this needed change is not in the man but in the message of Christ and Him crucified. "But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness." (1 Corinthians 1:23) Any time we are face to face with people we should hear the words of those Greeks who came to hear Jesus. To the apostles they said, "Sir, we would see Jesus." (John 12:21) It is the obligation of those who are Christians to explain in simple terms the gospel plan of salvation. We must also live the truth so that others can see a demonstration of what Christianity involves. We must love people and help them in their spiritual growth.
The church is involved in bringing sons to glory. If sons are to be brought to glory the church plays a vital role. In the initial conversion process the church is to support the truth. Paul said, "These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:14-15) If the church does not support the truth who will? The church must see that truth and nothing but truth is preached to sinners. Once a sinner is converted the church is to love that person, accept him and help him to grow in the likeness of Jesus. The church must awaken to its responsibility in bringing sons to glory.
The sinner must do his part if he is to be a son brought to glory. The love and sacrifice of Jesus is still deeper than any thought that I could imagine. Yet, the sinner must choose life. The sinner’s part is to obey the truth. "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." (1 Peter 1:22-23) To obey the truth you must believe in Jesus with all your heart (John 8:24), Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), Confess the name of Jesus (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to wash away your sins. (Acts 22:16) Are you a son of God on your way to glory?
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA