Can we take Paul seriously? (Part 3)

Still earlier in Romans 8 Paul says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us …” (8:18). We might be justified or tempted in questioning what Paul has to say if we didn’t know better. Acts records a life of severe hardship for Paul after his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). God told the nervous Ananias, “… I will show him [Paul] how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Paul provides a partial list of his hardships, including beatings, stoning, shipwreck, hunger, sleeplessness, and much more (2 Corinthians 11:23-30). The magnitude of Paul’s appreciation for the glory of God, which is shone chiefly in God’s graciousness toward us, is the reciprocal of Paul’s acute awareness of what he deserved, having been an enemy of Christ. Remember that “glory” means “to do what no one else can do or would do.” The glory to be revealed in us is God’s redeeming work, both now and at the end of the world when God raises our bodies to be like Jesus and, finally, in perfect harmony with our regenerate soul and God’s recreated heavens and earth.

Leave a Reply