The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)
What Is the Pathway of the Glory? (continued)
And then there is the crown of life. "Be faithful unto death," said the Lord, "and I will give thee a crown of life." A crown of life - what is that? "Faithful unto death," is to be answered with a crown of life. All right that is perfectly clear, is it not; the crown of life means that death has no power. It is robbed of its power, death as a power is destroyed, and Divine life, Resurrection life, is mightier than all the power of death. Therefore, we must stand "in the Power of His Resurrection."
In that same letter, in the same part of that letter, as we have quoted, in the Philippians letter, Paul utters those words so familiar to us, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection." That is the ultimate and final nullifying of death in all its forms and in its whole power, standing in the good of a Life which can never, never be touched by death again. You move over to John into the Book of Revelation at chapter 21, in verse 4 where the word says, "There shall be no more death," but a "crown of life."
And then the third crown is the one we are speaking about, "the crown of glory." You know what we have said about glory. Glory is the expression of the full satisfaction of God's nature. Can that ever be for me, for you, that crown, the full satisfaction of God's own nature? That is what He has called us to, and redeemed us for, and is working in us unto, and will work to the end for - this crown of glory. And although perhaps at the end of our longest life, we shall not have reached the place where we do at that point utterly, fully, and finally satisfy the nature of God. Well, in our last moment, in our last breath, there will still be a lot of imperfection about us; but, remember, when He takes the responsibility of ending the process, He makes up all that would have been if He had not done so.
There is in a moment the twinkling of an eye, and "we shall be changed." All that we lack then will be added. All that would have been if we had lived on and on and on under His grace, under His power and working, will be put to our account. "I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness." I go to sleep not altogether in Thy likeness, but "I awake in Thy likeness." It is just that, a mighty thing that God is going to add to those who are faithful, and faithful to the end; not perfect, but in the way of being changed into the same glory, from one degree to another, from one image to another. The crown of glory is God's final approval. It is God's final approval when He says, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord: (Matthew 25:34, 23).
And, believe me, the Lord will never be really joyful over what is not according to His own nature. But when He says, "The joy of thy Lord," He will have got what His heart had been set upon, for the end will be "a crown of glory," which is God's full and complete approval satisfaction. Oh, what a wonderful almost unbelievable prospect there is along the pathway of glory.
Well, I must leave all the rest with you, all the other connections of riches, and this very very imperfect and limited setting forth of the riches of His grace, and the riches of His glory. May the Lord Himself just follow on and teach all that we cannot teach, all that we have yet to know about this riches of His glory. But may He also use even this for our help, for our encouragement, in order for us to go on in the way of the glory, unto the everlasting glory.