Glory: An All-Governing Object and End of God (continued)
"The Lord of Glory" (continued)
But I think this has another meaning too. As Lord of Glory, He is over everything, and going to make it work out to Glory. The Book of Acts is just written on that principle. Is it not? All sorts of things, from early in the book, right to the end, which seems to be, well, the work of the devil, the work of evil men: apostles in prison; the work of God being hindered; things seeming to go wrong; Christians suffering. But look again at each case. Is Peter in prison? All right, what is the outcome, what is the end of it? "Glory" is it not? Are Paul and Silas in prison? Well, Glory is the issue.
And so, again and again and again things which seemed to be all wrong at first, contradictory, were made to work out to good. Paul said, "I would have you know, that things which befell me have fallen out for the furtherance of the gospel" (Phil. 1:12). Why? Because the Lord of Glory has got the situation in hand and not the devil. It looks otherwise, and it looks as though the end is going to be calamity. But no! The Lord of Glory has got hold of this thing and He will make it work out for Glory in the End. If only we believed that! If only we believed that the darkness and most difficult situation is going to work out for Glory, because the Lord of Glory is over it.
"The Spirit of Glory"
And finally: "The Spirit of Glory." You need to read Peter's context to see what that means. Look at his first letter, and you will see that he has a lot to say about the sufferings of the Lord's people. "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you ... though now for a season ... you are in heaviness through manifold trials" (1 Peter 4:12; 1:6). And he refers to their being persecuted for the sake of Christ, and then he heads it right up to here: "If you are reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the Spirit of Glory ... rests upon you" (1 Peter 4:14).
You see the Spirit of Glory links with the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. Now Christ's sufferings led to His Glory. "The suffering of Christ, and the Glory that should follow" (1 Peter 1:11). Suffering together with Christ, and the Glory that will follow, are both in the custodianship of the Holy Spirit. Our sufferings, as were His, are under the Holy Spirit's hand. And the Holy Spirit will see to it that just as Christ was glorified after suffering, so by the same energies of the Holy Spirit, Glory will come to us if our sufferings are in fellowship with Christ.
The Holy Spirit has got this matter in hand. He is the Spirit of Glory. That is His End, the Object to which He is working. The Holy Spirit has got this matter really in hand, to turn the sufferings of the saints to Glory, to bring them to Glory through suffering. So Peter says, "If you are reproached, if you suffer, for the name of Christ, happy are ye; blessed are ye; for the Spirit of Glory rests upon you." That is, the Holy Spirit is present to turn your sufferings to Glory, not to shame, not to disaster, not to despair, but in the End to Glory.
Now that surely, dear friends, is the basis of our confidence. All I have sought to do this afternoon is to lay a foundation. A foundation for faith, for hope, for confidence, in dark times, in difficult times, in times of adversity and suffering. The God, Whom we worship, is the God of Glory. The Christ, Who is our Lord, is the Lord of Glory. The Holy Spirit, Whom He has given, is the Spirit of Glory. The Triune God are bound together in this one thing, to see that the End for the Church is the End to which Christ has come - Glory! The End is Glory.
The Lord will probably have more to say to about it, but we want to just put that word over this time, and seek to get into line with it. For God intends Glory, dear friends, whatever the devil intends and works to, God intends Glory. Just believe that, believe it now. Sometimes it is most difficult to believe that things are going to have a Glorious issue and End. Let us believe that, because God: The Father! The Son! The Holy Spirit! are bound by this one Glory, we shall come, not ultimately only, but again and again through difficult, through dark experiences, into Glory.
(continued with # 7 - (It Is An Understanding of What We Have Come Into When We Have Come Into Christ)