Audio Sermon “God's Miniature”

Jan 15, 2017
“God's Miniature" No.20 by Rev. Toru Asai
Rom 8:14-16, John 15:8, 17:24, etc.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)

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This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples (15:8).

The ultimate purpose of our life as God's miniatures is to show the glory of our Father in heaven. Speaking of God's glory, however, we Christians often mistake it with worldly honor that comes from men. The above scripture says that it is by the fact that we are Jesus' disciples that our Father is gloried. And how do we become his disciples? Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." The glory we seek in this world is merely praise or honor that comes from men, and has nothing to do with God's glory. This is because his glory is hidden from the world, and can be seen only through our spiritual eyes. Peter, in his first epistle, encourages Christians who are going through persecutions and various hardships, which he calls "unjust suffering," in the following way:

But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed (1 Pet 4:13).

Happy are those who give themselves to suffer as Christ suffered, for he will share his glory with them. When he shares his glory with you, you reflect his glory, and shine as the light of the world. This happens because you make yourself nothing and give yourself to God as a living sacrifice.

If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you (1 Pet 4:14).

God's glory is in his Spirit, and it is by his Spirit that glory is revealed and manifested. Therefore, in order for the glory to be revealed through you, you will need to be led by his Spirit.

because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children (Rom 8:14-16).

God's glory does not come from you, and hence it cannot be shown by yourself. It is the Spirit of God that manifests himself through you by working with your human spirit. Glory is in the "revealing (apokalupsis, disclosure) of the sons of God," whom the Father bore through the word of truth.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed (lit. longing for the revealing of the sons of God, vv. 18-19).

Those who have this hope put all the desires of the flesh away, and set their mind on bearing fruit by walking in the spirit. Guard yourself against the words of judgment and criticism people may hurl at you according to their standard of the honor and praise of this world, which has nothing to do with God's glory.

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (v. 17).

We are not only co-heirs with Christ in terms of the blessings we receive, but also in terms of the sufferings and glory we share with him. This status of a co-heir with Christ is the special spiritual position where God wants us to be. Jesus prayed for us to the Father on the night before he was crucified:

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world (John 17:24).

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