The Glory of God (Exodus 24:15-17)
Glory has a rather different connotation in the OT than it does in English usage. The English word suggests something thin and passing—the glory of a sunset, the glory of last year’s winning team. The root idea of the Hebrew word for glory is “heaviness” or “solidity.” It connotes “significance” or “worth,” the absolute opposite of “vanity” or “nothingness.” When God’s glory appears, it is not merely a bright light or a glittering cloud, but a visible expression of his absolute reality.
God’s glory is the manifestation of his person, his power, and his majesty (see Ezek 1:28; 10:4). God’s glory may be revealed in nature, such as in a thunderstorm (Job 37:2-5; Ps 29:3, 7) or in the plagues sent on the Egyptians (Num 14:21-22). God’s glory can also be a unique manifestation, such as the revelation on Mount Sinai (Deut 5:24). At the dedication of the Tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-35) and Solomon’s Temple (1 Kgs 8:11), God’s glory filled those structures, indicating his approval of them and that his presence would now reside there. Similarly, the glory of the Lord sent the fire that kindled the first sacrifices of the sanctuary (Lev 9:22-24).
When God reveals his glory to his creation (see, e.g., Ex. 24:16-18), it is often called a theophany. God gives limited (or veiled) glimpses of his glory because no one can see God and live (33:18-23; see also Isa 6:5). To “give glory” to God (Josh 7:19; Isa 24:15; Jer 13:16) means to speak or act in a manner that acknowledges who God is.
Christ is the glory and image of God (2 Cor 4:4), and he was glorified in his death and resurrection (John 17:1-5). When Christ appears again at last, he will further manifest God’s glory in his restored Kingdom (Rev 21:11, 23). Paul declares that the presence of Christ in the lives of believers provides assurance that we will share in that glory (Rom 5:2; Col 1:27).
NLT Study Bible.
The Good News (Acts 10:34-43)
The apostles proclaimed the Good News in a definite sequence. In summary, (1) the OT promises have been fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (2) God has exalted Jesus by resurrecting him to be the head of the new Israel as the divinely appointed Messiah. (3) The apostles were witnesses of God’s work in Jesus Christ, both as eyewitnesses of his public ministry and resurrection (Acts 13:31) and as his chosen advocates (Acts 1:22; 2:32; 3:15; 4:33; 5:32; 10:39-43). (4) The proper response to this Good News is repentance and faith (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 13:39, 48; 17:30, 34; 20:21; 26:20). (5) The Holy Spirit is promised to those who accept this offer of God’s forgiveness and salvation from sin through Jesus Christ.
This basic message was repeatedly preached to many people, both Jews and Gentiles, throughout the Mediterranean world (note Acts 1:8; 9:15; 28:31). It is echoed in the sermons of chs 2, 3, 4, 5, 8,10, and 13. The same themes characterize Paul’s preaching (e.g., 1 Cor 15:3-9).
All people are summoned to repentance from sin and faith in the saving power of Jesus (Acts 4:12; 13:38; 16:31)—through his death we can be “declared right with God” (Acts 13:39). Because the message is crucial to people’s destiny, those who proclaim it are warned not to change it (Acts 13:40-42; see Heb 2:3). NLT Study Bible.
The Resurrection of the Dead (1 Cor. 15:12-58)
Jesus spoke of a future resurrection of all people—either to eternal life or to judgment (Mark 12:25-26; John 5:28-29; cp. Luke 20:34-36). He also promised that he would give new life to all who have believed in him (John 6:39-40, 44, 54; 11:25-26). When Christ returns, all his people will be resurrected to be with him forever (1 Thes 4:13-18; cp. 2 Cor 5:1-10).
This strong hope characterized the outlook of the early Christians. They were able to endure their suffering because their eyes were fixed on what lay beyond this life (2 Cor 4:16-18; Heb 12:2). They expected Jesus to return and resurrect their bodies. They looked forward to living with him forever (1 Pet 1:3-6, 23). Jesus’ own bodily resurrection was the foundation of their Christian faith (1 Cor. 15:12-20; Acts 4:33; see also 2 Cor 4:14).
The resurrection body will be fundamentally different from the body we experience in this life, with all its limitations and failings. Our resurrected bodies will be glorious, strong, immortal, and spiritual, like Christ’s own resurrection body (1 Cor. 15:35-58).
Because they are already joined to Christ, believers actually begin to experience resurrection existence here and now. They have already been “raised” with Christ; they have already been given “resurrection life” (Rom 6:4-11; 8:10-11; Col 2:12). Asa result, their life is now centered in the spiritual realities of heaven, not the things of earth (Col 3:1-4). Believers can experience the transforming power of that new life here and now, the new life of the Spirit that frees them from the power of sin and death (Rom 8:1-4). In all the difficulties they face, their trust is not in themselves but in the resurrection power of God (2 Cor 1:9). NLT Study Bible.
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