“The Subsequent Glories”
1 Peter 1:11
1. There is something about this little phrase that grabs my imagination, something that makes me think it’s especially appropriate for today.
2. The phrase is part of a brief paragraph that is itself invaluable, 1 Peter 1:10-12.
a. It emphasizes the worth of what the prophets prophesied about: both they and the angels had a consuming desire to know of these matters.
b. It reminds us how tremendously fortunate we are: they were serving us, and the good news they were so eager to look into has now been preached to us.
c. It settles the question of what the prophets actually predicted: “the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.”
i. Often this isn’t what people who are preoccupied with the prophets are interested in.
ii. But this is what Peter saw as the basis upon which we Christians can have our minds prepared for action (v. 13).
3. “The sufferings of Christ” are in the background throughout this letter and it’s obvious what they refer to, but what does Peter mean by “the subsequent glories”?
1. Glory spoken of throughout the scriptures
a. The main word for “glory” in the scriptures suggests “something which radiates from the one who has it, leaving an impression behind.” (NIDNTT 2 44)
i. In its noun form, it’s used 165 times just in the NT!
ii. Glory is the appearance, or the shining forth of a person, with a special stress on the impression this creates on others.
iii. When glory is seen, a person is recognized for who he really is, with the result that the honor that truly belongs to him becomes known.
b. An important element in biblical thought is that when we appear on our own, our glory turns out to not match our reputation.
i. We like to leave the impression that we’re smart enough, or strong enough, or supplied well enough to steer the universe in whatever direction we want it to go–all by ourselves.
ii. 1 Peter 1:24, however, calls us back to the truth: “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls.”
iii. Our glory fades. The more the truth about us is seen, the more the beholder is impressed, not with our wisdom or our wealth or our ways, but with our littleness and our limitations.
c. But, say the scriptures, with God it is the other way around. His glory is such that the more you see of him, the more his power impresses and his honor increases.
i. God is “the God of glory” (Acts 7:2), “the Father of glory” (Eph. 1:17), and “the Majestic Glory” (2 Pet. 1:17).
ii. “The glory of God,” an expression used frequently, refers partly to an attribute of his being (Rom. 1:23) and partly to his mighty work (Rom. 6:4).
iii. “Glory” comes finally to mean his manner of existence–and salvation means our having a share in this manner of existence! (NIDNTT 2 47)
2. Glories subsequent to the sufferings of Christ
a. The glory of his raising up his suffering Son and making him the object of our hope
i. It seems that not even the prophets or the angels understood the parallel between “the grace that was to be” ours and “the sufferings of Christ.”
ii. 1 Peter 1:20, 21– “...raised him from the dead and gave him glory...”
iii. 1 Peter 4:13 – “...when his glory is revealed.”
b. The glory of his having a people whose faith is so genuine that they will triumphantly bear insult and hardship for his Son
i. 1 Peter 4:14-16 – “...because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you...”
ii. The thought is that if that kind of love and loyalty is due him, he must truly be something!
iii. 1 Peter 1:6, 7 – “...may be found to result in praise and glory and honor...”
c. The glory that comes to him when unbelievers have to admit the honor in the conduct of his children
i. Remember that the people who read this letter first were having to live in a society dominated by paganism where they sometimes met unjust treatment.
ii. 1 Peter 2:11, 12 – “...they may see your good deeds and glorify God...”
iii. What does this mean in practice? The following verses provide us with some solid clues: upright citizenship in the community; godly conduct in the family; and brotherly love in the congregation.
d. The glory that is apparent as the recipients of his manifold grace use his gifts as stewards in his service
i. What can make each one serve, and all serve together? Only One worthy of the highest honor!
ii. 1 Peter 4:10, 11 – “...in order that in everything God may be glorified...”
iii. How will this emphasis on God’s being glorified impact our speaking or serving?
e. The glory of his blessing his faithful servants with the eternal glory to which he called them in the first place
i. What kind of God is able to bring his purposes about, despite the weaknesses of his people and the opposition of his enemies? The God of glory!
ii. Remember that we learned a while ago that glory is his manner of existence, and salvation means our having a share in it.
iii. Observe how this letter closes on that thought:
(1) 1 Peter 5:1 – “...a partaker in the glory...”
(2) 1 Peter 5:4 – “...you will receive the unfading crown of glory...”
(3) 1 Peter 5:10 – “...the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ...”
1. We are about to enter a new decade!
a. Everyone wonders what it will bring....What will come after this?
b. Christians have a no-matter-what answer: subsequent glories!
2. That answer, however, calls for a response. It presupposes that we have made the grace that the good news has made available actually our own (1:10, 12), and that we are standing firm in it as our way of life (5:12).