Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jim Hamilton on God's glory, salvation, and judgment

 What is the Glory of God? I would suggest that the glory of God is the weight of the majestic goodness of who God is, and the resulting name, or reputation, that he gains from his revelation of himself as Creator, Sustainer, Judge, and Redeemer, perfect in justice and mercy, loving kindness and truth ...

Salvation always comes through judgment. Salvation for the nation of Israel at the Exodus came through the judgment of Egypt, and this pattern is repeated throughout the Old Testament, becoming paradigmatic even in the New. When God saves his people, he delivers them by bringing judgment on their enemies. This is not limited to Old Testament enemies such as the Philistines. At the cross, the ruler of this world was cast out (John 12:31). At the consummation, Jesus will come to afflict those who afflict his people (2 Thess. 1:6, cf. 6-10) ...

Everyone who gets saved is saved through judgment. All who flee to Christ and confess that he is Lord and that God raised him from the dead (Rom.10:9) do so because they realize their need for a Savior. They realize their need for a Savior because they have been convinced that God is holy, that they are sinful, and that God will judge. In a sense, they feel the force of God's condemning justice. They sense the weight of the wrath that remains upon them (John 3:36), and they recognize that Jesus is their only hope. Thus, historically (in Christ on the cross) and existentially (in their own experience of the wrath of God that makes them feel their need for Christ), believers are saved through judgment.

(Hamilton, James M. God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010. Print. 56-58)

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