Grace and Glory – 2 Corinthians 4 Part 7

Grace and glory are two distinct attributes that the Godhead enjoys. The Lord is generous in his abundant grace, yet encompassed at all times in full inexplicable glory. 

In this look at 2 Corinthians 4, we’re going to be exploring what the Holy Spirit is trying to get across to us in verse 15. In so doing, we’re going to walk away with a better understanding and appreciation as to why certain things happen a certain way as it relates to the grace and glory of God, and also why there is a pattern set forth for us to go by. 

2 Corinthians 4:
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 

 

There’s a lot to unpack in these verses, and we’re going to dig deep to get the most out of them. Eventually, we’re going to understand why the Holy Ghost saw it important to make sure we get this verse into our systems as born again, spirit filled, believers in the Lord God Almighty. 

Let’s start by breaking down verse 15.

All Things are for Your Sakes

For Your SakesAll of what things? Paul is making reference to all of the suffering, beatings, berating, and other troubles or persecution they faced while spreading the gospel from place to place. Furthermore, all things that they succeeded in as well. The healings, other miracles, and victories are included in “all things.” 

Considering all things are for our sakes, we’d better be clear that we know what he’s talking about. 

In verse 15 Paul tells us a great deal. Everything they did and went through, was so that the abundance of grace through the thanksgiving of many would redound to God’s glory.

Redound

It’s interesting that the word redound is used here because it has a couple of different meanings according to Oxford Dictionary. There is a formal way to use the word as well as an archaic definition.

  • Formal Tense- Contribute greatly to
    For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many contribute greatly to the glory of God.
  • Archaic Tense- Come back upon or rebound
    For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many come back upon the glory of God.

The Glory of the Lord God Almighty

The glory of God is something that I believe is unattainable for us to understand without taking a trip to Heaven and experiencing or witnessing it for ourselves. Even then, how could we describe it?

Personally, I believe that the glory of God isn’t the same kind of glory that we can achieve here through status, wealth, position, or by any other means. In days past a king’s glory would be on display when he surrounds himself with all kinds of subjects, riches, and wealth. One may see him and say, “Look at him, there in all his glory.”

Using that example, nobody will ever be more glorious than the Lord. Creator and King of all things made is as glorious as one could possibly be. But as I said, I don’t think the glory of God is that kind of glory when used in most places in the Bible, particularly in the verse above. 

We may be able to witness it or experience it in several abstract ways, but do we truly have a clue about the power that is present within the makeup of God’s glory? No way. I doubt even the angels giving praise in the presence of the Lord could rightly lend us an explanation.

This is why I believe the Lord keeps his glory to himself- he doesn’t share his glory save for with Christ and the Holy Ghost. We can be present within it as we draw near to God, but his glory is his own. 

But then there’s Grace

God's GraceThe Lord abundantly shares his grace with us. It’s by his grace that we’re here at all. It’s by his grace that we can draw our next breath. It’s by his grace that Jesus was sent to the world to deliver us from Hell and spiritual death by way of bearing our sins upon himself.

Again, I don’t think that we will ever fully understand the lengths that the Lord goes through for us on a minute to minute basis relating to grace. To take that a step further, I wonder how often we get mad or irritated at God’s grace without realizing it?

For example, if the Lord saved your life by preventing you from getting into a terrible accident by holding you up in traffic- you’d probably be annoyed rather than thankful. You’d be annoyed because all you know is that you were stuck in traffic for an hour.

The grace of God is, well, graceful. God’s grace is not boastful.

The Lord doesn’t toot his own horn in regard to his grace, and it’s is often given without any call for instant recognition or expectations. 

But the glory of God isn’t a quiet thing at all and will put us on our faces in an instant. The flesh itself can’t even handle being in the direct presence of the glory of God without special provisions made by the Lord. No man can see the face of the Father and live.

Exodus 33:20
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

In the Father we depict thoughts and ideas of glory, whereas in Christ Jesus, we depict untold depths of grace. And yet they’re one. As I said above, there often seems to be a connection between the grace and glory of God. 

Grace – Thanksgiving – Glory

Thanksgiving to GodIn verse 15, the Apostle Paul nonchalantly lays out a spiritual process that might help us in strengthening our relationship with the Father if we take it seriously. Not only is this a spiritual process, but a reciprocal one also. 

Here it is again to keep the verse fresh in our eyes.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

The process that Paul’s showing us is as follows…

  1. The Lord grants us grace.
  2. We give our praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord for, and because of, his grace.
  3. God’s grace through our thanksgiving redounds to the glory of God. 

That which he gives by way of grace comes back to him manifold in the form of thanksgiving and is received into his glory. This process is in line with his word, where he tells us it’s better to give than to receive. 

Acts 20
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The Lord sews his grace into the world, throughout all of his creation but particularly amongst his children. That which has been sewn is reaped back unto himself as glory through our thanksgiving unto him. This is how he operates, and is how he wills for us to operate. 

But why?

This is for Our Benefit

God does things for our benefitDoes God need us, or need our praise and thanksgiving in order to have his glory? No way. He was God Almighty without us prior to and after creation. He’d certainly have no hindrances without us or our thanksgiving.

However, his glory benefits us completely, and anyone who has been close enough to the Lord through praise, worship, and the giving of thanks can testify to that. It’s an experience of love and presence of the Lord that hits you wave after wave. 

Blessings and miracles abound in the glory of the Lord when the Father responds with closeness through the praise and thanksgiving being given by his children. As aforementioned, God does not dish out his glory. If you’re to be in the presence of his glory, you’re to be in the presence of God himself. 

When we draw near to the Lord, he draws near to us. By experiencing his glory, we have evidence that at that time the Lord has moved himself nearer to us than he was prior. For many, these are the experiences that shift their paradigm of the Father from faith to knowing. 

Hebrews 10:22
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

James 4:8
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

The Father benefits from receiving love and gratitude from his children, and moves closer unto us in acknowledgement, love, and through the desire to be closer to us. We benefit from simply being in his presence, and the blessings that come forth. As touched on above, we’ve already benefitted from his grace in the first place.

God’s Desire to be Closer

God's Desire to be CloserAs born again believers, we’ve got constant access to the Father through the Holy Ghost. Spiritually speaking, we’re just as present in the throne room of God than we are wherever we’re at right now. Now that I think about it, if the spiritual side of everything is more real than the physical, then we’re more in the throne room with the Lord than we’re presently sitting in the flesh. 

Ephesians 2:
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

A strange thought, I know. But is something fun to chew on…

But that’s through the Holy Ghost, which I believe is much different than the Father showing up for an appearance of sorts. What I mean is, the Father shifting closer to a location where his glory penetrates from the spiritual, being able to be felt physically by those giving him praise and thanksgiving. 

Final Thoughts about Grace and Glory

The grace of God is given abundantly, more so to those who call upon the Lord in search of it. The Apostle Paul taught that all that he and his companions suffered, was for our benefit.

So that the process that we just discussed could take place between we and the Lord in, through, and due to the finished works of Christ Jesus. Why? Because the Father is a loving Father, and wills not to be distant from his children.

He gives us examples, opportunities, and methods throughout the entirety of his Word, giving us direction as to how to become closer to him than we are to our natural parents or family. 2 Corinthians 4:15 is, I believe, among those methods.

And its all because of his overabundant love for his children and willingness to become more of a force in their lives. That is what I call a loving Father worthy of all praise, thanksgiving, and all the glory of every form.

Thank You for Reading!

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6 thoughts on “Grace and Glory – 2 Corinthians 4 Part 7”

  1. Thank you again Brian. This is a very thought provoking & enlightened piece you have studied & shared. You & family remain in my prayers.

    Sincerely, Janet Goodwin

    Reply
  2. Greetings Brian…thanks for this, for us to study. Not to pat myself on the back, but I have always had a spirit of gratitude towards the Father. I don’t understand people, who complain to the Lord for something bad happening to them in their lives. “Oh Lord, why did you allow that to happen to me”?? Whenever things go badly for me, I blame those exhibiting hostility towards me; no the Father’s fault. You are quite right, He does not require praise from us; He has praise enough just being who He is. Wow, what a coincidence i.e. while playing the audio cd of Psalms and Proverbs, I just heard Psalms 150, praising the Lord!! No matter how much we praise Him, it never seems to be enough. He is everything to us, praise His Holy Name!! Thanks Brian, stay strong Brother.

    Reply
    • Hi George,
      Amen Brother!

      I’ve had my bouts in the past with “Why me?” between me and the Lord or complaining in my younger years. More often than not, whatever the situation was happened because of me, because of making rash, unwise, sinful, selfish, or stupid decisions. Any other reasons fell on the shoulders of the fact that we’re living in a fallen world, where bad stuff happens regardless of your own actions. None of the above has anything to do with the Lord. Most of the time, when someone cries “why me” to the Lord, that same person can answer that question if they’re honest with themselves- but typically don’t like the answer.

      Thank you for the comment Brother, and I apologize for not noticing this sooner (I sound like a broken record, I know. lol)

      Reply

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