28 May 2023: Can we attain to God’s perfect standard?

Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home

28 May 2023


Last Sunday, as we met at Bethel for worship Stella saw a picture of grapes, of very small grapes which had yet to go on to the stages of maturity and veraison, the onset of ripening. This change and transformation is both an internal and external change including a change in colour that is a visual cue that harvest is coming, Amen!


Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United lyrics


And we all, who … contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18

There are only two standards in this world:

  1. the glory of the Lord, and
  2. falling short of the glory of the Lord (cf. Rom. 3:23).

Within the first, there are varying heights as we can see from our text, “ever-increasing glory”. In the second, those who fall short of the glory of God, go down to the depths in ever-decreasing glory if we can put it like that, e.g., notice the spiralling downwards in Romans 1:18-32 (cf. the prodigal son).

We know the ultimate and eternal purpose of God is as taught in e.g.

For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son

Rom. 8:29

referred to in Rom. 8:30 as being “glorified.” We have seen how in Jesus Christ…

“… the future has already begun in the age of the Spirit, of which believers have a foretaste.”

Ralph Martin


Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Cor. 1:21-22

The fact that we have received the Spirit is a deposit from God that guarantees that which is to come. It means that the kingdom of heaven is already here, but there is more to come, the fulness, that awaits a future consummation.

We have seen in Romans how the law set before us God’s perfect standard, came with glory (2 Cor. 3:7) and to which everyone falls short because the law offers no power to attain this perfect standard.

All that changes with the new age of the Spirit.

This is why everyone must be born-again of the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God (cf. John 3:3 and 5). Too many today, including those in the Church, are trying to minimise the glory of God, trying to bring the glory down to their own level. We can never do this. It’s impossible, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever! (Heb. 13:8; cf. Mal. 3:6).

Rather than be moulded by the world (cf. Rom. 12:2), we must be faithful witnesses to the glory of the Lord seeking to imitate Christ, as the Spirit transforms us more and more into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ with ever-increasing glory.

And remember that the Lord is working continually to this end:

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Hab. 2:14


Quote of the week

“What the spiritual journey is all about is uniting our will with God’s will, wanting what He wants, loving what He loves, living a life that in all its aspects honours Him and gives Him glory.”

Ralph Martin

Verse of the week

Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?

John 11:40

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, we want to see more of Your glory at Bethel Baptist Church, so Father, show us Your glory more and more. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us in greater measure that people will see more and more of Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and less and less of us, for Your glory Lord, Amen!