HEAVEN'S GLORY The grace of knowledge shall be perfected in glory. "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (I Corinthians 13:9-10, 12). Now our knowledge of divine things is shallow and indistinct. We do not perceive things clearly. We are sluggish in our understanding. Then we shall know, as Christ now knows us. The grace of knowledge shall be perfected in the godly in heaven. The godly shall understand more fully Christ as Mediator between God and men. They shall understand the mystery of the incarnation, of God becoming man. To as great a degree as possible, those in glory shall understand the mystery of the Trinity. They shall understand the excellencies of Christ. The knowledge of God shall be full. The grace of holiness shall be perfected in all who are received into glory. "When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2). Holiness is the transcendent beauty of God and the angels. Holiness is primary among the attributes of God. "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts" (Isaiah 6:3) is the cry of the seraphim who constantly attend Him in glory. In heaven holiness will be perfected in the believer. There the saints shall be as the angels of God. In heaven the grace of love shall be perfected. On earth love to God expressed in fits and spasms. Sinful flesh and self-interest dampen and hinder love to God. We cannot love God as we ought or even as we would like to. Although the spirit in the child of God desires with all that is within him to do what the Scripture says, to "Love the Lord." God accepts the desires in the believer as if the action were done perfectly. In heaven, unhindered love shall flow forth to God as none have ever experienced on earth. God shall be loved completely and fully and the saints shall love one another without carnality or selfishness being present. Those who are in heaven shall experience fulness of joy. "In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). Fulness of joy could be described as experiencing the bountiful love of God. From this glorious manifestation of God's love will flow infinite joy into the souls of the blessed; therefore heaven is called "enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:21). The seeing of God, loving God, and being beloved of God will cause a jubilation of spirit, and create such holy joy in the saints, that are "unspeakable and full of glory." They shall see in Him all that love desires. Love desires the love of the beloved. So the saints in glory shall see God's transcendent love to them; God will make ineffable manifestations of His love to them. They shall see as much love in God towards them as they desire; they neither will nor can crave any more...When they see God so glorious, and at the same time see how greatly God loves them, what delight will it not cause in the soul! Love desires union. They shall therefore see this glorious God united to them, and see themselves united to Him. They shall see that He is their Father, and that they are His children. They shall see God gloriously present with them; God with them; and God in them; and they in God. Loves desires the possession of its object. Therefore they shall see God, even their own God; when they behold this transcendent glory of God, they shall see Him as their own. The Psalmist wrote of the great blessing attending the worship of God in His temple: "How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house! They are ever Praising Thee...For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory". Here we enjoy God primarily through His Word, ordinances of worship, and prayer. There we shall enjoy Him "face to face." Here you have God in expectation, but there you shall have Him in possession. There the saints in glory shall be filled with joy through the eternal enjoyment of the manifestation of God in all His attributes. It will greatly add to the joy and rejoicing of those in glory when they contemplate God's mercy shown to them in salvation and how they deserved to be among the damned, but were spared the torments of hell solely because of God's sovereign mercy given to them. Ministers will rejoice with those whom they led to the knowledge of Christ and the fruits of their labors will be fully seen there. Paul writes of this joy in 1 Thessalonians 2:19: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" Other things will undoubtedly contribute to their joy, such as their being with the saints of all the ages, the contemplating of God's providences toward them on earth, being in the heavenly city, but the greatest joy of all will come from being in His presence! The saints in heaven will be perfect in their love to God: their hearts will be a flame of love to God, and therefore they will greatly value the glory of God, and will exceedingly delight in seeing Him glorified...They will therefore greatly rejoice in all that contributes to that glory. "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (Isaiah 35:10).
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