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The Glory of God is the Highest End of Redemption

That the glory of God is the highest and last end of the work of redemption is confirmed by the song of the angels at Christ’s birth. Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will towards men.” It must be supposed that they knew what was God’s last end in sending Christ into the world: and that in their rejoicing on the occasion of his incarnation, their minds would be most taken up with, and would most rejoice in that which was most valuable and glorious in it; which must consist in its relation to that which was its chief and ultimate end. And we may further suppose that the thing which chiefly engaged their minds, as what was most glorious and joyful in the affair, is what would be first expressed in that song which was to express the sentiments of their minds, and exultation of their hearts.

The glory of the Father and the Son is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Philippians 2:6–11, very much in the same manner as in John 12:23, John 12:28, John 13:31–32, and John 17:1, John 12:4–5. “Who being in the form of God…  made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, etc… that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess, that Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” So God’s glory, or the praise of his glory, is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Ephesians 1:3 ff., “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him… Having predestinated us to the adoption of children… to the praise of the glory of his grace.” And in the continuance of the same discourse concerning the redemption of Christ, in what follows in the same chapter, God’s glory is once and again mentioned as the great end of all. Several things belonging to that great redemption are mentioned in the following verses: such as God’s great wisdom in it (Ephesians 1:8). The clearness of light granted through Christ (Ephesians 1:9). God’s gathering together in one all things in heaven and earth in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). God’s giving the Christians that were first converted to the Christian faith from among the Jews, an interest in this great redemption (Ephesians 1:11). Then the great end is added, “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:12). And then is mentioned the bestowing of the same great salvation on the Gentiles, in its beginning or first fruits in the world, and in the completing it in another world, in the two next verses. And then the same great end is added again, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13–14). The same thing is expressed much in the same manner, in 2 Corinthians 4:14–15,  “He which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundance of grace might through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God.”

—Jonathan Edwards
“Concerning the End for which God Created the World,” The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 486–488.

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Future Redemption

There is yet a redemption to come, which is called the redemption of our body (Rom 8:23).

Of this redemption we have both the deposit and the seal, to wit, the Spirit of God (Eph 1:14, 4:30). And because the time to it is long, therefore we are to wait for it; and because it will be that upon which all our blessedness will be let out to us, and we also let into it, therefore we should be comforted at all the signs of the near approach thereof; “then,” says Christ, “look up and lift up your heads” (Luke21:28).

The bodies of saints are called the purchased possession

Possession, because the whole of all that shall be saved shall be for a temple or house for God to dwell in, in the heavens. A purchased possession, because the body; as well as the soul, is bought with the price of blood (1 Cor 6:14-20).

But what then does He mean by the redemption of this purchased possession? I answer, He means the raising it up from the dead: “I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death” (Hos 13:14).

And then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory”

This saying and that in Isaiah speak both the selfsame thing (1 Cor 15; Isa 25:8). And this was signified by Moses, where he speaks of the year of jubilee, and of the redemption of the house that was sold in Israel, how of that year it should return to the owner (Lev 25).

Our bodies of right are God’s, but sin still dwells in them

We have also sold and forfeited them to death and the grave, and so they will abide; but at the judgment day; that blessed jubilee, God will take our body; which originally was His, and will deliver it from the bondage of corruption, unto which, by our souls, through sin, it has been subjected.

He will take it, I say, because it is His, both by creation and redemption, and will bring it to that perfect freedom that is only to be found in immortality and eternal life.

And for this should we hope!

—John Bunyan, 1628–1688

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Glory of the Trinity in Redemption

God designed to accomplish the glory of the blessed Trinity in an eminent degree. God had a design of glorifying himself from eternity; yea, to glorify each person in the Godhead.

The end must be considered as first in order of nature, and then the means; and therefore we must conceive, that God having professed this end, had then as it were the means to choose; and the principal mean that he adopted was this great work of redemption. It was his design in this work to glorify his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; and by the Son to glorify the Father: John 13:31, 32. “Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God also shall glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.”

It was his design that the Son should thus be glorified, and should glorify the Father by what should be accomplished by the Spirit to the glory of the Spirit, that the whole Trinity, conjunctly, and each person singly, might be exceedingly glorified.

The work that was the appointed means of this, was begun immediately after the fall, and is carried on till, and finished at, the end of the world, when all this intended glory shall be fully accomplished in all things.

—Jonathan Edwards

 

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