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Peter’s first letter focuses heavily on suffering experienced by Christians because of their allegiance to Jesus Christ. It also contains several references to the glory that will be experienced by believers at the return of Christ and in the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ.

In 1:7 Peter teaches that beyond the present suffering is ‘praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.’

In 5:1 he speaks of sharing ‘in the glory to be revealed.’

In 5:4 he speaks of receiving ‘a crown of glory that will never fade away’ when Jesus, the Chief Shepherd, appears.

In 5:10 he states that God ‘called you to his eternal glory in Christ’.

In this expectation of glory Peter affirms the same truth expressed by other New Testament writers:

‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us’ [Romans 8:18].

‘... he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory’ [Romans 9:23].

‘... we speak God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began’ [1Corinthians 2:7].

‘For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all’ [2Corinthians 4:17].

‘... the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ [Colossians 1:27].

‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ [Colossians 3:4].

‘... live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory’ [1Thessalonians 2:12].

‘... that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory’ [2Timothy 2:10].

‘In bringing many sons to glory ...’ [Hebrews 2:10].

‘... we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is’ [1John 3:2].

Three truths stand out in these statements about future glory:

It is certain for all who have received the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not conditional on how spiritual or sinless we personally are. It was planned and determined for us before time began.

It is exceedingly glorious: so immense that it is a motivation both for living our lives so that Christ is honoured and for enduring all manner of suffering because of Christ’s name.

It is a derived or reflected glory: no Christian is glorious in themselves, but only in and because of Christ and through the transforming work of the Spirit.

In Revelation we are given glimpses of this future glory of all believers under the images of a beautifully dressed bride and a glorious city.

In 21:2 John wrote: ‘I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.’

In 21:9 an angel told John he would show him ‘the bride, the wife of the Lamb’.

When the Spirit showed John this ‘bride’ he did not show him a woman but a city: ‘It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal’ [verse 11]. It ‘does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp’ [verse 23].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2018