An Exposition of Hebrews
by A. W. Pink
Christ Superior to Angels
In our last article we were obliged, through lack of space, to break off our exposition of Hebrews 2 in the middle of a verse; to have continued further would have required us to go to the end of verse 11, and this would have made it much too long. However, the point at which we left off really completed the first thought which the apostle establishes in our present section. As we sought to show, at verse 5 the apostle begins meeting an objection which might be, and most probably was, made against what he had set forth in chapter one, namely, the immeasurable superiority of the Mediator, Israel’s Messiah, above the angels. Over against this, two difficulties stood in the way, which needed clearing up.
First, How could Christ be superior to angels, seeing that He was Man? Second, How could He possess a greater excellency than they, seeing that He had died? The difficulty was satisfactorily removed by an appeal to Psalm 8, where God had affirmed, in predictive language, that He had crowned "man" with glory and honor and put "all things in subjection under his feet." To this the objector would rejoin, "But now we see not yet all things put under him" (verse 8), how, then, does Psalm 8 prove your point? In this way, answers the apostle, In that even now, "we see (by faith) Jesus crowned with glory and honor," and in His exaltation we find the ground and guarantee, the proof and pledge, of the coming exaltation of all His people.
In the remainder of this most interesting portion of Hebrews 2, we shall see how the Holy Spirit enabled the beloved apostle to meet and dispose of the second difficulty of the Jews in a manner equally convincing and satisfactory as He had dealt with their first objection. Though it be true that angels do not and cannot die (Luke 20:36), and though it be a fact that Jesus had died, yet this by no means went to show that He was inferior to them. This is the particular point which the apostle is here treating of and which it will now be our object to consider.
First, he shows why it was necessary for Christ to die, namely, in order that He should taste death for every son, or, as it reads in the A.V., "for every man" (verse 9). Second, he declares that God had a benevolent design in suffering His Son to stoop so low: it was by His grace that He so "tasted death" (verse 9). Third, he affirms that such a course of procedure was suited to the nature and honoring to the glory of Him who orders all things: it "became Him" (verse 10). Fourth, he argues that this was inevitable because of Christ’s oneness with His people (verse 11). Fifth, he quotes three Old Testament passages in proof of the union which exists between the Redeemer and the redeemed. Let us now turn to our passage and attentively weigh its details.
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man" (verse 9). The central thought of this verse was before us in the preceding article, namely, the exaltation of the once-humbled One. Now we must examine its several clauses and note their relation to each other. Really, there are five things in this verse, each of which we shall consider First, the humiliation of the Mediator: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels." Second, the character of His humiliation: "For," or much better "by the suffering of death." Third, the object of His humiliation: to "taste death for every man," better "every son." Fourth, the moving cause of His humiliation: "by the grace of God." Fifth, the reward of His humiliation: "crowned with glory and honor."
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels." How these words should melt our hearts and move our souls to profoundest wonderment! That He, the Creator of angels, the Lord of them, the One who before His incarnation had been worshipped by them, should be "made lower" than they; and this for our sakes! Our hearts must indeed be dead if they are not thrilled and filled with praise as we ponder that fathomless stoop. As was pointed out under our exposition on verse 7, the Greek word here for "little" is used in the New Testament in two senses: sometimes where it is a matter of degree, at others where it is a case of time. Here it is the latter, for "a little season." In what particular sense the apostle is here contemplating Christ’s being "made lower" than the angels, the next clause tells us.
"For the suffering of death." Many have experienced difficulty with this clause. That which has exercised them is whether the words "for the suffering of death" state the purpose for which Christ was "made a little lower than the angels," or, whether "for the suffering of death" gives the reason why He has been "crowned with glory and honor." Personally, we are fully satisfied that neither of these give the real thought.
The difficulty mentioned above is self-created. It is occasioned by failure to rightly define the reference to Christ’s being made "a little lower than the angels." As already stated, we believe this signified "for a little while." If the reader will turn back again to our comments on Hebrews 2:7 he will see we have adopted the suggestion of Dr. J. Brown to the effect that the specific reference is to mortality, the angels being incapable of dying. This, we are assured, is the meaning of the verse now before us. All ambiguity concerning this clause of verse 9 disappears if the first word be rendered "by" instead of "for." The English translators actually give "by" in the margin. The Greek preposition is "dia," and is translated "by" again and again, both when it governs a noun in the accusative or the genitive case.
Thus by altering "for" to "by" it will be seen that in this third clause the Holy Spirit has graciously defined His meaning in the second. (1) "But we see Jesus;" (2) "who was made a little season lower than the angels;" (3) "by the suffering of death." It was in this particular that Jesus was made for a season lower than the angels, namely, by His passing through a death of sufferings—an experience which, by virtue of the constitution God had given them, they were incapable of enduring. Therefore, the point here seized by the Holy Spirit in affirming that Jesus had been made lower than the angels, was His mortality. But here we must be very careful to explain our terms. When we say that Christ, by virtue of His incarnation, became "mortal," it must not be understood that He was subject to death in His body as the fallen descendants of Adam are. His humanity was holy and incorruptible: no seed or germ of death was in it, or could attack it. He laid down His life of Himself (John 10:18). No; what we mean is, and what Scripture teaches is, that in becoming man Christ took upon Him a nature that was capable of dying. This the angels were not; and in this respect He was, for a season, made lower than they.
"By the suffering of death." This expression denotes that Christ’s exit from the land of the living was no easy or gentle one, but a death of "suffering"; one accompanied with much inward agony and outward torture. It was the "death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8). It was a death in which He suffered not only at the hands of men and of Satan, but from God Himself. It was a death in which He fully satisfied the demands of infinite holiness and justice. This was a task which no mere creature was capable of performing. Behold here, then, the wonder of wonders: Christ undertook a work which was far above the power of all the angels, and yet to effect it He was made lower than them! If ever power was made perfect in weakness, it was in this!
"Crowned with glory and honor." This is the dominant clause of the verse. Concerning it we cannot do better than quote from Mr. C.H. Welch: "The crowning with glory and honor is the consecration of Christ as the Priest after the order of Melchizedek. ‘And no man taketh this honor unto himself . . .So also Christ glorified not Himself’ (Heb. 5:4, 5). We shall find an allusion to this in Hebrews 3:3, ‘for this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who builded the house hath more honor than the house. Thus we find Christ superior in honor and glory to both Moses and Aaron; and when we see Him crowned with honor and glory we are indeed considering Him who is the Apostle (Moses) and High Priest (Aaron) of our profession."
Here, then, is the first part of the apostle’s answer to that which was, for the Jews, the great "stumbling block" (1 Cor. 1:23). He who by the suffering of death had been made, for a little season, lower than the angels, has, because of His humiliation and perfect atoning sacrifice, been "highly exalted" by God Himself. He has been "raised far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" (Eph. 1:21). It is not simply that this exaltation followed the Mediator’s suffering and death, but, as the "therefore" in Isaiah 53:12 and the "wherefore" of Philippians 2:9 plainly denote, were the meritorious reward thereof. Thus, so far from the Cross needing an apology, it has magnified the Savior. So far from Christ’s degradation and death being something of which the Christian need be ashamed, they are the very reason why God has so signally rewarded Him. The "crown of thorns" which man gave Him, has been answered by the "crown of glory and honor" that God has bestowed upon Him. The humbled Christ is humiliated no longer; the Throne of the Universe is where He is now seated.
Ere passing on to the next verse, let us ask the reader, Have you "crowned with glory and honor" Him whom the world has cast out? Do you, in a practical way, own Him as your Lord and Master? Is His glory and honor ever the paramount consideration before you? Is He receiving from you the devotion and adoration of a worshipping heart? "Worthy is the Lamb." O may He, indeed, occupy the throne of our hearts and reign as King over our lives. In what esteem does the Father hold His once humiliated Son: He has crowned Him with glory and honor; then what must He yet do with those who "despise and reject" Him?
"That He by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Here is the second part of the apostle’s answer to the Jew’s objection. God had a benevolent design in permitting His Son, for a season, to become lower than the angels. The end in view fully justified the means. Only by the Son tasting death could the sons of God be delivered from the ruins of the fall; only thus could the righteousness and mercy of God be reconciled. This, we take it, indicates the relation of this final clause to the remainder of the verse: God’s design in making His Son lower than the angels was that He might become the Redeemer of His people. The opening conjunction "that" (hopos, meaning "to the end that"), expressing purpose, is conclusive.
There has been considerable discussion as to the precise import of the expression "tasted death." Here, as ever in Scripture, there is a fullness in the language used which no brief definitions of man can ever embrace. The first and most obvious thought suggested by the language is, that the Savior consciously, sensibly, experienced the bitterness of death. "The death of our Lord Jesus Christ was a slow and painful death; He was ‘roasted with fire’ as was prefigured by the Paschal lamb. But it was not merely that it lasted a considerable time, that it was attended with agony of mind as well as pain of body; but that He came, as no finite creature can come, into contact with death. He tasted death in that cup which the Lord Jesus Christ emptied on the cross" (Saphir).
He tasted that awful death by anticipation. From the beginning of His ministry (yea, before that, as His words in Luke 2:49 plainly show), there was ever present to his consciousness the Cross, with all its horror, see Matthew 16:21, John 2:4, 3:16, etc. At Calvary He actually drained the bitterer cup. The death He tasted was "The curse which sin brings, the penalty of the broken law, the manifestation of the power of the devil, the expression of the wrath of God; and in all these aspects the Lord Jesus Christ came into contact with death and tasted it to the very last" (Saphir).
"That He by the grace of God should taste death for every man." The opening words of this clause set forth the efficient cause which moved the Godhead in sending forth the Son to submit to such unparalleled humiliation: it was free favor of God. It was not because that the ends of Divine government required mercy should be shown to its rebels, still less because that they had any claim upon Him. There is nothing whatever outside God Himself which moves Him to do anything: He "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11). It was solely by the grace and good pleasure of God, and not by the violence of man or Satan, that the Lord Jesus was brought to the Cross to die. The appointment of that costly sacrifice must be traced back to nothing but the sovereign benignity of God.
"For every man." This rendering is quite misleading. "Anthropos," the Greek word for "man" is not in the verse at all. Thus, one of the principal texts relied upon by Arminians in their unscriptural contention for a general atonement vanishes into thin air. The Revised Version places the word "man" in italics to show that it is not found in the original. The Greek is "panta" and signifies "every one," that is, every one of those who form the subjects of the whole passage—every one of "the heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1:14), every one of the "sons" (Heb. 2:10), every one of the "brethren" (Heb. 2:11). We may say that this is the view of the passage taken by Drs. Gouge and J. Brown, by Saphir, and a host of others who might be mentioned. Theologically it is demanded by the "tasted death for every one," i.e., substitutionally, in the room of, that they might not. Hence, every one for whom He tasted death shall themselves never do so (see John 8:52), and this is true only of the people of God.
What we have just said above is confirmed by many Scriptures. "For the transgression of My people was He stricken" said God (Isa. 53:8), and all mankind are not His "people." "I lay down My life for the sheep," said the Son (John 10:10), but every man is not of Christ’s sheep (John 10:26). Christ makes intercession on behalf of those for whom He died (Rom. 8:34), but He prays not for the world (see John 17:9). Those for whom he died are redeemed (Rev. 5:9), and from redemption necessarily follows the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14), but all have not their sins forgiven.
"For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (verse 10). This gives the third part of the apostle’s reply to the objection which he is here rebutting, and a most arresting statement it is: he now takes still higher ground, advancing that which should indeed bow our hearts in worship. The word "became" means suited to, in accord with, the character of God. It was consonant with the Divine attributes that the Son should, for a season be "made lower than the angels" in order to "taste death" for His people. It was not only according to God’s eternal purpose, but it was also suited to all His wondrous perfections. Never was God more Godlike than when, in the person of Jesus, He was crucified for our sins.
"For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." There are five things in this verse claiming our reverent and diligent attention. First, the particular character in which God is here viewed; as the One "for whom are all things and by whom are all things." Second, the manner in which it "became" the Most High to bring many sons unto glory by giving up His beloved Son to the awful death of the cross. Third, the particular character in which the Son Himself is here viewed: as "The Captain of our salvation." Fourth, in what sense He was, or could be, "made perfect through sufferings." Fifth, the result of this Divine appointment: the actual conducting of many sons "unto glory."
First, then, the special character in which God is here viewed. "For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things." This expression sets forth the high sovereignty of God in the most unqualified and absolute manner: "all things" without exception, that is, all creatures, all events. "For whom are all things" affirms that the Most High God is the Final Cause of everything: "The Lord hath made all things for Himself" (Pro. 16:4), i.e., to fulfill His own designs, to accomplish His own purpose, to redound to His own glory. So again we read in Revelation 4:11, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created." This blessed, basic, yet stupendous truth is to be received with unquestioning and unmurmuring faith. He who maketh the wrath of man to praise Him (Ps. 76:10) will not only vindicate His broken law in the punishment of the wicked, but His justice and holiness shall be magnified by their destruction. Hell itself will redound to His glory.
"And by whom are all things." Every creature that exists, every event which happens, is by God’s own appointment and agency. Nothing comes to pass or can do so without the will of God. Satan could not tempt Peter without Christ’s permission; the demons could not enter the swine till He gave them leave; not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from His decree. This is only another way of saying that God actually governs the world which He has made. True, there is much, very much in His government which we cannot understand, for how can the finite comprehend the Infinite? He Himself tells us that His ways are "past finding out," yet His own infallible word declares,
"For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things: to whom be glory forever" (Rom. 11:36). "For whom are all things, and by whom are all things." Nothing so stirs up the enmity of the carnal mind and evidences the ignorance, the sin, and the high-handed rebellion of fallen man as the response which he makes when this great fact and solemn truth is pressed upon him. People at once complain, if this be so, then we are mere puppets, irresponsible creatures. Or worse, they will blasphemously argue, If this be true, then God, and not ourselves, is to be charged with our wickedness. To such sottish revilings, only one reply is forthcoming, "Nay but, O man who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus?" (Rom. 9:20).
Consider now the appropriateness of this title or appellation of Deity. The varied manner in which God refers to Himself in the Scriptures, the different titles He there assumes are not regulated by caprice, but are ordered by infinite wisdom; and we lose much if we fail to attentively weigh each one. As illustrations of this principle consider the following. In Romans 15:5, He is spoken of as "The God of patience and hope": this, in keeping with the subject of the four preceding verses. In 2 Corinthians 4:6, He is presented thus: "God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts," which is in beautiful keeping with the theme of the five preceding verses. In Hebrews 13:20, it is "The God of Peace" that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus. Why? Because His holy wrath had been placated at the cross. So in Hebrews 2:10 the apostle would silence the proud and wicked reasoning of the Jews by reminding them that they were replying against the Sovereign Supreme. For Him are all things and by Him are all things: His glory is the end of everything, His will the law of the universe; therefore, to quarrel with His method of bringing many sons unto glory was insubordination and blasphemy of the worst kind.
And what are the practical bearings upon us of this title of God? First, an acknowledgment of God in this character is due from us and required by Him. To believe and affirm that "for Him are all things, and by Him are all things" is simply owning that He is God—high above all, supreme over all, directing all. Anything short of this is, really, atheism. Second, contentment is the sure result to a heart which really lays hold of and rests upon this truth. If I really believe that "all things" are for God’s glory and by His invincible and perfect will, then I shall receive submissively, yea, thankfully, whatsoever He ordains and sends me. The language of such an one must be, "It is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good" (1 Sam. 3:18). Third, confidence and praise will be the outcome. God only does that which "becomes" Him; therefore, whatsoever He does must be right and best. Those who truly recognize this "know that all things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28). True it is that our short-sighted and sin-darkened vision is often unable to see why God does certain things, yet we may be fully assured that He always has a wise and holy reason.
"For it became Him." More immediately, the opening "for" gives a reason for what has been advanced at the close of verse 9. Should it be reverently inquired why God’s "grace" chose such a way for the redeeming of His elect, here is the ready answer: it "became Him" so to do. The Greek term signifies the answerableness or agreement of one thing to another. Thus, "speak thou the things that become sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1), i.e., that are agreeable thereto. So, too, the Greek term implies the comeliness of a thing. Thus, "which become women professing godliness (1 Tim. 2:10). The adorning of Christian women with good works is a comely thing, yea, it is the beauty and glory of their profession. In like manner the grace of God which gave Christ to taste death for His people, answered to the love of His heart and agreed with the holiness of His nature. Such an appointment was suited to God’s character, consonant with His attributes, agreeable to his perfections. Never did anything more exhibit, and never will anything more redound to the glory of God than His making the Son lower than the angels in order to taste death for His people. A wide field of thought is here set before us. Let us, briefly, enter into a few details.
It "became" God’s wisdom. His wisdom is evidenced in all His works, but nowhere so perspicuously or conspicuously as at Calvary. The cross was the masterpiece of Omniscience. It was there that God exhibited the solution to a problem which no finite intelligence could ever have solved, namely, how justice and mercy might be perfectly harmonized. How was it possible for righteousness to uphold the claims of the law and yet for grace to be extended to its transgressors? It seemed impossible. These were the things which the angels desired to look into, but so profound were their depths they had no line with which to fathom them. But the cross supplies the solution.
It "became" the holiness of God. What is His holiness? It is impossible for human language to supply an adequate definition. Perhaps about as near as we can come to one is to say, It is the antithesis of evil, the very nature of God hating sin. Again and again during Old Testament times God manifested His displeasure against sin, but never did the white light of God’s holiness shine forth so vividly as at Calvary, where we see Him smiting His own Beloved because the sins of His people had been transferred to Him.
It "became" His power. Never was the power of God so marvelously displayed as it was at Golgotha. Wherein does this appear? In that the Mediator was enabled to endure within the space of three hours what it will take an eternity to expend upon the wicked. All the waves and billows of Divine wrath went over Him (Ps. 42:7). Yet was He not destroyed. There was concentrated into those three hours of darkness that which the lost will suffer forever and ever, and nothing but the power of God could have upheld the suffering Savior. Yea, only a Divine Savior could have stood up under that storm of outpoured wrath; that is why God said, "I have laid help upon One that is mighty" (Ps. 89:19).
It "became" His righteousness. He can by no means clear the guilty. Sin must be punished where ever it is found. God’s justice would not abate any of its demands when sin, through imputation, was found upon Christ: as Romans 8:32 says, He "spared not His own Son." Never was the righteousness of God more illustriously exhibited than when it cried, "Awake O sword against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow saith the Lord of hosts: smite the Shepherd" (Zech. 13:7).
It "became" the love and grace of God. Innumerable tokens of these have and do His children receive, but the supreme proof of them is furnished at the cross. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). The mercy of God is over all His works, but never so fully and so gloriously was it manifested as when Christ became Man and was made a curse for His people, that theirs might be the blessing.
We must next consider the special character in which the Savior Himself is here contemplated: "The Captain of their salvation." This is one out of more than three hundred titles given to the Lord Jesus in the Scriptures, each of which has its own distinctive meaning and preciousness. The Greek word is "Archegos," and is found four times in the New Testament. It signifies the "Chief Leader." It is the word rendered "Author" in Hebrews 12:2, though that is an unhappy rendition. It is translated "Prince" in Acts 3:15 and Acts 5:31. Thus, it is a title which calls attention to and emphasises the dignity and glory of our Savior, yet, in His mediatorial character.
It needs to be borne in mind that in New Testament days the "captain" of a regiment did not remain in the rear issuing instructions to his officers, but took the lead, and by his own personal example encouraged and inspired his soldiers to deeds of valor. Thus the underlying thoughts of this title are, Christ’s going before His people, leading His soldiers, and being in command of them. He has "gone before" them in three respects. First, in the way of obedience, see John 13:15. Second, in the way of suffering, see 1 Peter 2:21. Third, in the way of glory: He has entered heaven as our forerunner, so that faith says, "Thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Thus it will be seen that verse 10 continues the same thought as verse 9.
"The Captain of their salvation." The plain and necessary implication of this title is that we are passing through a country full of difficulties, dangers, oppositions, like Israel in the Wilderness on their way to the promised inheritance; so that we need a Captain, Guide, Leader, to carry us safely through. This title of Christ’s, then, is for the encouragement of our hearts: the grace, the faithfulness, and the power of our Leader guarantees the successful issue of our warfare. It teaches us once more that the whole work of our salvation, from first to last, has been committed by God into the hands of Christ.
"To make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." This sentence has occasioned real trouble to many: how can a perfect person be "made perfect?" But the difficulty is more imaginary than real. The reference is not to the person of Christ, but to a particular office which He fills. His character needed no "Perfecting." Unlike us, no course of discipline was required by Him to subdue faults and to develop virtues. We believe that verse 9 supplies the key to the words we are now considering: "being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." The previous verse speaks of Christ "learning obedience by the things which He suffered," which does not mean that He learned to obey, but rather that He learned by experience what obedience is. In like manner it was by the experiences through which He passed that Christ was "perfected," not experimentally, but officially, to be "the Captain" of our salvation. A striking type of this is furnished by the case of Joshua, who, as the result of his experiences in the wilderness, became experimentally qualified to be Israel’s "captain," leading them into Canaan.
"To make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Two other things need to be borne in mind: the particular design of this passage, and the special purpose and aim of the Epistle as a whole. The special design of the apostle was to remove the scandal of Christ’s humiliating death, which was such a stumbling-block to the Jews. Therefore, he here affirms that the sufferings of Christ eventuated not in ignominy but glory: they "perfected" His equipment to be the "Captain" of His people, verse 18 amplifies. In regard to the scope of the Epistle as a whole, this word of the apostle’s was well calculated to comfort the afflicted and sorely-tried Hebrews: their own Captain had reached glory via sufferings—sufficient for His soldiers to follow the same path. Thus, this word here is closely parallel with 1 Peter 4:1.
It should be added that the Greek word for "perfected" is rendered "consecrated" in Hebrews 7:28. By His sufferings Christ became qualified and was solemnly appointed to be our Leader. It was by His sufferings that He vanquished all His and our foes, triumphing gloriously over them, and thus He became fitted to be our "Captain." What reason have we then to glory in the Cross of Christ! The eye of faith sees there not only consummate wisdom, matchless mercy, fathomless love, but victory, triumph, glory. By dying He slew death.
"In bringing many sons unto glory." This is both the Captain’s work and reward. The term "glory" is one of the most comprehensive words used in all the Bible. It is almost impossible to define; perhaps "the sum of all excellency" is as near as we can come to it. It means that the "many sons" will be raised to the highest possible state and position of dignity and honor. It is Christ’s own "glory" into which they are brought: "And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one" (John 17:22, and see Colossians 3:4).
Into this "glory" many sons are to come. Some have difficulty in harmonizing this word with "many be called, but few chosen" (Matt. 20:16). In contrast from the vast multitudes which perish, God’s elect are indeed "few" (Matt. 7:14); His flock is only a "little" one (Luke 12:32). Yet, considered by themselves, the redeemed of all generations will constitute "many."
Into this "glory" the many sons do not merely "come," but are "brought." It is the same word as in Luke 10:34 where the Good Samaritan "brought" the poor man that was wounded and half dead, and who could not "come" of himself, to the "inn." Let the reader consult these additional passages: Song of Solomon 2:4; Isaiah 42:16; 1 Peter 3:18. This "bringing" of the many sons "unto glory" is in distinct stages. At regeneration they are brought from death unto life. At the Lord’s return they will be brought to the Father’s House (1 Thess. 4:16, 17). The whole is summarized in the parable of the lost sheep; see Luke 15:4-6.
In closing, let us ask the reader, "Are you one of these many "sons" whom Christ is bringing "unto glory"? Are you quite sure that you are? It is written, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14). Is this true of you? Can others see the evidences of it? Is your daily life controlled by self-will, the ways of the world, the pleasing of your friends and relatives, or by the written Word, for that is what the Spirit uses in leading His sons.
Above we have contemplated that which "became" God; let our final consideration be that which "becomes" His favored children. "Let your conversation (manner of life) be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ" (Phil. 1:27). If we are now light in the Lord, let us "walk as children of light" (Eph. 5:8). Let us seek grace to "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called" (Eph. 4:1).