Thinking like a Christian Part 2: The Means of Grace, the Hope of Glory -- By: D. Bruce Lockerbie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 143:570 (Apr 1986)
Article: Thinking like a Christian Part 2: The Means of Grace, the Hope of Glory
Author: D. Bruce Lockerbie


Thinking like a Christian
Part 2:
The Means of Grace, the Hope of Glory

D. Bruce Lockerbie

[D. Bruce Lockerbie, Staley Scholar-in-Residence, The Stony Brook School, Stony Brook, New York]

[Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of four articles delivered by the author as the W. H. Griffith Thomas Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary, November 5–8, 1985.]

While on his knees this writer often joins with others in praying the General Thanksgiving:

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we Thine unworthy servants do give Thee most humble and hearty thanks for all Thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men. We bless Thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for Thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.

The prayer continues:

And, we beseech Thee, give us that due sense of all Thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth Thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to Thy service, and by walking before Thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.1

What are “the means of grace”? What is “the hope of glory”?

Marks of the Imago Dei

The mark of the human being’s distinction from other creatures is the imago dei, that likeness of God with which man was stamped. What does it mean to have been created in the image of God? Surely it means that man bears certain resemblances to his Father; he shares certain attributes with Him—characteristics

that make Man unique among all other elements of nature. Chief among these characteristics must be the eternal soul; next, however, is the human intellect or mind. Unlike all other of God’s creatures, who act on instinct alone, human beings may act or react on account of reason. As beings made in the image of God, man possesses those divine attributes of will, intellect, and expression. Just as the Triune Godhead willed the world into being, spoke the cosmos into existence, and lighted the universe with the light of love, so too man is granted the powers of volition, expression, and illumination. Man can think and speak, reason and act, love and express. When God the Creator breathed into man the breath of life, when man became a living being, God gave these channels of access, these means of grace, to tie him to Himself.<...

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