Ephesians. The "Praise of His Glory" - what does it mean?
"New Heavens and earth, where righteousness dwells.
The earth will be full of the knowledge of the glory of YHWH as the waters cover the sea.
Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power...The last enemy to be destroyed is death...When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."
Here are a few verses that indicate the big picture of God's plan. It becomes difficult to understand certain things (like the place & purpose of the Law) if we think that God's "endgame" is merely to have the souls of justified men & women join him in a heavenly plane. That's not the picture that we get from scripture.
Reading Romans & his other epistles, it gets confusing to hear Paul explain what the Law is all about. One minute he's saying God gave it to increase transgressions. The next He's saying that it has "righteous requirements". Then it's a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. It can't produce righteousness. And he says that Abraham was righteous before the Law came, merely by faith. So, if there was righteousness by faith apart from the law before the Law came, what was the point of it coming in the first place?!? What need for Christ?
Well, I don't know all the answers, but I think the reason this seems confusing is that we assume that God's point in this whole spread is to get people justified. If that were all there were to it, then not much of what God has done through the ages makes any sense.
But God doesn't intend to stop with our justification. Justification and restoration of right relationship with God is just the starting point. First the Jews for thousands of years are trained by the Law to know what righteousness looks like. The Law, just like the birth of Seth, the calling of Abraham, the choosing of Jacob, the anointing of David, are all stepping stones on the mysteriously gradual plan of God to redeem the entire created world. It trains them for the messiah's coming but they-and then the Gentiles-are justified by faith. Jesus Christ comes, and in Himself creates a new human nature through his Life, Death, and Resurrection. That nature is to be formed in us both through the Spirit, in the "inner man" (or woman). The Law of Christ is in us through the spirit. That's where we are now in the program.
Then at his coming our bodies will be redeemed.
Then authority will be given to the saints to rule in their redeemed bodies, indwelt by the Spirit and given eternal, spiritual, physical bodies. Under Christ they will rule.
All men will be raised, judged, separated to their eternal destinies.
Then the universe itself will be recreated, renewed, just as we were.
Then all things will have been returned to the creator, and the whole beautiful works will be filled with his glory. Every beauty & excellence in every person, mountain, food, story, blade of grass, or whatever created thing that exists, will be recognizeable as coming from God the Father.
And that's when the saints will see that it really is to the "praise of His glory" - with the glory of God shining out of every drop of water, every leaf, every eye, all will be taken in and enjoyed by the Sons and Daughters of God and result in an endless process of enjoyment and praise for that Glory.