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Saturday, June 16, 2018

What is God’s Glory?

          The glory of God is the manifest beauty of His holiness and perfections. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all holy and glorious because they are One in holiness and perfection and operate in complete agreement in doing the Father’s will. The Godhead is infinite light, perfection, wisdom, power, greatness and worth. The Godhead’s holiness cannot be improved upon. It is far beyond human reach. We were made and saved for God’s glory. Our human ways can be improved upon if we are willing, but God is infinite and perfect. God saves us for His glory, not our sinful, fleshly ways. Sadly, we often exchange the glory of God for our worldly and selfish desires. But the mercy of the Godhead is in the process of perfecting us day by day if we are willing. 2 Corinthians 3:18: But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Mercy comes to us but glory goes to God. Romans 16:27: ……to the only wise God be glory forever.  We are not to take glory to ourselves but to give all glory to God forever.
            One of Isaiah’s visions in 6:8 tied God’s holiness with His glory. The seraphs were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.”
            God describes His glory to Moses in Exodus 33:18-19 when Moses asked God to show him His glory. “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My Name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But, he said, “you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” Notice that God used the word “goodness” to explain His glory. Then He spoke of His mercy and compassion. No human being could see the full glory and light of God and live. So, God told Moses He would put him in the cleft of a rock and cover him with His Hand while His glory passed by. “Then I will remove My Hand and you will see my back; but My face must not be seen.” Exodus 33:23 Moses saw the backside of God’s glory while hidden in the cleft of a rock as the fullness of God’s glory was not shown in the Older Testament Covenant. There is a certain glory to the Older Covenant, a veiled glory and the glory of man’s attempt to justify himself through the works of the Law and even in our own works in the New Testament. We can’t stand in our own self-achieved glory. All glory belongs to God. Romans 7:6: “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the Law so that we serve in the new  way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”
 Paul goes on to say, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 Whatever we look at we become. As we allow Christ’s transforming power to rule in our hearts through obedience to His Word, we are changed into the image and likeness of what we behold – Jesus Christ, who is the express image of God. Our transformation is progressive and partial, but when He comes again, we will see Him face to face. In the meantime, we are to reflect His glory through our actions, words and deeds. Both the face of Moses (Law) and the face of Jesus (grace and Truth) had the ability to draw humans, but we cannot live under both at the same time. It is one or the other! Jesus fulfilled the Law for us. Now we are to live with love, grace and truth in our hearts. Jesus brought the external internal. All that we do now must come from love for Jesus and others. 
            The apostle Paul also said in Romans 1:5 that the reason for his calling was for Jesus’ Name’s sake. “Through Him and for His Name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.” Paul, like Jesus, ministered to both the Jews and the Gentiles. Paul’s desire was to make the Name of Jesus great through his calling and apostleship. Paul said that his sufferings were not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. In other words, even what Paul went through was nothing compared to the glory of God and Jesus that the Godhead will reveal.  Jesus said to His disciples, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” Matthew 25:31   As Jesus reflects the Light and Glory of the Father, those who love and serve Jesus are to reflect His glory and light.

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