Thursday, February 8, 2018

What is God's Glory?

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John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."


17th century pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards expresses his thoughts on God's glory from his sermon: "That God Is The Father Of Lights" - 

"God is arrayed with an infinite brightness, a brightness that doesn't create pain as the light of the sun pains the eyes to behold it, but rather fills with excess joy of delight. Indeed, no man can see God and live, because the sight of such glory would overpower nature, but 'tis because the joy and pleasure in beholding would be too strong for a frail nature. God has this glory essentially and of himself. He is independently and necessarily glorious. The sun is glorious, but it derives that glory from another. But God is glorious in and of himself, so He is the Father of glory."

This insightful excerpt describes the effects of God's glory. However, in this post we want to probe into what is meant in scripture by this idea of "God's glory". I'll admit, a tiny finite mind and pen like my own cannot ever hope to comprehend this truth. However, we were created by God with the capacity to behold and reflect on His glory revealed in the heavens and to apprehend and savor it in that moment He calls us to saving faith in Christ. We can know God's glory - even if we don't ever hope to comprehend all that it is. This is why we have the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. 

Below we will trace out three main thoughts that give us handles with which to grasp as we aim to describe what we mean by "God's glory". The scriptures below will be offered without commentary, so as to provide the reader a handful of texts to ponder on this wondrous truth about God. So, what is God’s glory? 

Reality of God’s Goodness.

Exodus 33:19-20 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” 

Radiance of God’s Presence

Ezekiel 1:28 “As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.” 

Revelation by the Person of the Son

John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."  

Closing thoughts

As we close out this short post, I leave the reader with Hebrews 1:1-4, which seems to tie together the three main scriptures and headings offered above with regards to God's glory. Hebrews 1:1-4 

"God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they."

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