The struggle against the glory of God is as old as Adam. Well, it’s actually older. Lucifer had his eye on the beauty of God’s glory eternities prior to the creation and once man was made, he did his best to jump into the “see the glory” and “make it yours” game. While most all professing believers agree that God is most serious about His own glory, few actually understand what it means and how to define God’s glory in the first place. Taking on such a task would not suffice on an article post and the “point” here is to respond to a public “idea” that pits God’s glory against what is stated as “the gospel.”
The Old Testament is replete with example after example of God being most concerned with His glory and this textual expression is upheld by the New Testament. For example, Psalm 19:1 says that all the heavens declare the glory of God and Romans 1:20 advises that His invisible attributes are seen through creation, specifically His eternal POWER and DIVINE nature. Many more opportunities in the New Testament lecture the reader toward understanding that God’s glory is HIS visible power, nature, mind, actions, etc. In other words, God’s glory is GOD alone, it is the expression of Himself in all manners and means both generally and specifically.
The fall of man is measured against the “glory” of God. Therefore, it is a just condemnation when God’s glory is at stake. Man is compared to God and in doing so, God’s glory is revealed to be HIGH above the place of man. In Genesis, God said that it was GOOD to create man, as we began we saw that God says all that He has made is a display of His glory and now, the created man no longer displays such glory but falls far from it. (Romans 3:23) So, God’s glory is seen in creation and defamed in sin. Several places in the prophets we can see God acting for the sake of HIS NAME alone. His name, being coupled intrinsically with His being and essence reflect the whole sum of Himself in some respects, thus His glory.
The Glory of God is used often to describe the attributes and actions of God and seems to be the “END” purpose of all His being and doing. Paul says several times in the inclusive argument of Ephesians that the purpose of redemption was for God’s grace to be praised (His work, Himself) and this grace is described using the word “glorious”. Maybe God cares about His name and glory… maybe this is actually what scripture teaches. Some would argue that the glory of God is just a simple attribute of His power or something else and is just a particle of the whole. This stands in arrogance as well as extreme ignorance of the nature of God in the first place. (We will cover this in later discussions) So to the end of understanding a few things, God’s glory is the beginning and the end, for HE is the self sufficient, all powerful God who needs nothing, lacks nothing, exults in Himself, and is far above all things. In a real sense, to look at anything else but God and the fullness of His glory is just a boring journey of garbage and to apply any created purpose or person even at “equal” standing with the Glory of God is Satanic. (Just look at the words of Satan at his demise and his temptation of the first family and the Christ)
God’s glory should be seen as the point of LIFE and MISSIONS and EVANGELISM and PURPOSE. We can prove it in any text at any time and we would do well to write such things. But let’s start and end with this: John 1 says that the GLORY OF GOD IS SEEN IN THE FULLNESS OF JESUS CHRIST. Please refrain from argument here, so many times I look forward to the day where ALL MOUTHS WILL BE SHUT, but I am thankful that God is gracious enough to enable us to know Him. Salvation is KNOWING GOD (John 17:3, John 6:40) and the Son which is believing. So, salvation comes only through SEEING the glory of God and KNOWING God through His revealed Glory. This is God’s work and it is FULLY effectual FOR HIS GLORY!
When it comes to the exercise of the so-called church as of late and so-called evangelism and missions much is waining in regards to the authority of God over the message and methods. Such is true when anyone argues that the point of missions is the “gospel” over the “glory of God” when the GLORY of God is the Gospel. Sadly, only the saints of Christ can see and understand this. Only those who behold the fullness of God’s glory in Jesus Christ can savor the majesty of God as their soul-satisfying portion. The Gospel is such because of God’s glory because it is God’s glory. “GOSPEL” is a newly created word taken historically from “God speaks” revealed in the New Testament as the “The Good News.”
So, the “Good News” of Jesus Christ is the message of salvation which is a reflection of God’s good nature, love, mercy and grace. The Gospel is not a story, it is not a response, it is not a plan of salvation, it is the WORK OF GOD unto salvation by HIS POWER. The problem is that so many professional churchmen and executives with the title of Pastor do not like the humility required to behold and labor in the gospel of God’s glory. They prefer to be ashamed and thus have created a new gospel, which is damnation, not delight. The Gospel of God is the absolute reality that God became man, born of a virgin who He created into a world that He created in order to perfectly save a people that He created who rebelled against Him and cared not to see His glory but gloried in what they could touch and see. (Rom 1) The gospel is that this God-man lived a divinely holy and righteous life as a full human being and then willfully and gloriously suffered the cross and death to receive the penalty of sin and was raised to life. Faith in this work of God, this man of God, this God-man is the only way to salvation. Salvation only comes by the PREACHING of the words of Christ (Rom 10:17) who declared that IF YOU HAVE SEEN the Son, you have seen the Father and the Father made this GLORY manifest for salvation. (1 John 1)
- The church exists to display the glory of God because she IS because of His working power.
- Missions exist to reach out with the glory of God seen only in Jesus Christ
- Worship is done by those who are saved to the “praise of His glorious Grace.”
- All who believe reflect the GLORY of God and this pleases Him to see HIS work and POWER before Him.
- Attempts to marginalize “evangelism” toward the purpose of methods and messages are missing the point.
- Don’t take my word for any of this, read the scripture, be a Berean, know truth, not “tradition”.
- The GOSPEL is ALL ABOUT GOD, not our response, not our message, but God alone sending Jesus the Son alone to save His sheep alone. Let’s stop missing the point.
For His Glory By His Grace,
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