Radiating the Glory of God
I have been pondering the Glory of God this week. I don’t think we will ever have a full understanding of God’s Glory this side of Heaven.
Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.
The Glory of God could be described as the manifestation or the making known of the fullness of His nature, the fullness of His perfection, his character, all that He is. Jesus was that manifestation as He walked on this earth. Jesus told Philip in John 14:9 that anyone who has seen him has seen the Father.
Moses stood in the presence of God in Exodus 34:5-7 and as a result his face shone with the reflection of God’s glory. He heard the voice of the Lord speak of His character, saying our God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. This is all apart of His nature.
We know from 2 Corinthians 3:13 that Moses would put a veil over his face so the Israelites could not see the glory of God fading from his face. Moses could only reflect the glory of God as mirror would reflect an image. But because of the new covenant we have the indwelling Holy Spirit who can radiate the glory of God from within us. His glory does not need to fade from us.
God gives us the fullness of His glory, the fullness of who He is. He doesn’t give us only part of Himself. He doesn’t say I will give you my strength but not my grace. I will give you my compassion but not the ability to be slow to anger. No! 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” This is life-changing news.
Jesus said in John 17:22 that He has given us His glory and we are made one with the Father and each other. Within that oneness and unity we have received His fullness.
All week I keep hearing the phrase, ‘you are without excuse’. When it comes to being holy, or when it comes to forgiving our brothers and sisters, we are without excuse. When it comes to being patient or kind, or living out the fruits of the Spirit we are without excuse. We cannot stand before God and say, “But he did this…” or “She did that…” We cannot blame the fading radiance of God’s glory within us on the fact that we are just having a bad day and nothing seems to be going right. The power of the Christian life is to radiate His glory and nature and character when everything seems to be going wrong. Then people will look and behold our King.
If we make excuses His response will be, I have given you the indwelling Holy Spirit by which to live and respond. You are without excuse.
We have the awesome privilege of bringing Glory to the Father as Jesus brought Glory to the Father by living through the power of the Spirit. Our response to hardship or trouble will reveal how much we are beholding the glory of our Lord and being transformed into the same image.
2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”