Question for you. What should be the most important thing on a believer’s mind? If you had to narrow your choice, what would it be?
There is a fine thread woven through scripture, from the opening verse unto the ending of Revelation; this thread is barely visible, yet bright as day and as strong as iron when seen by faith.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The facts presented, no argument nor scientific explanation is needed, for God’s word is spoken to faith. We learn however, that the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and that all things were made by him, so we see the Lord Jesus as creator.
But God’s word does not say in the opening statement of scripture that the heavens declare the glory of God. Seeing this for the first time, we must then ask, ‘what is this glory of God?’ and I submit it is this truth that should be the most important in the entire word of God.
When man sinned, God placed at the garden cherubim and a flaming sword, we then see the beginning of this theme, and it is developed throughout, that the glory of God should ever be before man.
But this is Gods way, that all truth cannot be revealed at once, as he wants us to be exercised unto godliness, and we learn that these are really cherubim of glory, showing forth the praise of the true God.
But what is the glory of God, how would you define it? All our attempts will fall miserably short, but we need something to wrap our minds around. Some say it is the goodness of God, or his holiness, others have suggested that the glory of God is the fact that He is.
Yes, all good all true, but a definition I have heard that is most expressive because of its terseness is:
‘The glory of God is his intrinsic, eternal perfection.’
Weigh this thought.
The glory of God is His intrinsic, eternal perfection.
The apostle alluded to a depth not yet reached and that he could not speak particularly as to the cherubim of glory. Why not?
Because the topic is too rich, too high, too wide and too deep to unfold. Well then, would there ever come a time to speak particularly as to the cherubim of glory? Even now we may but touch the hem of the garment of this truth.
Thus, the glory of God is perfect, it defines all of God’s actions, it is eternal, and it is seen in the entire and perfect word of God. His word reveals His excellence in all ways.
We see that Abraham was strong in faith, giving glory to God, we see that the law given through Moses revealed the glory of God, (the ministration of death was glorious) we see God cloaking Adam with skins revealed the glory of God, and the prophets and the Psalms testified to the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God, for Paul said, does not nature is the teacher, yet all creation groans, for man wants no part of the glory of God. Salvation, justification, redemption, sanctification, all good doctrines, and certainly necessary for a sound christian life, but we can be happy in these things without promoting the glory of God.
Do you recall that the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents? Why? Because God is glorified.
There was only one man who had the correct perspective on the glory of God completely, and that of course was the man Christ Jesus. I have glorified thee on the earth, I have finished the work thou hast given me to do.
The Lord Jesus came for many reasons, to be the Lamb of God yes, thank God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers, to be born of a woman, to testify of the grace of God amidst a crooked and perverse generation, AND to unfold the glory of God.
Water into wine? Yep, but more importantly the glory of God would be manifested. At the raising of the tomb of Lazarus, did he not say men would see the glory of God? And, at his own resurrection, we read that he was raised from the dead according to the glory of the Father. The glory of God, his intrinsic eternal perfection, and mankind sadly wants no part with the God of all glory.
Paul tells us that all have been weighed in the balance, and the scales of justice are tipped against us. No one is exempt from God’s displeasure, as he proved that our mouths are full of bitterness and poison, our feet are swift to shed blood, and the very best we can do is offer stale goods before a holy God.
If man is honest, he must agree with God that he is very guilty, whether Jew or Greek, from a child who steals penny candy to the corporate embezzler, all are undone.
But wait, it is one thing to learn that all are sinners and deserving of the wrath of God, but it is quite another thing to learn that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
This is the issue of the ages my friend, man has insulted the glory of God. It has been said that God found worth in us, thus he sent his son, but scripture presents the exact opposite, for while we were enemies, Christ died for the ungodly.
If my eye was single, my whole body would be full of light. If I really had the glory of God as the paramount thing in my heart, I would be a spiritual person.
The word of God has another too, and that is simply, as Christ has received you, receive one another unto the glory of God. What a simple remedy to all the ungodly excuses men make. Sit here for 6 months, while we observe you, is a thought foreign to both the love and grace of God. Love believeth all things, and this is not a blind love that winks at sin, but a love without hypocrisy, a love that does not act with suspicion.
When the Lord Jesus pardoned the sinning adulterer, he was manifesting the grace and glory of God. A sinner justified, without a cause, other than God is gracious toward the ungodly, and the Lord would have been equally as willing to forgive they who were accused as well, but religion wants no part of the glory of God.
Thus we learn a valuable truth from Paul. After stating that man is condemned for offending the glory of God, he leads a sinner to perfect repose in the very mercy-seat of God, the Lord Jesus. Yes, he speaks briefly of he who was the mercy-seat, and do not your thoughts go once more toward heaven as you muse on the cherubim of glory?
The place of God meeting man, the place of fear and holiness, the place when the cherubim looked one toward another, the place where we are reminded that angels desire to look into the things of God. But most importantly, the place where there would be blood shedding, but not just another sacrifice, but one of eternal significance.
One sacrifice for sins forever, not by a man bringing an offering in his hands, but by a man offering himself, as an atonement, as the only mediator between a holy God and sinful man. God’s intrinsic eternal perfection.
The Lord Jesus is of course that man, but very God, and we see at Calvary, God would look away, while man would hide. Can you not see the glory of God at its pinnacle, but we read nothing of it? Is not this Gods way, that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the honour of kings is to search it out?
The glory of God is seen at the humiliation of the Lord Jesus. He took upon himself a reputation, and that was, that he was a nobody. Imagine, he in whom dwelt all the fulness of God, he in whom was the delight of heaven, he whose name was Wonderful, this man took the lowest place of all.
So the angels made reference at his birth, for the whole earth is full of his glory. And these same angels preach the everlasting gospel, offering man repentance, but you will understand, that God may be glorified.
Do we hear, that sinners glorify God, and this thought only magnifies the grace and glory of the Lord. In the final book of GOD, we see again that in eternity the glory of God is the light of the temple, thus, we have come full circle. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and we have seen that the heavens and the earth declare the glory of God. They announce it, they evangelize it.
You, I, are now called to a remarkable truth, and that is what was stated earlier, that once as enemies and aliens of God, we as redeemed ones, now can rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Is that not marvelous? But wait, we are also reminded that whatsoever we do, do all to the glory of God, and whatsoever we eat or drink, do all to the glory of God.
This truth of the glory of God should saturate our entire being, and I am certain, that I have left much out, and have but touched the surface of this deep and wonderful truth.
Now then to those of you who may not know this, the womans head covering concerns something far greater than a tradition, something deeper than the headship of man, for the head covering teaches the glory of God.
There is no part of the christian life that should not be examined in the light of the glory of God. And to those of you who are not believers, you cannot glorify God, but you can see his patience toward you in view of such blatant disrespect.
When we hear of terrible tragedies across the earth, we empathize and sympathize with humanity, for we are all of one blood. But the wrong questions are always asked. ‘Why does God allow this?’ is mans excuse for not facing his sins, but the correct question is : who are you to think this should not have happened to you?
Thus the arrow of conviction must find you in your sins if you claim any inheritance in the kingdom of God. And the glory of God should be our focal point, this message should lead toward that end.
May we gain a morsel of help from this intrinsic eternal perfection of God, this glory of God, for eternity continues to reveal what has always been, that the glory of God is the light thereof.