The Glory of God

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I have been studying the glory of God over the last week or so and I am convinced that my view of what glory is all about has been way too small. I think I have confused glory as just a synonym for amazing but it is far more than that. I have eaten some amazing steaks, heard some amazing songs, etc…but that is a far cry from any of that being glorious. In Hebrew the word for glory means worthy of honor or majesty. The word kavod and the word for heavy have the same root. Someone who receives glory is someone who has substance. If you think about the presence of God this makes sense. When God is present in scripture he leaves no room for people to wonder about it. God’s presence is obvious and powerful. In Greek the word (doxa) has a similar meaning worthy of honor or magnificent. But there is some added meaning in Greek. The word can also mean radiant or brilliantly shining (Luke 2:9 & 9:31).

When we glorify God we magnify him because He is magnificent. We don’t add to his glory. We don’t make God more worthy with our praise. In fact, Jesus taught that God doesn’t even need our praise in order to receive glory because even the rocks will cry out if we refuse to give God the glory He deserves (Luke 19:40)! God is glorious whether we recognize it or not. One of the results of living a sinful life can be the hardening of our hearts toward recognizing the glory of God. In doing so we give glory to the created rather than the creator (Rom 1:23).

Everyone gives glory to something and it is up to us to make sure that in our lives we give honor to the only one honor is due and that is God. If we find our lives give glory to another, whether it is self, an addiction, or anything else, it is imperative that we recognize who God is and what He has done so that we can respond by giving Him the glory He deserves. More on glory to come…

0 Responses

  1. Thank you for a great post! You got me from the first sentence I read and I had to read the rest. I totally agree with your points expressed. We do make glory much less than it is. We make God much smaller than He is. He is of great glory and we need to know this and get excited about it. How else are we to be His mirrors in this world of darkness? We who have seen His great light MUST reflect it’s splendor!

  2. Maybe we have equated the glory of God with the “glory” people get when they excel in some sport. It is true that some players are “heavy” in that their presence on the field or court seems to dominate and intimidate other players.

    God’s presence is certainly intimidating! So much so that Isaiah cried, “Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell among a people of unclean lips.” Peter cried, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

    But the real glory of God is that God could take those sinful men of unclean lips and accomplish His purposes in and through them.

    And He can do the same with us, if we will but let Him!

    Now, that is truly glorious – and amazing!

  3. So, John 1:14 — “…and we beheld His glory.” What do you think that means?

    Is it like what we’ll say in 30-40 years about Tim Tebow — “O, you poor souls who never beheld Tebow’s glory like we did…”

    1. I think John is saying that they were witnesses to the majesty, power and authority of Jesus Christ as Messiah. John has some really interesting Christology. John links Jesus with Bethel and with the temple in John 1:51 & John 2:13ff. Both places were associated with the presence and glory of God and Jesus is saying that he now fulfills that role. In John 2:11 John links glory with Jesus’ miracles (another way John and others would have “beheld his glory”) but ultimately Jesus’ glory was displayed in the cross (Heb 2:5-9). I think it is very, very interesting that in Heb 2:9 he doesn’t point to the resurrection as the glory but instead says he had glory because of his suffering. What is more we also receive glory through suffering (Rom 8:17). More on that in another post 🙂

  4. Romans 15 seems to define what Paul calls “come together, assemble, gather” using synagogue words. We know that the synagogue was a Word of God only school: the Campbells called it A school of Christ. Then:

    Romans 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
    Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
    Romans 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
    Romans 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    AS a certainty in John 17: the hard part:

    1Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

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