Glory

Before I dive into writing about “glory”, I need to share some background as to why I have been thinking about the word. Recently a home group leader shared a scripture he had been thinking about and wondered if any of us in the group had thought about the passage, too. It was from 2 Cor.3:17-18.

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 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.

Thinking about these verses has caused me to ask many questions and it has taken me to the verses which preceded verses 17 and 18 in order to get the context.  I have also read into chapter 4.  Because context rules whenever we are trying to get the meaning of Scripture, it is a good habit to get into when we are wanting to find the true meaning of a verse or verses.  Remembering that all Scripture is God-breathed, through the various authors of the books of the Bible, we know God had a meaning in mind for the verses written.  There are NOT multiple meanings of a verse.  However, there can and should be many different applications to the verse or verses.  So, knowing that principle of interpreting Scripture, let’s look at what Paul, the author of 2 Corinthians was saying in chapter 3.  Verses 7 and 8 are vital to the meaning of the verses that follow

7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?

Here we see that Paul was comparing the glory of the Law (think Ten Commandments written on stone tablets given to Moses on Mt. Sinai) with the glory of the ministry of the Spirit (Who writes God’s laws on our hearts).  When Moses came down from the mountain, his face shone,  so he put a veil over his face in order that the Israelites would not see it, and it was fading, too. Now look at verses 11 to 15

 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 

We see that the “old covenant” is also referring to what God gave Moses on Mt. Sinai, and that it was to be brought to an end; it was not permanent.  It had some glory, but nothing like what was to come.  Then Paul speaks of the Israelites of his own day, saying even at his time a veil was on their hearts when they read the old covenant, because the only way to lift the veil was through Christ.  Then we have verse 16:

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

Turning to Christ and beholding His glory without a veil over our hearts/faces, we become transformed into His glory from one degree of that glory to another.  It is permanent glory!  It is from one degree to another degree, a process, though.  Verse 6 in chapter 4 helps explain more:

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

We see God’s glory in Jesus.  So, we keep our focus on Him.  We live for Him.  The glory we find is not our glory, but Jesus’ glory!  Because we have this “treasure in jars of clay”(verse 7), it shows the power of God, not our power. Yet, there is a “weight of glory” we will receive.  C. S. Lewis has a very good talk you could look up by the same name.  He describes it so much better than I could.  This “weight of glory” prepared for us is eternal and it is beyond comparison (verse 17).

As we keep our gaze on Jesus, His Spirit is transforming us into His likeness, and then there is this “weight of glory” awaiting us.  Our glory will be hearing the Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” as He sees Jesus in us and shining out of us.

That’s what I have been thinking about.  I hope it blesses you as it has blessed me!

 

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