Glory Restored

 


 

Abide-13

 

TITLE: Glory Restored

TEXT: John 17:1-5

TONE: Encouragement

TARGET: Believers

TASK: To define the glory of God and to encourage believers to live their lives for the glory of God.

TEACH: The glory of God transcends the boundaries of human understanding, existing in a realm far beyond the capacity of any finite mind to fully grasp. While we may attempt to describe and contemplate His majesty through words, arts, and theology, the true essence of His glory remains and enigma, evoking awe and reverence. His divine magnificence surpasses all human language and intellect, inviting us to embrace the mystery and wonder that come with recognizing the limitations of our comprehension. Therefore, it is profound humility and reverence that I attempt to address this subject.

 

TRUTH: In this chapter we have the Lord’s prayer. Not the prayer He taught us to pray, but the very prayer He prayed for us. From this account we can learn several important truths as we study the focus of Christ prayer, which was for a restored glory.

 

The Holy Spirit seems to put a mark of respect upon this prayer above others prayers which Christ conceived in the days of His flesh. This was, as it were, His dying blaze. He we see the eruption of love Christ has for all His disciples.

 

Thomas Manton has written, “This prayer is standing monument of Christ’s affection to the church.” In this prayer, He mentions all the blessings and privileges necessary for the church. He prays for Himself, the apostles, and for all His disciples.

 

He begins the prayer with a request for glory to be restored. We turn now to the first petition, restored glory. What does Jesus mean by glory?

 

I.                             The Vocabulary of Glory.

a.        The Hebrew word is [Kabod], this is by far the most important Hebrew word that indicates glory. In its basic literal sense, it means ‘heavy.’ The judge Eli, for instance is described as ‘old and heavy” [kabed]. Also, Absalom’s long, luxurious hair is so heavy. Same word [kabed].

 

b.        However, the figurative use of [kabod] for outnumbers its literal use. Especially, notable are those contexts in which [kabod] describes a persons wealth. Abraham, for example, is said to be “very rich” [kobed me’ od] in livestock, in silver, and in gold” (Gen. 13:2).

 

c.        So, Abraham was heavy in possessions. The term and its derivative may also be used with someone’s prestige. One example is that of Benaiah, one of David’s thirty most distinguished warriors. He is referred to as “renowned” [kabed].

 

d.        Perhaps, Psalm 96 is a prime example of all that is wrapped up in [kabod]. His [kabod] is the outward manifestations, the weight of His beauty, splendor, majesty, and excellence.

 

Transition to Greek Definition

                 

e.        Sometime after the history of this early word [kabod] the noun [doxa] began a development of its own that soon took it from its original meaning. Early on the word meant to ‘have an opinion’ but as time went on it came to mean, “to have a good opinion” and then “that which merits a good opinion.” During these stages the word could correctly have been translated as ‘praise’, ‘honor’, ‘good standing.’ It means, one who is so heavy in majesty that He deserves ultimate praise.

 

f.     I will provide my own definition: The glory of God encompasses the profound magnificence, immeasurable worth, divine beauty, and boundless grandeur of His infinite perfections, both in His very essence and in their manifestations to creation. -Blake Gideon

 

Transition: Now that we have somewhat of an understanding of the meaning, let’s take a look at how the glory of God has manifested itself. I call this….

 

II.                         The Visions of Glory

a.        External displays of Glory: Of course, the Bible is full of visible manifestations of the glory of God. But for the sake of time, I will share only a few examples.

 

b.        First, God’s glory was displayed by shattering the false glory of Egypt and its Pharoah by the dramatic means of separating the sea to allow the Israelites to go through to safety and to close it in judgment on the Egyptians.

 

c.        Second, Moses encounter with God’s glory in Exodus 33; the context of the passage is the sin with the golden calf. God response is not immediately clear. God announces that Moses will not see His face. Why? Because people cannot see God’s face and live. In other words, full exposure to the divine presence would overwhelm and destroy a human observer. Of course, this is anthromorphic language, as God is Spirit, this does not mean Moses saw nothing, but we need to acknowledge this is a metaphor. So impressive was the mere glimpse that when Moses descended from the mountain that his face was glowing with reflective glory. 

 

d.        Third, the glory cloud in the wilderness. We are first introduced to the cloud that represents God’s presence in Ex. 13 through the flame burning in the bush. God’s weighty presence is often accompanied by fire and smoke or a cloud that illuminates at night. On the one hand, the smoke and cloud obscure, reminding people that direct exposure to the presence of God it overwhelming. Fire on the other hand, is both beneficial and destructive. Fire warms, but also burns. Fire attracts our attention, but accompanied by smoke, does not allow one’s gaze to penetrate behind it.

 

e.        Fourth, in 2Chronicles 7:1-3, during Solomon’s dedication of the Temple, he finishes praying, fire comes down from heaven to consume the burnt offering and sacrifices. At the same time, the glory of the Lord fills the temple. The priest are unable to enter the temple because it is filled with the glory of the Lord. The Israelites see the fire and glory and worship, praising God with their faces to the ground, exclaiming, “He is good; his love endures forever.”

 

f.           Fifth, the entire creation eloquently proclaims the glory of God, serving as a gran symphony of divine artistry and wisdom. The Bible tells is in Psal, 19:1, “The heaven declare the glory of God: the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” This means that every element of the natural world, from the vastness of the cosmos to the intricate design of a single cell, points to the grandeur and brilliance of the Creator. The stars, planets, and galaxies in their ordered and yet unfathomably complex motions reveal God’s power and majesty, echoing the attributes of His infinite nature. The beauty of a sunrise, the complexity of an organism, and the interdependence of ecosystems testify to His impeccable creativity and glory.

 

Transition: The only reason God is able to manifest His glory outwardly is because He is glorious intrinsically.

                 

g.         God’s Internal Glory: God displays His glory outwardly, only because He is intrinsically glorious. Albert Mohler, said, “God’s glory is best understood as the intrinsic beauty and external manifestations of God’s being and character.”  God Himself is Light. Glory is His nature, the sum total of His excellence.

 

h.        Finally, the Transfiguration of Jesus: The brightness of the transfiguration therefore affirms both God’s nature of intra (in himself) and ad extra (in creation). The brightness of Jesus’s face and his shining clothes are not merely ornamental; they unlock the very essence and meaning of the transfiguration.

 

                                                                                             i.         His face shines because he has received glory as man, and His face shines because He is glory. The Light does not come from without, but from within Christ. He displays the glory He shared with the Father before the world was spoken into existence.

 

                                                                                          ii.         The transfiguration also displays the glory of a future kingdom and the transition to a new covenant.

 

                                                                                       iii.         Jesus is also displayed as greater than Moses and Elijah. Their faces only glitter from a borrowed glow, whereas Jesus possessed the full measure of divine glory. Jesus was there to fulfill and accomplish a greater work. Notice, we have one from Heaven (Elijah), those on the earth (Peter, James, and John) one from the below the earth (Moses)…Phil.2:11. It also, true from the Bible that both Moses and Elijah wanted to see the glory of God (Ex.33) and (1Ki.19). Elijah finds himself in a cave hiding from Jezebeel. First, a mighty wind tears through the mountains. Second, an earthquake shakes the mountain. Finally. In a soft voice, the Lord appears. When Elijah hears the whisper, he wraps his face in a mantle. He is not able to stand unveiled in the presence of the Almighty. He can’t bear the sight of the Lord. The Lord’s voice comes to him tells him to go back and finish his ministry. “Passed by” same phrase. Jesus is the greater prophet who will far surpass Moses in His work of redemption.

 

                                                                                       iv.         Further, the cloud demonstrates the unity and the individual glory of each Person of the Godhead. First, we see the Son’s glory both intrinsically and externally. Second, we have the Father’s voice from heaven. We can’t help but hear the glory in the Father speaking. Third, the cloud. The cloud descends just like the Spirit at Jesus baptism. We have a theophany, the Spirit’s manifestation through the glory cloud. For He presides in the glory cloud.

 

III.                      The View of Glory

a.        One of the best ways to understand the glory of God, not that we ever will, yet we can study how people have reacted to catching glimpses of such divine glory.

 

1.        Abraham falls facedown before God (Gen. 17:3,17)

2.        When fire comes from the Lord and consumes the burnt offering, the people of Israel fall on their faces (Lev. 9:24)

3.        Moses and Aaron fall on their faces before the glory of the Lord (Num. 20:6)

4.        Joshua falls facedown before the ark of the Lord (Josh. 7:6)

5.        On Mount Carmel, when the fire of the Lord falls from heaven, all the people fall facedown and claim that the Lord is God (1Kings 18:39)

6.        When David sees the angel of the Lord, he falls facedown (1Chron.21:16)

7.        Ezra falls facedown before the house of God (Ezra 10:1)

8.        Ezekiel falls on his face before the Lord’s glory (Ezek. 1:28; 3:23)

9.        Daniel falls facedown before the messenger of God (Dan. 8:17)

10.  John falls down before one who face shines like the sun (Rev. 1:16-17).

 

IV.                     The Victory of Glory

a.        We too will have shining faces.

b.        We too will have glorified/transfigured bodies.

                                                                                             i.         Yet, this glory is not inherit, but reflective.

c.        We too will come with Him in glory.

d.        We too will be a part of His glorious kingdom. A New Heaven and a New Earth.

e.        One day we will behold His glory in its fulness, and this is what He prays for.

 

V.                         The Value of Glory

a.        Phil. 2:5-11, Jesus valued the glory of God so much that He gave His life. The same can be said about the Apostles and many martyrs throughout history. They were sawn into, imprisoned, and left for dead all for the glory of God. Lottie Moon valued the glory of God so much that she died of starvation choosing instead to give it away. William Carey valued the glory of God so much he left the comforts of England for a Foreign Land.

 

b.        How much do you value the glory of God? Do you value it enough to work on your marriage, knowing God hates divorce? Do you value it enough to quit porn or at least start the process of getting help? Do you value the glory of God enough that you will forgive or seek forgiveness from those whom you have hurt. Do you value the glory of God enough to give of your time, talents, and tithe? Do you value the glory of God enough to go wherever He sends you? To do whatever He tells you? To say whatever, He puts on your lips? Do you value the glory of God enough to go after the lost, to help the hurting, to comfort the dying, to care for the sick and lonely? Do you care enough to die to yourself and put others first?  Youth, do you value the glory of God enough to stay pure until marriage? Do you value the glory of God enough to honor your parents? Do you value the glory of God enough to say no to sinful pleasures of this world to pursue Christ?

 

c.        The heart of true religion is to glorify God by patient endurance and to praise him for his gracious deliverances. It is to live one’s life through smooth and rough places alike in sustained obedience and thanksgiving for mercy received. It is to seek and find one’s deepest joy, not in spiritual lotus-eating, but in discovering through each successive storm and conflict the mighty adequacy of Christ to save. It is the sure knowledge that God’s way is best, both for our own welfare and for his glory. No problems of providence will shake the faith of the one who has truly learned this. J.I. Packer.

 

TAKE-AWAY: In whatever you do in word or in deed do it all for the glory of God. For of Him and through Him are all things to be the glory forever, Amen.

 

 

Research Resources

 Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson, The Glory of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010).

 John Owen, The Glory of Christ (Edinburg, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1994).

 Grudem, Wayne, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (InterVarsity Press, 1994)

 Lewis, C. S. The Weight of Glory, (Harper Collins, 2001).

Alawode, Samuel Oyeniran, The Glory of God: A Theological Study (Christian Literary Guild, 2017).

 

 © 2012 - 2024 Blake Gideon. All rights Reserved

 

 

Comments

  1. So much depth. Still chewing on this weeks later. I will be diving into each example of The View Of Glory. Thanks for a great message Pastor! So thankful to have notes available, such a great tool!

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