Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Sight of His Glory

Jesus prayed in John 17:24 that his people would be with him and see his glory. Jesus wants us to see his glory!!!

We began a study of Christology at CCC Sunday night. My introduction was an exerpt from John Owen's book, The Glory of Christ. These words set the heart of the believer ablaze! Here are a few portions for your edification:

"Only a sight of his glory, and nothing else, will truly satisfy God's people...Unbelievers see no glory in Christ. They see nothing attractive about him...No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight in heaven who does not, in some measure, behold it by faith in this world...Many will say with confidence that that they desire to be with Christ and to behold his glory. But when asked, they can give no reason for this desire, except that it would be better than going to hell...Men who are complete strangers to seeing the person and glory of Christ by faith have turned to images, pictures and music to help them in their worship.
It is by beholding the glory of Christ by faith that we are spiritually edified and built up in this world. On Christ's glory I would fix all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to the world. It will become like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.
A fish would not thank you for taking it out of the sea and putting it on dry land under the blazing sun! Neither would an unregenerate sinner welcome the thought of living forever in the blazing glory of Christ."
(John Owen, The Glory of Christ; pages 1-8)
  • A Christian is one who has had his eyes opened (through a gracious, sovereign, miraculous act of God) to the glory of Christ, by faith. The two thieves crucified beside Christ are an example. One saw someone to insult and despise. The other thief saw a king! ("Remember me when you enter into your kingdom") "Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn 3:3). "...and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father" (Jn 1:14b).
  • Those who confess Christ but are truly unconverted, must prop up their "faith" with crutches and idols. Owen said above that people who are strangers to seeing Christ's glory by faith "have turned to images, pictures and music to help them in their worship." How true this is for many false converts in our meetings! They cannot "get that feeling" unless the right band is playing the right kind of music, or the right worship song. Christ is enough! Look at him with eyes of faith, and worship him in his glory!
  • Beholding Jesus' glory brings sanctification. "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" (2 Cor 3:18). "...we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is" (1 Jn 3:2b).

Oh, the glory of Christ! Lord, give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you, the eyes of our hearts being enlightened! Show us the surpassing glory of Christ! Make Christ our treasure above all! Show us how infinitely beautiful he is; and worthy of all our praise, love, devotion, obedience and service. Hallelujah to Jesus Christ!

"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" (2 Cor 4:6, ESV).

1 comment:

Phillip Fletcher said...


Crutches and idols. How easy is it for men to make idols, images of things to serve as their "savior." Luther said and I am summarizing that man's heart is an idol factory and thus religion is our default mode.

Consider that when we choose to lie, we do not value Jesus Christ and thus the truth that is found in Him. We value in that moment what man will think. So that individual becomes a "god or false image." So in lying we ultimately break the first commandment.

The Gospel calls us to look to Christ who is the image of God and not an image of our own liking. As we value Him, He works in us to value truth(sanctification).

Good post from John Owen and its a great read!