Archives For glory

Second Corinthians (2 Cor 4:6), encourages believers with the truth that God who created all things has shown us “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” In his book, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself, John Piper expands on what is meant by the “glory of Christ”: 

[Christ’s] glory, in his first coming, was the incomparably exquisite array of spiritual, moral, intellectual, verbal, and practical perfections that manifest themselves in a kind of meek miracle-working and unanswerable teaching and humble action that set Jesus apart from all men. Each of Jesus deeds and words and attitudes was glorious, but is the way they come together in beautiful summation . . . an exquisite array — that constitutes his glory.

But the climax of his glory on earth was the way it ended. It was as if all the darker colors in the spectrum of glory came together in the most beautiful sunset on Good Friday, with the crucified Christ as the blood-red sun in the crimson sky. And it was as if all the brighter colors in the spectrum of glory came together in the most beautiful sunrise on Easter morning, with the risen Christ as the golden sun shining in full strength. Both the glory of the sunset and the glory of the sunrise shone on the horizon of a lifetime of incomparably beautiful love. This is what Paul meant in 2 Corinthians 4:4 when he spoke of “the glory of Christ.” It is the glory of a person. But the person displays his glory in words and actions and feelings. The glory is not the glory of a painting or even a sunset. Those are only analogies. They are too static and lifeless.

The spiritual beauty of Christ is Christ-in-action—Christ loving, and Christ touching lepers, and Christ blessing children, and healing the crippled, and raising the dead, and commanding demons, and teaching with unrivaled authority, and silencing the skeptics, and rebuking his disciples, and predicting the details of his death, and setting his face like flint toward Jerusalem, and weeping over the city, and silent before his accusers, and meekly sovereign over Pilate (“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above,” John 19:11), and crucified, and praying for his enemies, and forgiving a thief, and caring for his mother while in agony, and giving up his spirit in death, and rising from the dead—“No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:18). Such is the glory of Christ.

John Piper’s, God is the Gospel, is available for free as a pdf.

I am really enjoying God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth Here’s a sample quote in which they reflect on what it means to glorify God:

What does it mean to glorify God? The Westminster Catechism reminds us that “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” If we are created to glorify God, then we should know what that means. We glorify God by multiplying images of him who are crowned with his glory; we glorify God by making disciples. Jesus himself glorified God in this way. Near the end of his life, he declared:

I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do . . . I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (Jn 17:4, 6).

Jesus glorified God by making disciples who kept God’s word. The mark of these disciples was obedience. Similarly, we glorify God by our mission in making disciples who keep God’s word.

(Page 35)

See also:

Towards Understanding More About the Glory of God

Notes for “glory” on Romans Study

How Would You Define Glory?

The Heavens Declare the Glory of GodEverything should be done to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). But most of us would struggle to define the concept of glory of God.

Andy Naselli recently posted helpful summary thoughts on God’s glory based on Philippe Paul-Luc Viguier’s MDiv thesis. He concludes:

 God’s glory is

  • the ever-increasing revelation of His essence and purposes,
  • displayed through His Word, His works and His felt-presence,
  • which calls for the receiver’s unity and reflection,
  • and tells of His incomparable goodness, beauty, and praise-worthiness
  • as perfect King, Savior, Judge and Creator,
  • and of the unequaled reputation attached to His name.

Here for the rest on the glory of God.

James M. Hamilton gives this definition of God’s glory:

I would suggest that the glory of God is the weight of the majestic goodness of who God is, and the resulting name, or reputation, that he gains from his revelation of himself as Creator, Sustainer, Judge, and Redeemer, perfect in justice and mercy, loving-kindness and truth.”  James M. Hamilton, God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment, page 56.

John Piper adds:

First, an attempt at the impossible—a definition of the glory of God. The reason I say it is impossible is that glory is more like the word beauty than it is like the word basketball. You can define a basketball by saying its round, inflated, about nine or ten inches in diameter; it’s used in a game to bounce and put through a hoop. But you can’t do the same with the word beauty. We all know it exists, but the reason we can talk about it is because we have seen it, not because we can say it.

What might help get at a definition of the glory of God is to contrast it with the holiness of God. God is holy means that God is in a class of perfection and greatness and value by himself. He is incomparable. His holiness is his utterly unique and perfect divine essence. It determines all that he is and does and is determined by nothing and no one outside himself. His holiness is what he is as God which no one else is, or ever will be, and it signifies his intrinsic, infinite worth.

Then we hear the angels in Isaiah 6:3 say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” The glory of God is the manifestation of his holiness. God’s holiness is the incomparable perfection and greatness of his divine nature; his glory is the display of that holiness. His glory is the open revelation of the secret of his holiness. In Leviticus 10:3, God says, “I will be shown to be holy among those who are near me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” When God shows himself to be holy, what we see is his glory—the beauty of holiness. The holiness of God is his concealed glory. The glory of God is his revealed holiness.

So here’s my effort at a definition: The glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of his manifold perfections.

See notes on “glory” for Romans study and How Would You Define God’s Glory?

I previously posted some thoughts on defining glory.  As I stated in that post, given that our chief purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, we really ought to try and understand “glory.”

As I also said in that post, Piper’s thought that God’s glory is the manifest beauty of His holiness is very helpful to me personally.  God’s glory is the loveliness shining forth from Him.

This is very helpful in envisioning how we ought to live the Christian life. For any one of us, to glorify God means to be a mirror that reflects and calls attention to the manifest beauty of God.

Recently, I found James M. Hamilton’s thought in his book, God’s Glory Through Salvation and Judgment, helpful in reflecting on, and understanding, the glory of God.

I would suggest that the glory of God is the weight of the majestic goodness of who God is, and the resulting name, or reputation, that he gains from his revelation of himself as Creator, Sustainer, Judge, and Redeemer, perfect in justice and mercy, loving-kindness and truth.”  James M. Hamilton, God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment, page 56.

Notes on Glory for Romans Study

Chris —  September 15, 2009 — 4 Comments

What is meant by the “glory of God”?  Can you write down a definition?

“Glory” is a hard word to define.  Yet, it is foundational for the Christian.  Our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever according to the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  Whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, it is to be for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).

We need to meditate on the word “glory.”

I recently listened to a sermon (see here) by John Piper in which he helped me better define God’s glory.  Piper said, God’s glory is the manifest beauty of his perfections. 

So, Isaiah wrote, “Holy, holy, holy  is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory (Isaiah 6:3).”  Do you see the connection?  Because God is holy, the earth is full of his glory.  God’s glory is the visibility of his holiness.  God’s glory is the manifest beauty of his manifold perfections.

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Where the Romans series is concerned, we must get a handle on what glory is.  Romans is about how the Gospel glorifies God.  We will only understand Romans to the extent that we understand glory.

Schreiner (page 23):

Paul ultimately wrote Romans as a servant of God to honor his Lord.  I have endeavored to show inductively in my exegesis of the letter that God’s glory is indeed ultimate. . .”

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Piper:

First, an attempt at the impossible—a definition of the glory of God. The reason I say it is impossible is that glory is more like the word beauty than it is like the word basketball. You can define a basketball by saying its round, inflated, about nine or ten inches in diameter; it’s used in a game to bounce and put through a hoop. But you can’t do the same with the word beauty. We all know it exists, but the reason we can talk about it is because we have seen it, not because we can say it.

What might help get at a definition of the glory of God is to contrast it with the holiness of God. God is holy means that God is in a class of perfection and greatness and value by himself. He is incomparable. His holiness is his utterly unique and perfect divine essence. It determines all that he is and does and is determined by nothing and no one outside himself. His holiness is what he is as God which no one else is, or ever will be, and it signifies his intrinsic, infinite worth.

Then we hear the angels in Isaiah 6:3 say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” The glory of God is the manifestation of his holiness. God’s holiness is the incomparable perfection and greatness of his divine nature; his glory is the display of that holiness. His glory is the open revelation of the secret of his holiness. In Leviticus 10:3, God says, “I will be shown to be holy among those who are near me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” When God shows himself to be holy, what we see is his glory—the beauty of holiness. The holiness of God is his concealed glory. The glory of God is his revealed holiness.

So here’s my effort at a definition: The glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of his manifold perfections.

Read Piper’s whole sermon here.