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God’s Glory, Part 1

April 26, 2016

Grace to you! Ever wonder why it is we drive hundreds of miles to look at the Grand Canyon? Or why some people jump out of airplanes just for the thrill of it? Or why some can gaze intently at a masterpiece painting for hours? At the heart of all that we do, we are looking for God’s glory. But what do we mean by God’s glory and why is it the driving force of our lives?

The glory of God is something we have often heard about but do we really know what it means? Paul says, “Whether we eat or drink, we should do it all for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) The word “glory” in the Old Testament means ‘weight’ or ‘substance’. There is a weightiness to God’s character and being.  We often use this in a negative way in our area when we talk about someone who is not a decent person. We say, “There’s nothing to him.” What we mean is that there isn’t any character qualities in the person that’s worthy of mention. But not so with God. He is full of glory and “weightiness.”

If you think of an addition problem it might help to understand what God’s glory means. 1+2+3+4+5=11. If we ‘added’ up all of God’s character and attributes, the ‘sum total’ of them would ‘equal’ the glory of God. For example, God’s infinite wisdom, plus all power, plus mercy, plus His justice, etc. equals ‘the glory of God!’ It is, without trying to be redundant, the God-ness of God! “Who is like the Lord?” (Psalm 113:5) The answer: not anyone or anything! “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 45:5)

We are made for God’s glory. We are made to reflect God in what we are and what we do. The problem is that we have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) This means that we have deliberately disobeyed God’s commands to reflect His character. In short, we decided to break the mirrors that show forth who God is and what God is like. We have sought to eclipse God’s glory and ruin what God is like in our own eyes and in the eyes of others.  And the penalty for this is death.

Death in the bible doesn’t mean the end of something. It means ‘separation.’ Because we have sinned against God’s glory, we are separated from Him relationally right now. We know about God but we don’t know Him relationally because we have sought to shatter His glory. Further, if we die in this condition, we will be separated from Him forever. We will be forever ruined, living in a broken reality called hell where the beauty God’s glory is hidden from our eyes and experience. But there is good news. Jesus came to restore the glory of God! He died to pay sin’s penalty: death. He rose again to show His work was complete and accepted by the Father. And we can be restored to show God’s glory if we would turn from our God glory robbing sin to follow Jesus who is the glory of the invisible God! (Hebrews 1:3) More next week!

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