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The glory of God

OPINION by Pastor Chuck DeVane, guest column | November 20, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

-- Philippians 2:10-11

This is a beautiful, biblical truth that expresses the alpha and omega of the divine purpose, which is to display and disseminate the glory of God. This is done through the full gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes the good news of His first and second coming.

The glory of god

Paul, pharisaically Jewish before becoming thoroughly Christian, understood the Old Testament concept of the glory of God before he penned a large part of our New Testament. This passage in Philippians is based upon a text in Isaiah 45:22-25.

In Isaiah's text, the Hebrew word for glory is "kabod." It literally means weight, but in a metaphysical and magnified sense, the heaviest weight, or the most importance, in the world. It means value, of the highest degree. It means authority, in the ultimate power. And this weight, this authority, this glory belongs to God, and to God alone.

In the New Testament, the word for glory is "doxa." We sing "The Doxology" each Sunday to give praise to God and acknowledge God's glory, and God's glory alone. In secular Greek the word meant "opinion," and certainly it is God the Father's opinion, the highest authority of all, that Jesus Christ is Lord. But like its counterpart "kobod," "doxa" also speaks of the highest degree, the greatest possible honor, or praise, or worthiness to be worshipped. This, of course, belongs to the Father, and the Son, who along with the Holy Spirit, were and are and always will be God. Glory belongs to God, and to God alone!

We give God glory when we acknowledge Him as the most important person in the universe, the highest authority over our bodies and souls. The only things that prevent people from giving glory to God are sin and unbelief. The only remedy for sin and unbelief is the gospel.

The glory of God in the first advent of Christ

The glory of God is best seen in the person and work of His Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is glory in His incarnation, as no baby was ever born like Jesus. There is glory in His humiliation, for no one ever lived, perfectly, meekly, with lovingkindness, like Jesus. There is glory in His crucifixion, for no one's death was more undeserved, and no one's death mitigates more undeserved grace and mercy, than the death of Jesus. There is glory in His resurrection, for no one conquered death and the grave like Jesus. There is glory in His coronation, but we will get to that part in a moment.

When you accept Christ as Lord and Savior, instead of trusting only in yourself or some false god, you are surrendering your glory to the glory of God. When you obey Christ by obeying God's word, instead of doing whatever makes you happy, you are putting the glory of God above your own. When you worship Christ, rather than selfishly spending all of your Sundays for yourself, you are establishing the priority of the glory of God. When you put Christ first among all other people and things in your life, instead of clinging to idols, you are living for the glory of God.

The glory of God in the second coming of Christ

While showing the first coming of Jesus, the primary focus of Philippians 2:5-11 is on the second coming of Christ. "Therefore," in light of what Jesus Christ has done to bring us God's gospel and God's glory to bear upon the earth, God the Father has glorified God the Son with the highest place and highest name in heaven and earth. And one day, every person who has ever lived, will see Him and stand before Him in all of His glory.

The bowed knees and confessing tongues are pictured in the past tense. This means that only those who humbled themselves before God in gospel repentance, only those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ with a confessing and living faith, only those whose earthly lives were spent in the pursuit of the glory of God, alone, will live with God forever in glory. Glorify God now, by giving your life to the one who gave His life for you, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chuck DeVane is the pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs. Call him at 501-525-8339 or [email protected]

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