Whilst any definition is bound to be limited, ‘glory’ might be defined as majestic splendour, dignity, honour, brilliance, and grandeur.
As God ‘is light’, the glory of God is associated with light; He is the One in whom ‘is no darkness at all’.1 When shepherds were watching over their flock by night, an angel announced to them the birth of the Saviour and Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the ‘glory of the Lord shone round about them’.2 Understandably, they were afraid!
Through the centuries, God has gradually and progressively revealed Himself. Creation reveals the glory of God, and any meditation on the creatorial work of God will fill us with awe.3 Further revelation of the glory of God is found in the scriptures where we learn of His character. Verses 7 to 11 of Psalm 19 are concerned with God’s revelation of Himself in the written word. The effect on a believer of the revelation of the glory of God, whether in creation or in the scriptures, should be to stimulate praise, worship, and a deeper reverence of God.
The full and final revelation of God and His glory is in, and through, His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As ‘the image of the invisible God’, the Lord Jesus could say, ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Father’, John 14. 9. While He was on earth, the Lord’s intrinsic glory, majesty, and splendour were veiled by His flesh. There came a time, however, when the Lord took Peter, James and John up into a mountain and the Lord ‘was transfigured before them’. His intrinsic glory shone forth, His face shone like the sun, and His ‘raiment was white as the light’.4 The disciples saw their Lord and Saviour as He will appear in glory when, at the beginning of the millennium, He will come, with His saints, to set up His kingdom on earth. Then a new era of peace and righteousness will begin.
From the basis of his experience on the mount of transfiguration, John wrote of the moral and other glories of the Lord.5 He also wrote, ‘We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father’.6 Similarly, Peter wrote as one of the ‘eyewitnesses of his majesty’.7 The glory, and brightness of uncreated light, and dazzling whiteness seen by the disciples emanated from within the Lord Himself. His glory was not a reflected glory, as was that of Moses. The transfiguration tells us more than we can fully understand of the glories of our Lord and Saviour. It shows us His pre-eminence, for Moses and Elijah fade from sight.
By the grace of God, those of us who are believers will be glorified with the Lord Jesus Christ. We read concerning those who have been justified by faith in Him, that ‘whom he justified, them he also glorified’.8
What can we do in response to such a prospect of glory, grace and love? One answer is to ‘do all to the glory of God’, 1 Cor. 10. 31, that is, to reveal the love, grace and holiness of God in all we do and say. If as believers we were to consider all our actions to ensure that they are to the glory and honour of God, then all we do will be motivated by seeking not our own pre-eminence and glory, but God’s glory. We are told that as a man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he’,9 and ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh’.10 What we fill our minds with determines the way we think, and the way we think determines patterns of behaviour and, ultimately, our character.
If all things are to be done to the glory of God, then we need to meditate, to feed on the word of God, and obey its precepts so that, by the grace of God, we become more and more conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.11 The more our minds become like that of the Lord,12 then the more our words and deeds will be in accordance with the will of God. Oh, that men might see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven!13