This reading is for the week between 8 March and 22 March to help us meditate on the Glory of Christ.
The Glory of Christ by John Owen – Christ’s Glory as God’s representative.
End of chapter 1.
We can rejoice in these things even though we cannot understand them. We can talk of them but never fully comprehend them. In fact, true believers experience of foresight and foretaste of this glorious condition. Sometimes, when reading and meditating on the Bible our hearts are filled with such a sense of the uncreated glory of God shining through Jesus Christ that we experience unspeakable Joy. So arises that ‘peace of God which passes all understanding’, which keeps ‘our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ’(Philippians 4:7). ‘Christ’ in believers ‘the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27) gives them a foretaste of that future glory. And where any have no acquaintance with these things, they are blind and dead to spiritual things. It is because believers are lazy and ignorant that we do not experience more and more in our souls the visits of grace and the dawning is of eternal glory.
In the following chapters we will consider the following questions: What is that glory of Christ which we can behold by faith? How do we behold the glory of Christ by faith? And how is our beholding Christ by faith different from our actually seeing his glory in heaven?
Chapter 2 – Christ’s glory as God’s representative.
The glory of Christ is the glory of the person of Christ. So he calls it ‘that glory which is mine’, which belongs to me, to my person (John 17:24)
The first glorious thing we learn about the person of Christ is that he is the perfect revelation of the father. This revelation of the father is for the benefit of the church, for we behold ‘the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’(2 Corinthians 4:6).
The glory of God includes both the holy properties of his nature and the things he has purposed to do. The only way we can know these things of God is ‘in the face’ or person ‘of Jesus Christ’, for he is ‘the image of God’ (Colossians 1:15).
But Christ is especially glorious because he and he alone perfectly reveals God’s nature and will to us. Without Christ we would have known nothing truly about God for he would have been eternally invisible to us. We would have never seen God at any time, either in this life or in the next (John 1:18).
In his divine person, Christ is the essential image of God the father. He is in the Father and the Father is in him, both existing in the unity of the same divine essence (John 14:10). Furthermore, he is with the father, as well as being the essential image of the father (John 1:1, Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3). But when he assumed human nature he became the representative of God’s image to the church, so that only by Christ do we understand the wonderful and excellent things of God’s nature and will (2Corinthians 4:6). Without Christ, God would still be to us the ‘invisible God’. We see the glory of God only in the person of Christ.
This is the glory which the Father gave him, and which by faith we may behold. He alone makes known both to angels and men the essential glory of the invisible God, without which a perpetual comparative darkness would have covered all creation.
2 Corinthians 4:6 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.
Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Do we appreciate how lost we would be without Christ revealing God to us?
Do we appreciate how gracious the father is to give us a perfect revelation of himself in Christ?
Are we beginning to appreciate the glory of Christ by faith?
Take time this week to meditate on or even memorise the Scriptures above
as you ponder the glory of Christ.