Crowned with Glory
Jesus Christ shared the glory of God the Father before the creation (Jn 17:5). He set the fullness of His glory aside, in coming to earth, to take on flesh (Jn 1:14; Phil 2:5–11). Still, His glory was manifested in His works (Jn 11:4), in order for men to believe in Him (Jn 2:11; 11:40).
Jesus Christ did not glorify Himself, but God the Father glorified Him (Jn 8:54; 17:1; Acts 3:13). Our Lord was glorified in His death (Jn 12:23; 13:31; 21:19). Following His ascension into heaven, He was enthroned at the right hand of the Father, in glory (Acts 7:55). He will come again to sit on His glorious, white throne of judgment (Mt 19:28; 25:31; Rev 20:11). He is crowned with glory.
Man was created to glorify God and enjoy Him, forever (Westminster Confession). Israel was commanded to glorify Him (Ps 22:23), as all nations will do, in Christ (Ps 86:9; Rev 5:9). They are to glorify His name (Ps 86:12), as God glorifies it (Jn 12:28). He is to be glorified everywhere, in all places (Is 24:15).
The God of Israel, our heavenly Father, is glorified in the good works of His people, the Israel of God (Mt 5:16; Gal 6:16; Eph 2:10). Knowing that He is at work in us (Gal 2:20; Phil 2:13), we glorify Him, in what we hear and see, as did the shepherds of Bethlehem (Lk 2:20), or the paralytic at Bethesda (Lk 5:25–26). Those others, who were healed by Jesus, also glorified God for His good works (Lk 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43).
Christian, Christ is your life (Col 3:4). He is your all in all. Your life is in Him, and it has been given to you as a new, spiritual life that abounds and is eternal (Jn 3:36; 10:10; 1 Jn 5:12).
As a vessel of mercy (Rom 9:23), having received mercy from God (1 Pet 2:10), you are being prepared for glory (Rom 8:30). Therefore, when suffering comes, do not think it strange, for it is granted for His people to share in His sufferings (Col 1:24–25; 1 Pet 4:13; Phil 1:29; Jas 1:2). We are encouraged that this present suffering is not to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us (Rom 8:18), when we rejoice with exultation.
The blessed hope of His appearing (Titus 2:13) is placed within us when we are born again to a living hope (1 Pet 1:3). Whereas, we formerly walked according to the course of this world, living in the lust of the flesh (Eph 2:2–3), now, we walk as children of light, that is, children of God, appearing as lights in the world (Mt 5:16; Eph 5:8; Phil 2:15).
It is the light of Christ, like the shekinah glory of old, illumining His holy saints from within (2 Cor 4:6). It is Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col 1:17), who is willing and working His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). He causes us to walk in His statutes (Ezek 36:26), having given us a new heart (Ezek 36:27).
The heart of faith is a product of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God and of Christ (Phil 1:29; Rom 8:9, 11). The internal work of the Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), which manifests as Christian virtues, to glorify God. It is this faith, given to us as a gift in the Spirit, which is to the praise and glory and honor of Jesus Christ, now, and at His second coming (1 Pet 1:7).
The faith that brings Christ the glory is not only given by God, but it is tested with fiery trials in this world. The fire of testing removes the worldly dross from our lives. Faith is shown to be more precious than gold, even pure gold.
Faith comes from the infinite supply of God’s riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19). The Father of glory increases our faith through His Spirit of wisdom and in the revelation of Himself, in the knowledge of the truth, who is Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6).
Therefore, we can say that there is nothing more precious to the Christian than the knowledge of God in Christ. For us to see the glory of God, with the eyes of faith, we must look into the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6). Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2), increases our faith, amidst the trials of life in this sinful world. Behold Him!
Christian, look again. It is Christ Jesus, our Lord, whom you follow. It is the knowledge of Him that produces the sweet aroma of him in your earthen vessel (Sos 1:3). You are a fragrance of Christ to God, pleasing to Him (Heb 11:6). You are a fragrance of death to some and life to others (Cor 2:14–16). Do not be discouraged when your life stinks to some, for it is pleasing to others. This is the Christian life. This is the crown of thorns, the cross to bear, soon to be an unfading crown of glory at His appearing (1 Pet 5:4). Press on, for there is always a cross before there is a crown.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 29, 2021