Beholding Christ, anticipating final victory, and walking with him in this life bring us both hope and joy. When I was a young assistant pastor, I remember watching the pastor's wife, Helen Stanley, as she worshipped.
She was a dear lady, but not endowed with what we think of as physical beauty. In fact, she was rather plain. But when she began to worship God, her face took on a wonderful beauty. I could see such joy on her face as she was transported into God's presence. She was rejoicing, as the King James Version puts it, "with joy unspeakable and full of glory. For now, we live in a world where the Kingdom of God is not fully realized. Where we experience struggle and suffering. But our glory shines through us as we touch in our spirits the Glorious Kingdom, and that joy and glory of that Kingdom becomes our own.
Moses' glow did have to be renewed by repeated sessions in God's presence, but these times before God had the effect of altering him. This is the idea that Paul is focusing on here. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. Paul teaches,.
The word "conformed" in this verse uses the same root morph- in the adjective symmorphos , "pertaining to having a similar form, nature, or style, similar in form" . This change is sanctification, the gradual process of becoming holy and godly in our character to match our holy standing, which was brought about instantaneously through Christ's gift of salvation on the cross. Elsewhere, Paul describes it in other terms. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. Going to church is a good thing. But, my dear friend, going to church, in and of itself, will not transform you.
What changes you is regular time before the Lord, contemplating him in worship, meditating on him, singing to him, listening to him, speaking to him, obeying him, drinking him in through the Word and the Spirit. Just like Moses spent time before the Lord and was transformed by it, so as you spend time with the Lord it will change you. This transformation is a progressive process, kind of like growth rings on a tree. The text is literally "from glory to glory" KJV.
This means, as the NIV puts it, "from one degree of glory to another. The agent of change, according to our verse, "comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" 2 Corinthians In other words, this is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit of God, the fruit of the Holy Spirit gradually filling our character, replacing the common and unclean with the holiness and glory of the Lord.
There I learned a song, based on the King James Version of this verse, that indelibly impressed the meaning of this verse on my soul. His likeness and image to perfect in me, The love of God shown to the world. Dear friend, my prayer for you is that you will indeed so live your life in his presence that his Spirit of Holiness will transform your life.
That when people see you, they will not see your imperfections, but the glow of Jesus, so that people might recognize in you what Jesus' contemporaries they saw in his disciples, that "these men had been with Jesus" Acts Why do many believers remain spiritual infants? Why does deep exposure to God transform a person? We've spent some time with 2 Corinthians , which talks about the personal transformation that comes about in our lives as a result of beholding Jesus and spending time with him.
I want to continue along this track by looking at some other passages that discuss the process of transformation, which theologians refer to as sanctification, as inner renewal 2 Corinthians In the chapter of 2 Corinthians following the passage we've just examined, Paul continues to explain that this change process is accelerated in times of suffering. Pain can tempt us to get discouraged, to lose heart 2 Corinthians Perspective helps.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Wasting Away. If we live long enough -- or go through enough persecution -- our bodies gradually develop chronic problems. Joints and organs begin to act up. Eyesight dims, hearing fades. Being Renewed. At the same time, "inwardly" in "our inner man" we are being "renewed.
This is an ongoing process. It happens "day by day," a little bit at a time. Your body gradually loses vigor, but at the same time, as you focus on Christ each day, you gain in vigor and power and faith. This is simply another way of describing the process of sanctification.
If you've just gone through some terrible experience and the pain is fresh, you may be offended by Paul's description of "light and momentary troubles.
But Paul is speaking in comparative terms. The ESV is a bit more literal so that you can see the contrasts:. But these aren't equal pairs. While His glory seems to be identical with His presence, it is often used to mean the intense, tangible presence of God beyond the every day experience. It is the manifestation of His presence. He is glory.
tr.tygigavuwafe.tk Bob Sorge is trying to illustrate the different degrees of His presence and glory in the following table:. As His glory increases further degrees, there might be healings or other manifestations. However, there comes a point where we humans in our flesh would die. However, when on the mountain with God, He experienced a greater manifestation of His glory that shone through him when returning to the camp.
That is quite remarkable, considering all Moses had seen, more than any other living being before. Yet God was pleased by his request and granted it. Again, we see His presence being identical with His glory: When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by … you will see my back Exodus emphasis mine. The Glory and the Spirit. In his description of his visions Ezekiel frequently speaks of the Holy Spirit who lifts him up, takes him to places and speaks to him . It is the only place where we see the glory and the Holy Spirit together, yet being distinct.
Moses was a man, on whom the Holy Spirit was. The God of glory Himself now lives in us. When His glory descends, it is not only around us, but the Holy Spirit lives in us, permeating every atom of our being. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit 2.
Corinthians We not have His glory in us, but we are being transformed into His likeness, with the end result of being like Him, being made up of glory.
The Glory and Jesus. Jesus left the glory He had with His Father and became man. No mention is made of the glory of God in relation to Jesus at this time.
The first time His glory was seen was on the mount of transfiguration, which would be better named glorification. Time prevents me from detailing all of the encounters we had with the Lord while in the Holy Land, but one of the most unusual was while laying in bed, simply scrolling through my phone. Nothing particularly spiritual about the setup to this experience, and yet, God walked in the room and touched me powerfully.
I stumbled upon a worship song I had never heard before. I felt something like spiritual lightning strike my body and I began to shake violently as if I was being electrocuted. Although it was intense, I knew it was the Lord. The power of God surged through me, and ultimately, knocked me off the bed and onto the floor. As I tried to get up, I felt like I was being pressed down—like my body was too heavy to move. Only in retrospect do I realize that God was depositing something into me, since unusual and intense supernatural encounters are often signposts that we are receiving major deposits from God.
Glory and Eschatology Eighth, and as should be evident in the preceding themes, Paul links glory and eschatology. This is love. But when you magnify like a telescope, you make something unimaginably great look like what it really is. Not even all Pentecostals and Charismatics. Christopher W. Copyright Knowing-Jesus. You are filled up to be poured out.
This is why they are often so intense; God Himself is literally putting something into you or awakening something within you. I had no idea what God was actually doing, as it seemed like quite the random experience.