And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
The glory of God. We read about it, we talk about it, we hear preaching on it, but what does the Bible mean when it talks about God’s glory?
The glory of God describes different, but related ideas in the Bible:
- A literal illumination that radiates from the very presence of God (Revelation 21:23)
- Honoring God in our lives through our words, deeds, and thought life (John 11:4)
- The perfection of God’s person, attributes, and works (Romans 3:23)
Why are these three distinct ideas described as “the glory of God”?
They share one principle in common… each one of the three draw men’s attention to God. Each one of these is like a spotlight that shines upon an object, bringing it to men’s awareness and concentration…
- In the Old Testament and New Testament, when the illuminating glory of the Lord was shown to men, they were in awe as their attention was riveted to the greatness of the Lord being on display in His radiant glory.
- When our lives honor the Lord and tell others about Him, it attracts men’s attention to Him. They think about Him, see Him illustrated in our lives, and recognize His presence in our life.
- The perfect character and workings of the Lord set the ultimate standard for which mankind is to strive. When we recognize the greatness in His perfection, not only is our attention driven to Him but also to our weaknesses and our great need of Him.
Folks, this is one of the key ideas behind God’s glory that is carried throughout the Scriptures. However the glory of the Lord is manifested, whether by illumination, the testimony of His people, or a recognition of His greatness… our attention is drawn to Him. This then, leads us to see His greatness more clearly and have a better understanding of our weaknesses and our need of Him.
May we all seek to get a glimpse of His glory, and then seek to share it with others, as we strive to be shining lights pointed at Christ, in the midst of a sin darkened world!
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: