“It is a sight of the glory of God that changes us (2 Corinthians 3:18). Our entrance into Christianity, also called justification, comes by a vision of glory. Our progress in Christianity, also called sanctification, comes by a vision of glory.
And so, what else would our final perfection in Christianity, also called glorification, come by, except a vision of glory?”
Matt Papa, Look and Live, p.212
This article is a quick commentary on that quote. I finished reading Look and Live just yesterday. It was spiritually helpful, devotionally excellent, and superbly practical. Soon I plan to buy my own copy (the one I read was borrowed from a friend, which means I can’t write in it. And I like to write in books).
The excerpt above established a connection in my mind, one that really should have been there long ago.
See, I know 2 Corinthians 3:18 by heart. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. And this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (ESV, from memory.)
So sanctification comes from seeing glory. Got it.
Heading backward, I know that we enter the Christian life by seeing glory too: “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.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV)
That’s regeneration. Our blind hearts see glorious light, and we know (relationally) a God we were ignorant of before.
Moving forward, I know 1 John 3:2. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (ESV).
So our glorification is by seeing glory.
WHY HAVE I NEVER CONNECTED THESE THREE???
The entire Christian life, from beginning to end, consists of beholding the glory of God and being transformed by it.
This has massive implications for your morning devotional times. Why do you read your Bible?
But I’m not going into those. (Grab a copy of Look and Live to get them.)
This has massive implications for Apologetics.
First off, you could give a fantastic speech on half a dozen topics with just these verses:
- In what ways has God revealed Himself to man? [Touch on general revelation, then major on special revelation and the glory we see in it. Tie in Psalm 19.]
- Analyze and respond to the statement, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A. W. Tozer [Yep. Because the entire Christian life is about seeing God truly, which requires right thinking.]
- Analyze and respond to the statement, “God is merely an impersonal force in the universe. He is untouchable and unapproachable.” Anonymous [God has made himself known—he reveals his glory. It’s the essence of the entire Christian life.]
- Define and defend the uniqueness of Scripture. [It’s the only book that reveals God’s glory to us. Psalm 19 again.]
- Analyze and respond to the following statement, “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” Isaac Asimov [Actually, when people “properly read” the Bible with the aid of the Holy Spirit, they see God’s glory and are changed into his image one degree at a time. So yeah, atheists, please read the Bible. I can’t promise you that God won’t convert you. 🙂 ]
- Explain the meaning and significance of the image of God. [We started out in the Garden perfectly in his image; the image was shattered by the Fall but still remains; we are being made into that same image again, and will fully be one day.]
Okay, I’m stopping there. And I didn’t even get to the topics about sanctification!
I seem to be posting a lot about books these days. I guess it’s just on my mind. Much of my spiritual growth comes from reading good books by godly Christian men.
And by “godly Christian men” I don’t mean whoever you find on the shelf at the local Christian bookstore. Most of those books are milk at best, heresy at worst. I’m talking about the guys who bring real meat.
Guess I need one more post, a list of really good authors.
Maybe I’ll do that soon.
Buy Look and Live.
And/or go read what the Bible says about glory.
Then use it in Apologetics and shine.