Search This Blog

Friday, April 18, 2014

Created to Give God Glory

John 17:4-5 (ESV)
4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

Everything we have seen was created. That is not much of a problem for believers. We know that God created all that was created and nothing that was created was created without Him. (paraphrase of John 1: 3) Thus, it is the problem of theoretical physicists and cosmologists to determine how everything was created without God. I don't say that to fit God into the margins of the unexplainable. I say that because He has said it. He is the only person I know who was there in the beginning. It is God's personal testimony.  

But what about Jesus? So many people read the Christmas story found in Luke and believe that Jesus began as a baby. They see Him as any other person who has walked on the earth. They love His teaching about love and treat Him like He is their mechanic. They leave Him alone until they have a problem. But the Son did not begin like you and me. We did not exist and then we did. He existed before the beginning of time.

It is hard for us to understand the Trinity. God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. People try to fit that into our own world. They want to explain it in human terms. That seems ridiculous to me. How can finite humanity explain an infinite God. Even if we could formulate a definition, we wouldn't have enough time to write it down. We have to accept some things in life without being able to define them. Speculation usually gets us into trouble even if it sells a lot of books. (You should read Hawking's The Grand Design. Why do we call this guy smart? Because he can sell books about things he is merely speculating about!)

Jesus could not be God if He was created. He could be an angel or a prophet or someone more grand than we have ever seen but He could not be God. God must preexist in order to be the creator. A created god has an unequal status with any other god. There is no Trinity. There are multiple supernatural beings who exist separately from each other. Chaos rather than cosmos would reign as each god did as he pleased. There would be no harmony.

On the other hand, a tri-person, monotheism is very hard to grasp. God existed in three persons with a seamless personality. Such harmony has never been seen among humans. There are always differences when any two of us are involved. Maybe that is why each of us is so unique. There are differences in identical twins (maybe we should rethink calling them identical.). Yet, there is no conflict between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our humanity really can't understand this.

Yet, this is also what makes Jesus the Savior. He was with God the Father in the beginning. He created the universe. He, then, stepped away from this glory to come to earth. He lived as one of us. He was not of this world even while He was in this world. He did not always submit to the laws this world lives within. He walked on water, healed the sick, cast out demons, fed thousands and raised the dead. He could do so because He was not of this world and was not subject to its laws. 

Jesus was fully human but not only so. He was always God. This allowed Him to do things that humans cannot do. It prevented Him from doing things which humans would do. He would not rebel because He was of the same nature as the Father. He would go willingly to the cross because that was the plan of redemption which was known to Him as God.

Jesus completed what He came to earth to do. He, the preexistent God, came to earth to tell us who He is and die for us. He came so that we would give Him glory. In fact, believers who follow after Him are His glory.

Therefore we were created with that purpose. His purpose on earth came from the Father. Our purpose comes from following Him and proving ourselves to be His disciples. We were created to give glory to the One who was not created.

John 17:8-11 (ESV)
8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.


Anthony Chia said...

In these recent days, I believe, the Spirit has been giving me understanding of what glory of God is. Years ago, whenever I came to this word, glory (of God), I wondered what it is. Did I check the Lexicon at some point in time? I did, but that common "weightiness" notion is just NOT very helpful.

It is still NOT easy to put it in words what glory of God is, yet in simple expression, it is "marks" of God. These marks, they "evidence" God. In other words, they "follow" God, meaning, where God is, you see these marks. It is like light is NOT light if it casts NOT, shadow; and so, shadow is "glory" of light, metaphorically speaking. And so, love is glory of God; holiness is glory of God; peace and joy is glory of God, praise and worship is glory of God; honor is glory of God; majesty is glory of God; godliness is glory of God, and "godness" is glory of God.

In other words, it is like when the President is in the room, everyone gives him the due honor and respect; we don't sit, until the President is seated. I used to live in Malaysia, and for Malaysia, there is the King. When the King comes to a town, there is the entourage, there is the motorcade, there is decor, everywhere. Glory is like "He is NO King, if there is NOT "all of that"". And so, to glorify or to accord glory to, God, it means congruency to who God is.

What is "we are created to glorify God"? It is we are to be "showing up" as the glory of God. It is we are the "marks" of God. It is we are congruent to who God is. If we are NOT (congruent to who God is), we do NOT glorify God. And so, if we love NOT, we do NOT glorify God; if we praise and worship Him NOT, we do NOT glorify God; and when we do NOT do what is right in a His eyes, we do NOT glorify Him. Scripture says, (since the Fall), all men have fallen short of the glory of God. This is because through the Fall, men have been marred; they are no longer congruent to who God is. But God, like the potter, has the right and is "re-making" marred vessel of clay, so that we can once again glorify Him or be His glory.

The Son was of God and came from God, He was marred (or corrupted) NOT, in His earthly life, and so, He glorified God; He did what was right in God's eyes, all the time. The Son, Jesus, the Christ, came that we could enter into the "re-work", so that we can once again, glorify God.

God, the Father, was glorified in Jesus, the Son, means Jesus has (successfully) been the glory of God, whilst He lived the earthly life; and He has rejoined the Father God in the Godhead since His resurrection. The Lord Jesus is now back in the shoe of God, so to speak, and so, just as God, the Father, was expecting Jesus to glorify Him, which Jesus did, now Jesus as God, the Son, is looking to us to glorify Him, that we be His glory.


Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above

There some preachers, overly grace ones, who make little of God's declaration in His Word, that He, God, does NOT share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8), these preachers have NOT, the understanding of what the glory of God is; the glory of God belongs to God. Only the members of the Godhead shares the glory of God, no one else should take any of the glory of God as his. When we do that, take any of the glory, we are holding ourselves as equal God, and that is courting our own doom, so to speak, for that was what Satan did, as the arch-angel, Lucifer, and ended up being cast out of Heaven, as a rebel. The glory that the apostle Paul was referring to, is the future glory (the after-life glory when we join Jesus in Heaven).

Praise and worship is glory of God, and so, we necessarily be praising and worshiping God. Scripture gives us at various places, where God was enthroned, there praise and worship would be present. So, today, if we indeed are enthroning God in our churches or in our lives, how can our praise and worship be lacklustre! And since God has said He will NOT share His glory with another, how can we lap up praise and worship that are meant only for God!

The Shekinah glory of God is NOT the only glory of God. Shekinah glory is the majestic facet of His manifold glory. And Skekinah glory itself, can take various forms, egs, included pillar of cloud or pillar of fire. Can gold dust or gems be part of the majestic glory of God? Yes, I believe. The shine on Moses' face was majestic glory. In fact, signs and wonders and miracles are majestic glory of God, too. The point to note is that the glory of God is manifold; we don't see all facets of the glory at a go, but some facets is always present where God is present, and more so, when He is enthroned; remembering too, that we, believers, are supposed to be God's glory. Are you glorifying God? Do people see God present when they see or interact with you?

Anthony Chia, high.expressions