God's Glory - What Is It?

Donald Trump's net worth

Since the Bible makes a big deal of God’s glory, we at Crossway are going to make a big deal of it too. Biblical counseling, by definition, is animated by a Godward focus which aggressively pursues God’s glory as its ultimate end. 

About 2700 years ago, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to let us in on a major truth saying, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, (Isaiah 43:7). That statement is huge seeing how we’re all asking one basic question: “Why am I here?” And God’s answer is: We were made for His glory.

But because the word glory is difficult to describe, we might understand God’s glory better by seeing it rather than hearing a sermon on it. Nevertheless, let’s take a stab at a definition by hearing what God has to say about His own glory.

Including all of its derivatives, the term glory shows up literally hundreds of times between both the Old and New Testaments. The most common Hebrew word for glory is kabod, which carries the basic idea of “personal value and worth.” But to the people in Bible days, this concept of “worth” depended upon the visible expression of someone’s worth to really be understood.

In modern terms, this is similar to what we call a person’s “net worth” in reference to all his liquid assets. For example, as of September 2016, Forbes.com reports president elect Donald Trump’s net worth to be 3.7 billion. We see Mr. Trump’s glory made manifest in his massive real-estate operations and other public expressions of power and material wealth. It’s the same in the Bible. A rich man’s glory (dignity and standing) in his community would be visible for all to see: Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold (Genesis 13:2).

In relation to God, however, the infamous glory cloud of the Old Testament might be the best example in helping us distinguish His glory from all others. God expressed Himself to the early Israelites in a very visible and ineffable cloud of light which often filled the temple and manifested His unexplainable presence. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up (Exodus 40:34-37).

Are you beginning to see what God’s glory is like? Do you perceive that when God moves, His glory moves with Him? Again, God’s own words through Isaiah tells us: I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another (Isaiah 42:8). So I think we’re safe in saying that God will not give His glory to another because He cannot give His glory to another. Only God can glorify God. Would you agree? Even so, we’re still left hanging with this crisis:

How do we fulfill our purpose for glorifying God?

The answer is found in the New Covenant.

Aside from all God’s marvelous interactions with Israel throughout history, the climax of His progressive glorious Self-disclosure came to a head in Luke 2:32 with the revelation of Jesus Christ. When Simeon saw baby Jesus in the temple, he immediately recognized Him as, A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the GLORY of Your people Israel (Luke 2:32). Therefore, Christ is the key to the puzzle of our purpose. Don’t miss this – We can’t glorify God, but Jesus can. There can be no other. As a matter of fact, The Son is the radiance of GOD’S GLORY and the exact representation of his being (Hebrews 1:3).

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his GLORY, the GLORY of the one and only Son, (John 1:14)

Glorifying God demands more from us than simply acknowledging who He is. We must go further to publicly parade His infinite worth, glorifying Him, and manifesting Him for all to see. But how? Can you see it? It’s Christ in you who must glorify God through you.

what is the riches of the GLORY of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of GLORY (Colossians 1:27)

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the GLORY OF GOD in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Will you “let” Him?

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and GLORIFY your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is? We would love to talk with you and walk alongside of you as God shows you what His purpose is for you. Give us a call, we are waiting to hear from you!