Sunday, March 26, 2017

created for glory II

Our need and desire for significance/worth/value/glory is not our problem. We were created for *glory; to receive it, experience it, reflect it back to the Source and out to others.

Why? Because God is all glorious. In order to experience his glory we must participate in it.

We cannot participate in his glory if we do not have the capacity to experience/ participate in it i.e. we are created for glory; his glory. 

By participating in His glory, we experience our own.

This is part of being in God's image. We are like God i.e. designed to behold and enter into His glory thereby experiencing our glory

This also explains why everything we do apart from God (i.e. actions that are not driven by the Spirit/love of God) is an attempt to gain or restore the glory we lost and so desperately desire; to gain a sense of meaning, significance, worth, purpose etc through our finite, feeble, independent efforts.

However we can never successfully (i.e. permanently) find these outside of God, since he created us for infinite and ultimate glory which is only in and through him.

A desire for worth isn't our problem; attempts to acquire it (i.e. "self worth") on our own, apart from God, through our efforts is. An infinite need for worth/glory can never be satisfied by a finite source i.e. us and our use of other created things outside of us. 

Our need is infinite because God is infinite in love/glory. We were designed to be engaged with and for the infinite i.e. God. This is where we shine best and brightest and have our greatest sense of joy, meaning, purpose...worth. It is who we are designed to be.

Fallen from glory....

To behold God's glory we must see his glory. To see it, God must reveal himself to us. Why? Because we turned away from God, severing our relation with him with all the infinite love and life that came through that relationship/union. We broke away by acting contrary to His loving direction and design and are now **empty and blind i.e. we can no longer see God is all his glory (though we can certainly see enough to know something significant about him Rom 1:19-20).

Still created for it...

However we are still created for glory i.e. we long for it and still have the capacity to behold his glory, just like a person with cataracts still has eyes capable of seeing that have been blocked and blinded by disease. God must do spiritual surgery and remove the obstruction (sin along with all it's effects) before we can see again.

When the obstruction is removed and our eyes are opened (unblocked) we again began to see God in his infinite majesty, beauty, wisdom, power and love (i.e. his glory). We find what our hearts have longed for all along and we start to fill with light again. The more we focus in on this most glorious God the more we experience and participate in the glory we were originally designed for. As we do we increasingly are filled with his glory and shine it back to him and out to others more and more.

John 17:22  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 

Rom 8:21  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God

2Co 3:18  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. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 

1Co 13:12  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 

1Jn 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 (he is displayed to us in all his glory)
we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'  31  The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 

For more on what God is like and how we are like him click here and here.  

For more on how we are hard wired for glory click here

For more on how God's glory is our highest good click here


*What would be the equivalent for the word glory today? If you look at the word in the original Hebrew and Greek, it gives us an interesting picture. 

Hebrew definition

H3519   כּבד    כּבוד        kâbôd  kâbôd   kaw-bode', kaw-bode'

From H3513; properly weight; but only figuratively in a good sense, splendor or copiousness: - glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able).

Greek definition

G1392  δοξάζω  doxazō
Thayer Definition:
1) to think, suppose, be of opinion
2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate
3) to honour, do honour to, hold in honour
4) to make glorious, adorn with lustre, clothe with splendour
4a) to impart glory to something, render it excellent
4b) to make renowned, render illustrious
4b1) to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged
From G1391
From the base of G1380  δοκέω
dokeō; from δόκος dokos (opinion); to have an opinion, to seem: - deem (1), expect (1), has a mind (1), inclined (1), recognized (1), regarded (1), reputation (3), reputed (1), seem (3), seemed best (1), seemed fitting (1), seemed good (4), seems (3), suppose (5), supposed (2), supposes (1), supposing (4), think (18), thinking (1), thinks (6), thought (4).
At first it is not apparent how these two definitions might be connected. In the OT Israel was predominately agricultural, so the more weighty something was (or the greater the number, such as 1000 camels verses 100) meant the more valuable, like 10 bushels are heavier then one or several talents of gold weighed more than one. The greater or more "copious" the amount the heavier it's weight and the greater it's value. 

To show forth or manifest the dignity and worth of something in the NT was to put it on display. Shining to light on a copious pile of gold coins would reveal the great value there. 

In both this definitions is the idea of great worth. By the simple fact that we are in God's image and therefore have the capacity to experience and display God's great worth/glory makes us significant and of great worth. In so doing we also find our greatest worth and glory. 

**it is not that we experience nothing of life, but we only experience limited aspects of physical and emotional life through the creation (us and the world around us) but these are all finite and do not bring full life as we were designed to experience. We are made for the infinite i.e. God himself, the source of love, life and all things. 

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Grace to you
Jim Deal