John Blanchard Writes:
1. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.’ In Chapter 3 we saw this as a cosmic clue that we are not accidental by-products of nature living on a tiny speck of dust lost in a mindless universe.
2. Elsewhere we are told, ‘The whole earth is full of [God’s] glory!’ In spite of being polluted by man’s sin, our planet’s countless living things teem with evidence pointing to an intelligent Creator. The amazing complexity and elegance of the genetic code alone is sufficient to give Francis Collins ‘a compelling demonstration of God’s role in creating life’.
3. Jesus revealed God’s glory when he came to earth. One of the Bible’s names for him is ‘the Word’, and we are told, ‘The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ As the English preacher Jeremy Walker puts it, Jesus showed himself to be ‘the perfect transcript of what God is like’.
4. The glory of God was shown in the day-to-day life of Jesus; we are able to see ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ In his unique wisdom, his perfect holiness, his countless miracles, his faultless judgement, his amazing grace, and in every other quality of his life, he revealed God’s glory.
5. The glory of God was shown in the death of Jesus. He did not come into the world as a diplomat, a politician, an economist, a psychologist or a scientist, but as a Saviour. He came to solve people’s greatest problem and to bring them into a living relationship with God that would transform their lives now and for ever. Anticipating his death, Jesus told the Father, ‘I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.’ By dying in the place of sinners he revealed the glory of God’s plan to rescue people like you and me.
6. When Jesus returns to the earth (something promised about 300 times in the New Testament alone) he will do so ‘in the glory of his Father’. On that indescribable day, ‘every eye will see him’ and in ways far beyond anything we can grasp, ‘the glory of the Lord shall be revealed’.
7. The final day of judgement will reveal the glory of God. The American theologian Fred Carl Kuehner was right to say, ‘In a world created by a sovereign and holy God, there must be a judgement, or else the very fabric of the spiritual universe is torn to shreds.’ The day of judgement will be an awesome declaration of God’s authority, a dazzling display of his holiness and a perfect demonstration of his justice. The one who is ‘righteous in all his ways’ will ‘bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil’ and ‘will judge the world in righteousness’. As J. I. Packer points out, ‘As our Maker, he owns us, and as our Owner, he has a right to dispose of us.’
8. God’s glory will be revealed in the world to come, the ‘new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells’, when ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ is new creation will be what the English author Christopher Ash calls ‘the theatre of God’s glory’. With believers in mind, the Dutch theologian Anthony Hoekema (1913–1988) wrote: ‘The Bible assures us that God will create a new earth on which we shall live to God’s praise in glorified, resurrected bodies. On the new earth, therefore, we hope to spend eternity, enjoying its beauties, exploring its resources, and using its treasures to the glory of God.’ is is what the Westminster Shorter Catechism meant when it said that man was created to glorify God and enjoy him for ever.