The Glory of God

Matt Candler was a guest teacher yesterday in our Forerunner Curriculum class. His message was freaking AWESOME and I had to share it with y’all. 🙂 As is my custom, I’ll share the notes I took and do my best to streamline them.

The Glory of God

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” -Westminster Shorter Catechism

A better idea would be “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.” -John Piper and others, I think.

Everything is about glorifying God.

-Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
-Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
-Psalm 145:10 “All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you!”
-Exodus 9:16 “But for this purpose I have raised you [Egypt] up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”
-Psalm 25:11 “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.”
-Isaiah 43:25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
-Isaiah 48:9, 11 “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off…For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”
-Psalm 107:7-8 “He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!”
-Psalm 30:11-12 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”
-John 14:13 “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
-Philippians 1:9-11 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
-Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”
-John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

We SEE, SAVOR, and SAY his glory.

God wants me to be smitten with the person and beauty of Jesus Christ.

Adam was created in God’s likeness to “image forth” God’s glory– to present and declare it to the world.

God’s holiness is his ultimate uniqueness from everything else.

His holiness isn’t defined by righteousness, purity, justice, love, etc– His righteousness is holy, his purity is holy, etc, because his quality of each attribute is completely unique.

To highlight his uniqueness is to highlight his value.

God is not the highest in an ascending order of glory. He is a category completely all his own–the uncreated God.

You can quantitatively define the difference between a grasshopper and an elephant, or even to some extent the difference between a grasshopper and a human–but God’s uniqueness is on a completely separate plane, or above all planes. It cannot be measured or defined; this is what the Bible means by unsearchable!

Jesus’ incarnation puts God’s glory on display.

What declares his glory magnifies, treasures, and finds joy in his uniqueness.

Definition of glory: holiness on display.

In Romans 1 – God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel. Creation clearly displays his glory, but men suppress the truth in their own hearts and do not glorify him. Mankind exchanged God’s glory for images of created things. We chose instead to glorify ourselves.

Romans 1:18-23 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

In Romans 3 – Everyone does their own thing without glorifying God.

Romans 3:10-18, 23 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes… For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Jesus is the only one of whom it can be said that to demand to be loved and glorified is a loving thing. He is the ultimate delight. He is greater than everything. To lead us to anything else would be unloving.

Praise extends and brings to fulfillment our love for that which we praise, and it also desires to share what we’ve found with others. We naturally praise that which we have tasted and loved.

If you’re resistant to praising/glorifying God, maybe you haven’t really tasted.

Psalm 34:3, 8a “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! …Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”

In the natural world, there are two ways of magnifying something. A microscope makes tiny things look big. Many people think that this is what we do with God–we’re making a big deal out of nothing. A telescope makes things that seem small look big, closer to the HUGE size that they actually are. We are meant to be the telescope to show the world the glory of God. But you have to see something before you can point a telescope at it.

Every aspect of life exists to show the world how valuable (rare, unique, worthy) God is.

By nature, we don’t want to glorify God. We need the regenerating work of the Spirit.

Knowing the information of what we should do does not automatically give us the power to do it.

Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

Walk–>Stand–>Sit implies an escalation of a captured gaze. Ungodliness is interesting and attractive. First you just walk by and observe with mild interest, then you stand and stare, then you sit down and plant yourself there. We were made to instead let our gaze be captured (delighted in) God. Sin holds out a tempting promise of satisfaction. We are fascinated by it. No one sins out of duty, yet somehow many Christians think they need to shut down their God-given desire for delight and fascination and just obey God out of duty. We need to become fascinated by him. We need the Spirit to make this shift in us. Our internal “want-er” is broken; we need the Spirit to give us a new “want-er.”

God gave the Law, and Israel promised to obey (as if they could). But the Law was meant to give knowledge of sin to bring us to the place of looking to God to give us something (the power to obey) that instruction alone could not.

In Psalm 119, David moves from the glory of creation, to the delight of the Word, to brokenness over sin–how did he get there? The Word had its right effect on David.

In regeneration, God didn’t take the old desires out. The old self has been crucified with Christ but is still struggling–yes, you have a zombie inside of you.

The law of sin and death (old desires) is like the law of gravity. The law of the Spirit of life is like the law of aerodynamics – it is able to overcome the law of gravity!

As we become transformed by the Spirit and continually choose him freely in the midst of other options, he is glorified.


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