Glory and Honour

  • Read Exodus 33:12-23 here.
  • You can listen to this sermon here.
  • You can listen to Dr Evertt Huffard make the original presentation of this material here.  (It’s a crummy recording, but well worth the persistence.)

I felt as though my sermon on Sunday was more complex than it needed to be: Too many ideas at once.  So here are my simplified outlines.

  1. The word “glory” frequently occurs in Scripture, but only 10% of occurrences reference physical appearance, or a bright light.
  2. In the NT the translators decided long ago to generally translate the Greek word “doxa” as “glory” when it applied to God, and “honour” when it applied to humans.  This is a completely arbitrary decision.  Maybe the two words had similar meanings back in the day, but not any more.
  3. In 90% of cases it makes more sense for us to replace the word “glory” with “honour” as we’re reading along.  For example,”Glory to God in the highest” doesn’t mean, “let’s all shine lights and make God’s face brighter”.  It means, “Let everyone honour God”.
  4. Generally, it’s legitimate to equate God’s glory with His character.  Just as Jesus is about to raise Lazarus from the dead in John 11 he says, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”  Of course, they’re about to see God’s power, but they’ve also witnessed Jesus’ emotion as he wept, his empathy, and his compassion.  Does Jesus raise Lazarus to inspire awe, or as a compassionate response to friends he loves?  In the resurrection of Lazarus the character of God is seen by all.
  5. In Exodus 33:18 “Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory.'”  God replies in v17, “I will cause my goodness to pass in front of you.” because God understood that Moses was seeking to confirm his character, his trustworthiness and reliability.
  6. 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  As our glory/character increases, we find ourselves transformed into the image of God.  We become the people God always intended us to be.

Then there’s the 2nd sermon I wove into Sunday’s presentation.

  1. Moses faithfully followed God.  He saw the miracles.  He spoke with God.  He received the 10 Commandments from God’s own hand.  He could not see God’s face/glory. (Exodus 33:20)
  2. In the person of Jesus the face of God was revealed.  Not just the flesh and blood, but the character. (John 1:1; 1:14, cf. 2 Corinthians 4:6)  The glory/character of God is full of grace and truth!
  3. In the resurrection of Jesus we see the more traditional understanding of glory… bright light and all. (Matthew 28:1-10).
  4. According to 2 Corinthians 3:18 because of Christ “we all … contemplate the Lord’s glory[and] are being transformed into his image with increasing glory.”  Even now we not only glimpse the glory/character/face of God, but experience it as God transforms us into His glory/character.
  5. The day will come when we will gaze upon His face as we spend eternity in His presence. (Revelation 21:22-25; 22:3-5)

I hope that clarifies things for you!  I’m not sure how I turned those two outlines into one sermon, but if you have time to listen to the sermon I hope it complements these outlines.

I think it’s a hugely encouraging message, and I hope it helps you see God in a new light.

I usually list some questions here, but this week I’d love to just to know if any of this makes sense.  Of course, feel free to hit me with your questions also, and I’ll try to further clarify the concepts here.

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