On Twitter

« Round the Sphere Again: Starting with God | Main | A Catechism for Girls and Boys »
Tuesday
Dec072010

Theological Term of the Week

glory
The public display of God’s infinite beauty and worth;1 the created brightness that surrounds God’s revelation of himself;2 the manifested presence of God.

  • From scripture:

    Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”

    Moses Makes New Tablets

    34:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, [1] forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 33:18—34:7 ESV)

  • From The London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689:

    1._____The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, and withal most just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
     2._____God, having all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself, is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creature which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them….

  • From The God Who Is There by D. A. Carson:

    “We have seen his glory,” John writes, “the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth: (1:14) “We have seen his glory”? What was it that Moses asked for?

    “Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
    And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.”

    Exodus 33:18-19

    John plays with this theme of glory right through his book. In John 2, for example, when Jesus performs his first miracle—he turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee—we are told at the end of the account that the disciples saw his glory: “What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory” (2:11). The others saw the miracle; the disciples saw Jesus’s glory. In other words, they saw that this was a sign that signified something about who Jesus was; they saw his glory. This kind of use of “glory” is repeated in John’s Gospel. Then eventually you get to John 12, where Jesus is to manifest God’s glory by going to the cross (see 12:23-33). So where is God’s glory most manifested? In God’s goodness—when Jesus is “glorified,” lifted up and hung on a cross, displaying God’s glory in the shame, degradation, brutality and sacrifice of his crucifixion, and by this means returning to the glory he shared with the Father before time began (see 17:5).

    The most spectacular display of God’s glory is in the bloody instrument of torture because that is where God’s goodness was most displayed.

Learn more:

  1. John Piper: What Is God’s Glory?
  2. Blue Letter Bible: What Is the Glory of God?
  3. W. E. Best: What Is the Glory of Christ?
  4. Eric Alexander: A new vision of God’s great glory and holiness (mp3)

Related terms:

1 From What Is God’s Glory? by John Piper.
2 From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>