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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Attributes of God That Belong to Him Alone

Don Stewart :: What Is the Glory of God?

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What Is the Glory of God?

The Attributes of God That Belong to Him Alone – Question 17

The Bible speaks of the glory of the God of Scripture. We read the following in the Book of Ezekiel about God’s glory.

“And in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD; for He hears your complaints against the LORD. But what are we, that you complain against us?”...Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. (Exodus 16:7, 10 NKJV)

What is the glory of God? How shall we understand it?

1. God’s Glory Is His Splendor and Majesty

God’s glory is His splendor, His majesty. The Bible uses God’s glory figuratively as a manifestation of Himself. The glory of God is said to be above the heaven.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1 NIV)

The Bible attributes many appearances and actions of God with His glory.

2. It Is Used Figuratively for God Himself

The glory of God is used figuratively for God Himself. Moses wanted to see the glory, or the Person, of God. We read about this in the Book of Exodus.

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.” (Exodus 33:18-22 NIV)

The glory of God is another way of saying “God.” His glory is equal to Himself

3. Moses Saw God’s Glory

When Moses climbed up on Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God, the visible glory of the Lord rested upon the mountain. We read about this in the Book of Exodus where it tells us the following.

When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. (Exodus 24:15-17 NIV)

The visible glory was in the form of a cloud. This represented His presence in a unique way with the people.

4. The Glory Departed When the People Disobeyed

When the people disobeyed God, the Bible says that His glory departed from them. We read about this episode in the Book of Samuel. As the wife of one of the evil sons of the high priest was dying in childbirth she gave the child an appropriate name.

Then she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. (1 Samuel 4:21 NKJV)

This was one of the most tragic times in the entire history of the nation Israel. God’s glory had departed from the people because of their disobedience.

5. God’s Glory Is Seen in Each of the Members of the Trinity

God’s glory is found in each of the three members of the Holy Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The evidence is as follows.

God the Father Raised Jesus through His Glory

We are told that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of God the Father. Paul said the following to the Romans.

Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4 NRSV)

Jesus was raised by the glory of God the Father.

The Glory of God the Son Was Seen

Humanity beheld the glory of God the Son, Jesus. John wrote the following about this wonderful truth.

So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. (John 1:14 NLT)

When the living God came to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, the people saw the glory of God in God the Son.

The Apostle Paul said he saw the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He wrote about this to the Corinthians.

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NASB)

The glory of God is found in the face of Christ.

Glory Is Attributed to the Holy Spirit

The third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, also has glory attributed to Him. The Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of Glory.”

If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (1 Peter 4:14 NASB)

We again find the three members of the Trinity, united together, in their glory.

6. Jesus Glorified the Father in Heaven

The life and ministry of Jesus Christ glorified, or honored, His Father in heaven. Jesus said,

“I don’t want honor for myself. But there is one who wants me to be honored, and he is also the one who judges.” (John 8:50 CEV)

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus prayed to God the Father and acknowledged that His actions brought glory Him.

“I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do.” (John 17:4 NLT)

The Son always glorified the Father.

7. The Father Glorified the Son

God the Father, in turn, glorified God the Son. The Bible records Jesus saying that the Father glorified Him.

Jesus answered, “If I am merely boasting about myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who says these glorious things about me. You say, ‘He is our God.’” (John 8:54 NLT)

The Father says glorious things about the Son.

At the tomb of the dead man Lazarus, God the Father openly glorified His own name. Jesus prayed to the Father to do this. We read,

“Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” (John 12:28 NRSV)

The Father was glorified through the Son, as the Son was glorified through the Father. Therefore, the glory of God is seen throughout the members of the Trinity.

8. Believers Are to Reflect the Glory of God

The glory of the Lord is to be reflected in the lives believers. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about how we are being transformed.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)

We are to reflect His glory in our lives.

Paul told the Philippians to let their lives shine brightly before others.

...so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them. (Philippians 2:15 NLT)

Our lights should be constantly shining!

Jesus said that our godly behavior will glorify God the Father. We are to let our light shine so the Father may be glorified.

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NIV)

This should cause us to ask ourselves if we are indeed living as lights in order to glorify our heavenly Father. This is our calling.

Eventually, believers will be surrounded by God’s glory. We read about this in the Book of Revelation. John wrote,

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21:23 NRSV)

What a wonderful future the Lord has for us. We will be surrounded by the glory and light of God forever and ever.

Consequently, believers should seek to honor and glorify God by our behavior.

Summary – Question 17
What Is the Glory of God?

God’s glory is His splendor, His majesty. Sometimes God’s glory is used figuratively of Himself. The Bible says that Moses saw the glory of God on Mount Sinai. We are also told that when the people disobeyed the Lord, His glory departed from them. The ministry of Jesus Christ glorified God the Father. God the Father, in turn, glorified Jesus.

Believers are commanded to reflect the glory of God. Someday those who have believed will be surrounded by God’s glory. What a wonderful day that will be!

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What Does the Name of God Mean? Next Section →
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