Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Glory of God in the Scriptures

       The Bible says that God’s righteousness is revealed in the Gospel (Rom 1:16-17). Paul goes on in this same chapter to show how God’s attributes are revealed in creation (Rom 1:18-20). The Apostle John opens his Gospel by showing how Christ is the revelation of God’s glory, grace and truth (John 1:1, 18).
All of these examples are Scriptural statements about the Gospel, creation and Christ. The Bible is the lens through which we see the glory of God. But as John Piper makes clear in his book on God’s Peculiar Glory, it is not the text itself that reveals the glory (though it is inherent in it), it is the meaning of the text that reveals God in his Word. Piper illustrates this connection of God’s glory with his written Word by comparing it to the relationship of the body to the soul. The rational actions of a physical being not only infer a mind and soul but give immediate evidence of that fact. In a similar way, God is embodied within his Word. The Scriptures are like a body for God, which, when rightly understood brings an immediate glimpse of God’s otherwise invisible glory.
      This is why understanding Christ as the key to understanding the Scriptures becomes so important. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:4: 
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
      The light of God’s Word that shines into our hearts is described as being “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Paul seems to be saying that an immediate glimpse of the glory of God may be found in his Word as it communicates to us the meaning of the Gospel truths concerning Jesus Christ. 
      This transforms our Bible study into more than an exercise in acquiring knowledge about God. Our study of the Scriptures becomes the way we experience God’s glory as mediated by Christ by the power of his Spirit in the light of the Gospel.