THE GLORY OF THE SINNER’S ONLY SAVIOR
PLEASE READ IN THE BIBLE (HEBREWS 1:1-3)
The word “glory”, though not often mentioned in our contemporary news media, is frequently mentioned in the Bible, the Word of God. The word “glory” appears in the New Testament of the Bible 168 times. The noun”glory”, with its verb “to glorify” is found around forty times in the Gospel of John alone. The Greek word is “doxa”. It is found in our English word “doxology” which means “a word about glory” or “a formula of praise to God”. According to Scripture, the glory of a leopard lies in its spots, the glory of a young man in his strength, the glory of a woman is her hair and “the glory of children are their fathers”. (See Jeremiah 13:23; Proverbs ; 17:6, and 1 Corinthians 11:15). In this message we want to focus on, THE GLORY OF THE SINNER’S ONLY SAVIOR”, the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. When we speak of His glory we are speaking of the perfections of His Deity and Humanity. The highest glory we can consider is the glory of Christ Himself, who is the glory of God. He is the excellence of the invisible God whom He made visible in His beautiful life and His suffering sacrifice on the cross. We read concerning God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is, “The brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of God’s person” (Hebrews 1:3). All the perfections that are found in God the Father are found in Him also. In every conceivable way Christ exactly represents the Father. It says of Him in, (Colossians 2:9) “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”. The Lord Jesus said in, (John 14:9) “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father”. The Son, being God, reveals to man by His words and His ways exactly what God is like. When we consider THE GLORY OF THE SAVIOR, we are considering the “manifest perfection of His Person”. We are considering the dignity, honor and majesty of His Person. We are considering the “grandeur and greatness” of God’s only begotten Son. We are thinking about His divine splendor, His Supreme Excellence. In this message we want to consider “THE GLORY OF THE SINNER’S ONLY SAVIOR” by way of the following outline:
1. THE GLORY OF HIS PRE-EXISTENCE
It says of the Lord Jesus Christ in, (2 Corinthians 8:9) “He was rich”. Some might ask, “When was He rich”? “How was He rich”? In the Gospel of John, chapters 13 to 16, He had been speaking to His disciples about His father. But, in John 17, there is a change. In this chapter He is found praying. He is speaking to His Father about His disciples. In His prayer He speaks of, (John 17:5) “The glory which I had with thee before the world was”. He is speaking about “The glory of His pre-existence”, the glory that was His before He ever came into the world. When He was born into the world as flesh and blood it was only the beginning of His life in human form not the beginning of His existence. It says in, (Hebrews 2:14) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same”. This speaks, of course, of His humanity. But, before His humanity He existed eternally ”In the form of God” (Philippians 2:6). We are told the He is, (Hebrews 1:3) “The brightness of (God’s) glory, and the express image of His person”. In eternity past He was rich in power, glory and majesty. The power of creation was His and this creating power has displayed His riches for all of mankind to behold. It says in, (Psalm 19:1) “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork”. We read of Him in, (Colossians 1:16, 17) “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible. All things were created by Him and for Him”. “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist (hold together)”. Here we have brought before us the glory of the Son of God in regards to His deity and in relation to His vast creation. THE PROPHET ISAIAH SAW “THE GLORY OF THE LORD’S PRE-EXISTENCE”. Isaiah said in, (Isaiah 6:1, 5) “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train (the skirts of His garment) filled the temple”. “Mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts”. In the New Testament we are told, concerning this scene, (John 12:41) “These things said Isaiah, because he saw His glory” (the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ). JOHN, IN HIS GOSPEL, MADE REFERENCE TO “THE GLORY OF THE LORD’S PRE-EXISTENCE”. He began his Gospel with these words. (John 1:1-3) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God”. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made”. In these verses Jesus Christ is described as the “Word”, the full and complete expression of the Godhead. He is the “Word of God” personified. The phrase “in the beginning” refers to the state prior to creation, prior to what we know as time. As God, The Son of God has existed eternally. The phrase “in the beginning with God” reveals His distinction among the Godhead as the Son with God the Father and God the Spirit. These truths have set before us “THE GLORY, THE SUPREME EXCELLENCE, OF THE SINNER’S ONLY SAVIOR”. The Son of God, however, laid aside His pre-incarnate glory and came down in condescending grace to be the Savior of sinners. This leads us to consider then;
2. THE GLORY OF HIS PATHWAY
It says in, (2 Corinthians 8:9) “He became poor”. Some might ask, “When was He poor”? “How was He poor”? The One who was so very rich became so very poor. It means He left the glory of heaven, His eternal dwelling place, and came into this world of sin, shame and sorrow. It says in, (Hebrews 2:14) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same”. We are told in, (Philippians 2:6, 7) “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men”. In becoming flesh, He became that which He had never been before, i.e., man, while remaining that which He had been from all eternity i.e., God. He stepped out of eternity into time. The Creator came among those whom He created. Deity took on humanity. The high and lofty One of heaven became the lowly man of Calvary. Thus, He began His journey across the sands of time. For the first time, God dwells with men in a body of flesh and blood. It says in, (1 Timothy 3:16) “Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh”. In doing so He truly became poor. He did not come into this world or pass through this world as a King with great pomp and ceremony. Poverty surrounded the Savior at the commencement, course and conclusion of His life. At His birth He was cradled in a manager because there was no room for them in the inn. During His lifetime He said, (Matthew 8:20) “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head”. “He wandered as a homeless stranger in this world His hands hath made”. He had to borrow a donkey to ride into Jerusalem. He had to borrow an upper room to observe the Passover feast with His disciples. He had to borrow Joseph’s new tomb for His burial place. His poverty however, in no way distracted from His glory, His supreme excellence. For, no man ever passed through this scene as did He. From the manger to the cross, “THE GLORY OF HIS PATHWAY” was seen and appreciated by His own as well as His Father in heaven.
· JOHN SAW HIS GLORY. John wrote of Him, (John 1:14)” The Word (Jesus Christ) was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”. John, and the disciples who were with Him for the three years of the Lord’s public ministry, saw His moral glory’. They saw his perfect life and character. They observed that unlike other men, there was no flaw or blemish in Him. He was perfect in all His words and ways. They beheld His supreme excellence.
· THE WRITER OF THE HEBREW EPISTLE (PAUL) SAW HIS GLORY. (Hebrews 2:9) “But we see Jesus, crowned with glory and honor”. He spoke of the glory and honor that was the Lord’s prior to Calvary and the cross. He was crowned with the glory and honor of a unique manhood. All that Adam lost in his fall into sin was recovered and seen in the moral glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
· PETER, JAMES AND JOHN SAW HIS GLORY. We read in, (Matthew 17:1, 2) “Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain apart. And was transfigured before them, and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light”. What took place was a demonstration of the Lord’s glory and deity. It was a Kingdom scene in preview. Later on, many years later, Peter wrote, in his second epistle, (2 Peter 1:16, 17) “We were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
· GOD, THE FATHER, SAW HIS GLORY. On a number of occasions the heavens were opened and God’s voice was heard to say, (Matthew 3:17) “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
· GOD, THE SON, HIMSELF, COULD ACKNOWLEDGE HIS GLORY. He said in, (John 17:4) “I have glorified Thee on the earth”. This acknowledgement He could make after 33 years of His earthly sojourn and just prior to His crucifixion.
This takes us to:
3. THE GLORY OF HIS PASSION.
When we speak of His “passion” we are referring to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. We read in, (Acts 1:3) “He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days”. Jesus Christ came into the world to die for sinners. It says in, (1 Timothy 1:15) “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. This world has a universal problem called “sin”. It was J. B. Nicholson who said. “Every human ill is but a symptom of this moral disease. Sin is man’s greatest problem. It defiles his mind and body; it demands his energy, disturbs his home, distresses his soul, and dulls his conscience. Man is an eternal being, and if your sin is not forgiven, it will at last keep you out of heaven and eternally separate you from God”. Dear reader, God has declared in His Word, (Romans 3:9-12; 23, 19) “Jews and Gentiles are all under sin”. “There is none righteous, no not one”. “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God”. “There is none that doeth good, no not one”. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. “All the world is guilty before God”. This is God’s portrait, God’s indictment upon all mankind and upon YOU personally. Have YOU ever acknowledged YOUR lost, helpless, hopeless condition before a holy God? Have YOU repented of YOUR sins which mean to change your mind about YOUR sinfulness and God’s righteousness? It does not matter what your estimation is of your own sin. It is what God thinks of your sin that matters. God says in His Word, (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”. It says in, (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. All who refuse the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior will suffer for their own sins in the “lake of fire” for all eternity. It says in, (Revelation 20:15) “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”. If you want to know God’s estimation of your sin you need only look to Calvary, where Jesus Christ had to suffer, bled and die in order to make salvation available for YOU. For, it was there that, (Romans 8:32) “God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all”. We read in, (1 Peter 3:18) “Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”. It was there on the cross that our heavy burden of sin was borne by Him. The hymn writer wrote:
O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head
Our load was laid on Thee
Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead
Bearest all my ill for me
A victim led, Thy blood was shed
Now there’s no load for me
Dear reader, are YOU saved? Have YOU been “born again”? Or, are YOU still carrying YOUR own heavy burden of sin? Are YOUR sins still not forgiven? God has provided a Savior for YOU because YOU can not save yourself. YOU can be saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. It says in, (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (Verse 18) ”He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”. (Verse 36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”. DEAR READER, ARE YOU A BELIEVER OR A NON-BELIEVER? “THE GLORY OF HIS PASSION”, the supreme excellence of His sacrificial death on the cross, is evident because all the just demands of a holy and righteous God have been fully met and satisfied. God, in grace, is now willing to save the sinner who believes in His beloved Son. This brings us to:
4. THE GLORY OF HIS POWER
The glory of the Savior’s power was evident throughout the Lord’s earthly sojourn. The supreme excellence of His power was manifest in the words that He spoke and the works that he did. Regarding His words they said of Him, (John 7:46) “Never man spake like this man”. When Jesus taught the people in the city of Capernaum it says of those who heard Him, (Luke 4:32) “They were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power (authority)”. Regarding His works, the glory of His power was manifested by the miracles He performed. He raised the dead, healed the sick, and gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. When the Lord rebuked the wind and the raging of the water and they ceased and there was a great calm, those who saw it said, (Luke 8:25) “What manner of man is this, for He commanded even the winds and water, and they obey Him”. “The Glory of His Power” was also evident after His crucifixion. We read in, (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. Before His crucifixion the Lord Jesus said in, (John 10:17, 18) “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again”. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father”. “THE GLORY OF HIS POWER”, the supreme excellence of His power, is seen in that after His death and burial, He rose again. Death had no claim on Him. The grave could not hold Him because He was the holy, spotless, sinless Son of God. He died for sins but not His own. He died for YOUR sins and my sins. It says of Him that He is, “declared to be the Son of God with power … by the resurrection from the dead”. (Romans 1:4). Through resurrection, a rising from the dead in power, He demonstrated a new glory. He fulfilled His promise of taking His life again that He spoke of in (John 10:17, 18). Dear reader, do YOU believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? No one can be saved and go to heaven without believing in His resurrection. It says in, (Romans 10:9, 10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (Jesus as Lord) and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. Salvation comes to a person when they believe in their heart the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is to believe with the whole person, not just a mental consent of historical facts. This saving belief will result in the person’s open confession that Jesus Christ is their own personal Savior and Lord. Some forty days after His resurrection He ascended into Heaven. It says in, (Acts 1:9) “While they (Disciples) beheld He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight”. Again, it was a manifestation of the supreme excellence of His power in that He ascended up to heaven, the place from whence He came. We read in, (Hebrews 10:12) “This man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God”. This brings us to:
5. THE GLORY OF HIS PRIESTHOOD
The sinners only Savior is now seated at the right hand of God. An important verse for understanding the functions of a high priest is found in, (Hebrews 5:1) “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins”. A high priest, then, stands between God and man. The work of the high priest is essentially one of mediation. We read in, (1 Timothy 2:5) “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. The word “mediator” means “a go-between”. A mediator, then, is one who can put his hand on both parties, bridge the gulf between, and bring them together. The perfect mediator is one who has essential oneness with both parties he is seeking to reconcile. The glory, the supreme excellence of the Savior’s priesthood is that He possesses both deity and humanity. He is unique in that absolute deity and full humanity are found in Him alone. He knows the claims of God and He knows the needs of man. Dear reader, He knows YOUR need. He knows that YOU need to be saved. If YOU would come to God for salvation, you must come through Jesus Christ. He is the one and only mediator between God and man. It says in, (John 14:6) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. He is the only way to God, the father and He is the only Savior of sinners. It says in, (Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”. A three-fold “GLORY OF HIS PRIESTHOOD” is revealed in (Hebrews 7:24-26) where we read of:
· HIS PERPETUITY – (Hebrews 7:24) “But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood”. Because He now lives in the power of an endless life, He has an unchangeable priesthood. He has a priesthood that is perpetual and nontransferable.
· HIS ABILITY – (Hebrews 7:25) “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them”. He is able to save the sinner completely from the penalty of sin, all who come in faith unto God by Him.
· HIS SUITABILITY – (Hebrews 7:26) “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens”. From this verse the glory of His priesthood is set forth in His outstanding character and qualifications. His personal holiness tells us He is undefiled by sin. He is “harmless”, i.e., He is not evil. He is guileless. There is no malice or craft in Him. He is unstained, unsoiled and unblemished. He is chaste and pure. He was morally separated and undefiled as He moved among men. He is now exalted above the heavens and is now seated at the right hand of God.
It says of Him in, (Hebrews 10:12, 13) “But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God”. From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool”. The only Savior of sinners is now in Heaven, seated at the right hand of God, the place of honor. He is now waiting in expectation for the time when He will return in great power and glory. This brings us then to the final glory we want to consider, that of:
6. THE GLORY OF HIS PAROUSIA
When we refer to the glory of the Savior’s “parousia” we are referring to “THE GLORY OF HIS COMING AGAIN”. The word “parousia” refers to both His arrival and His subsequent presence with. He said He would return. He said He will come back. The second advent of Jesus Christ is in two parts. The first phase of His second coming is to the air for His church, for those who are saved and ‘born again” by the Spirit of God. He made this promise in, (John 14:2, 3) “In my Fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”. This event, called the rapture of the church, is described in (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). He is coming only for believers and He will be seen only by believers as they are caught up to be with Him. Dear reader, will YOU be taken up when He comes for His own? Or, will YOU be left behind to face the judgment of God and the calamities that will occur on earth during the tribulation period? The second phase of His coming is His coming in power and great glory to establish His kingdom in righteousness. This coming will not be just to the air but His feet will touch down on earth. It says in, (Acts 1:11)”This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven”. It says of this event, (Revelation 1:7) “Every eye shall see Him”. The last view that man had of Jesus Christ was when He hung upon a cross in suffering and death. When He returns His great power and glory will be revealed. He will come in judgment and all opposition will be put down. It says in, (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power”. Dear reader, do YOU know God as YOUR Savior? Do YOU believe the Gospel? Have YOU obeyed the Gospel message?
In this message we have sought to make known to you something of the glory, the supreme excellence, of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that your heart might be drawn to Him by the Spirit of God. He will either be YOUR Savior or YOUR judge. The choice is yours. If YOU remain unsaved it will not be because God does not love you or because God’s Son did not die for you. It will be because you have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Which will it be for you, reception or rejection of the Savior? You are traveling the “HIGHWAY OF LIFE”, passing through time, a very brief time, into eternity. Now that you have read this message you have come to the “CROSSROADS”. Which way will you go? Will you continue to reject the Savior and God’s free gift of salvation? Or, will you believe in Him and receive Him as your Lord and Savior? It is your decision and your responsibility.
Please give this matter your most serious attention. Will you be a believer or a non-believer? What will your eternal destiny be? Will it be the eternal bliss of Heaven or the eternal torment of Hell and the “lake of fire”? YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY DEPENDS ON YOUR DECISION.