The glory of God exceeds all other glory on the face of the earth. The word ‘glory’ is a Greek word ‘doxa’, meaning an estimate or opinion of someone or something; the accompanying honor of a splendid or high opinion.
Very often we hear of the ‘glory of God’ appearing somewhere in a church meeting. The glory is often considered to be a cloud, a mist, a radiance, some supernatural visible manifestation, but usually reflecting old covenant concepts of God’s glory. 2 Corinthians chapter 3 gives an excellent comparison of the fading glory of the old covenant versus the increasing glory of the new covenant. It compares the old covenant to a ‘veil’ that dulls the minds of those who follow and limits the glory for those who live by it. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. (2 Cor. 3:13-15)
Many Christians go looking outward for God’s glory rather than seeking inward to reflect His glory. Christ in you is the hope of Glory!! His glory is reflected by the church being transformed into His likeness. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:16-18) The scripture is clear that an old covenant mindset will make your mind dull and veiled in regard to the glory of God. God’s glory under the new covenant is seen, experienced, and reflected through Jesus. When believers keep Christ as their center-point and grace as their base, minds awaken and hearts open to see, experience and reflect God’s glory; the splendor and honor of who He is. It is then that His glory shows through us to the world around us.
God gives us a picture of the mature Christian in 2 Peter 1:2-9. It’s a picture of progressive transformation beginning with faith. In this transformation our soul (mind, will, emotions) progresses from faith through the character qualities of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and culminating in unconditional love. It is our faith in Jesus that brings the divine nature into our spirit and creates the possibility of transformed character. This is a picture of the kingdom of God resident within us to be displayed around us.
It is our commitment to the transforming power of grace that guarantees the success of transformed character. Many Christian leaders in business, ministry and government see themselves as ‘mature’ because they are in leadership positions. They think they have ‘arrived’! Yet many possess little of the character quality described by Peter. The reason they don’t possess these qualities is two- fold, (1) they are not committed to transformation (verse 5), and (2) they hang on to the past, i.e. the sin, beliefs, and wounds of yesterday (verse 9).
Grace is the power to obliterate your past and transform your future. Grace is the never ending growth hormone. It doesn’t stop when you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. It continues maturing you from the inside out AS you commit to the process!!!!! The scripture says ‘make every effort’. Peter says that anyone who does not possess these character qualities in INCREASING MEASURE (i.e. is in the process) will be ineffective and unproductive and cannot see clearly! Wow! Peter is not questioning your eternal life. He is challenging you to abundant life; challenging you to have clear spiritual eye sight to lead those who choose to follow. Lead the transformation of maturity and others may follow.