Foundation II: The Glory of God
The second foundational principle for the ministry of Full of Eyes is “The Glory of God.” It’s crucial to keep in mind that this principle must be paired with the one I’ll be expounding on Monday: The Supremacy of Jesus Christ. We cannot know the One True God apart from knowing Jesus Christ, so it is a bit lopsided to talk about “The Glory of God” without talking about seeing it “in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). So, please be sure to read Monday’s post as well.
The Foundation of Full of Eyes – II
The Glory of God
“For from Him, through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”
– Romans 11:36
Having asserted that the Bible is the bedrock authority for our understanding of reality, we now ask the question, “What does scripture present as the end for which reality exists?” Answering this question will enable us to orient our desires and purposes so that they match those of God Himself, and thus to spend our lives on what is truly and eternally meaningful.
While scripture is filled with evidence to answer this question, perhaps the most succinct summary is presented in the above passage from Romans 11:36. With these 17 words, St. Paul casts a net over every aspect of visible and invisible existence and proclaims the entire catch to be sourced in, sustained by, and unto the glory of – God. Nothing is excepted, nothing is left out, this, Scripture tells us, is the supreme end of all things in reality: The Glory of God.
But what does it mean that reality exists for the glory of God? Often times “the glory of God” becomes an ambiguous religious term that expands to fit the needs of its context, much like a gas expands to fit its container. However, the scripture does not leave us definition-less when it comes to the reason for reality. There are a myriad of passages to which we could turn in order to help us define “the glory of God,” but for the purposes of this document, we will look primarily at one.
“Moses said, ‘Please, show me your glory.’
“And [YHWH] said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you
and will proclaim before you my name “YHWH.”‘”
– Exodus 33:18-19
In this passage, Moses specifically asks to see the glory of God, and God’s response is telling. Rather than showing a miraculous sign or display of power or visible manifestation of Himself, God says that He will make all His goodness pass before Moses and will proclaim His Name to Moses. I take these two statements to be bound up together. The declaration of God’s Name is an unfolding of who He is, and He is only good, therefore to declare His Name is to make all His goodness pass before Moses and visa versa.
Moses says, “Show me your glory!” God says, “I’ll tell you my Name.”
According God’s own reckoning, the glory of God is a declaration and manifestation of His character. In other words, the glory of God is the fullness of God communicated. When a created being receives God’s self-communication (whether by words or actions or the chorus of creation) it is beholding His glory. And all of reality exists to this end.
The universe, like an artist’s canvas, is not an end in and of itself; rather it is the medium that God called into being for the sake of communicating Himself to beings that are not Himself. Fields of nebulae, colonies of ants, blood-red sunsets, hope-filled spring mornings, and the aching groan of our hearts and minds, all these, like fibers in a canvas, exist not mainly for themselves, but to bear the multi-colored pigments of God’s glory. And though God’s glory echoes through every corridor of creation, it is chiefly communicated to us in Christ (John 1:14-18). And in Christ, it is climatically communicated to us at the cross (John 12:27-28; 13:31-32), so that the highest peak in the mountain range of God’s glory is Golgotha.
In our next entry we will examine why Christ is the supreme “exegesis” of the glory of God and what that means for us.