The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway Of the Glory
We are going to spend a little time in these remaining hours with another one of "the unsearchable riches," and that is, "the riches of glory." There are two passages of Scripture that I want to read. To begin with, the Letter to the Romans, chapter nine at verse 23, "That He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory." The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter three at verse 16, "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man". "According to the riches of His glory."
I think it only needs to be mentioned for you to call to remembrance that grace and glory go together very much in the Scriptures. "He will give grace and glory" (Psalms 84:11), and we are "to be unto the glory of His grace" (Ephesians 1:6). The glory is the result of the grace; grace is unto glory.
As to this word glory, which is not easy to understand, and if I may just remind you is first of all attached to each Person of the Godhead, the Triune God. God is spoken of as the God of glory. Stephen said, "The God of Glory appeared unto our father Abraham" (Acts 7:2). Paul in his prayer said that it was to "the Father of Glory" that he bowed his knee (Ephesians 1:15-17). "The Father of Glory," which simply means, the Source of glory, the very spring and beginning of glory, the Father of Glory.
The Lord Jesus is more than once referred to as "the Lord of Glory." In writing to the Corinthians, the apostle, when speaking about the folly of the wisdom of the princes of this world, said had they really had true wisdom, they would not have killed "the Lord of Glory" (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Lord Jesus is "the Lord of Glory." If the Father means Source, the Lord means Government. The government is committed to Him, and it is upon His shoulders and He will govern all things with glory in view, which we shall see shortly.
And, then, as to the Holy Spirit, He is distinctly called, "the Spirit of Glory," that "the Spirit of Glory may rest upon you" (1 Peter 4:14). So the whole Godhead is compassed and characterized by this one thought of glory. It is the Triune God of Glory.
Think again, and you will see that the whole Bible is horizoned by glory. It begins with God as the God of Glory, moving into a very inglorious situation and turning it into a glorious one. God was able to say, "it is very good" (Genesis 1:31); and whenever it is like that, as again we shall see, that is glory - when it is "very good." The end of the Bible is "the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God" (Revelation 21:10-11). The Bible is thus bounded by this thought of glory. Christianity is compassed by this same thing. Its inception was glorious, and it came in with glory, and the last thing about it is glory again. The Church is horizoned by glory. It was born in glory on the day of Pentecost; indeed, that was a day of glory (Acts 2). And again the last thing about the Church is in that great burst from the heart of the apostle, "Now unto Him That is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations of the age of the ages" (Ephesians 3:20-21). That is glory in the Church forevermore.
Christ is bounded by glory, although from the earthly standpoint, His coming into the world was in humility, in poverty, in weakness. However in heaven, it was "Glory to God in the highest" (Luke 2:13-14). From heaven's standpoint it was a glorious day when God's Son became Incarnate, for heaven knew what that meant. He passes by the way of suffering and sorrow, humiliation and the Cross, but it is only a circle, because then it is back up to the glory. Have you a bigger view of Him, that He had glory before the world was, "Father," He prayed, "Glorify Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" (John 17:5). The Son was equal with God in the glory before this world was founded in its order. And God has received Him back to the glory and has "highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name" glorified. Do you see how everything has this encompassment, this horizon, of glory, and that is the end, that is the object?
(continued with # 29)