Glory: An All-Governing Object and End of God (continued)
Glory is Essential (continued)
Peter, who again was not one of the least of the apostles, he in looking back upon what Christ had come to be to them, and referring to what evidently had made the greatest impression upon him, he said, "We were eyewitnesses of His Majesty, when there came from the Excellent Glory this Voice" (2 Peter 1:16-18). Now, that is rather remarkable in this way: that Peter, who was on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Lord, and as he put it afterward, years afterward said, "We were eyewitnesses of His Majesty, when there came from the Excellent Glory this Voice." It was not very long, only a little while after that, that Peter is found in complete darkness: Doubting who the Lord was: Doubting almost everything that the Lord had said: Raising questions about the Cross because the Cross to him seemed to be the greatest disaster that could happen: Doubting the very Resurrection. And because he had not really laid hold of the significance of this: Denying his Lord thrice with vehemence. But then this, as it were, came right up from the dead, this all came back, this Mount of Transfiguration experience all came right back in this mighty way. And years afterward he wrote: "We were eyewitnesses of His Majesty."
You see, Peter's life and ministry subsequently rested upon the Glory of Christ - Upon Glory! It came out of Glory. I believe that the subsequent recollection, remembrance, recovery, of what happened on the Transfiguration Mount, was the inspiration and strength of Peter's life and ministry for us. For us in this whole dispensation, these men were saved by Glory. That is the point. These men were confirmed and established by Glory. These men had their life and their ministry from the Glory that they had seen in Christ.
And Paul, by no means the least of the apostles, beheld the Glory of Christ on his way to Damascus; he beheld the Glory (Acts 9:1-5). Christ appeared to him in Glory. And we have good reason to believe that was not only the conversion of Paul, but everything that we know about Paul dates to that, and sprang out of that. And the wonderful thing about it is that the Glory was attached to Jesus of Nazareth. Paul asked, "Who art Thou Lord?" "I am Jesus of Nazareth" (Acts 22:8-11). The significance of that, because that is the title of Christ in humiliation, of Christ as Man, and the Glory, the effulgent Glory of God and heaven attached to the Man, Jesus of Nazareth, to get the implications of that is tremendous. Man! Attached to man! And that became the very foundation of Paul's life and ministry.
You see, dear friends, Glory was the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and this whole dispensation for Christians rests upon that Glory. These men knew something about the Glory, and that Glory made them what they were, and gave them to us. And what we owe to them, what we owe to those men!
(continued with # 5)