7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. (2 Cor. 3:7-11)
In Christian circles, we often talk about the glory of God. When thinking about God’s glory, our thoughts might wander to the shining face of Moses after meeting with God on the mountain, or to the inauguration of the Jewish temple, built by king Salomon, when the cloud of God’s glory became so heavy that the Priests and Levites could not minister.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul said that that the New Covenant glory is much greater than the glory of the Old Covenant. We, thus, have something way better than the glory of Mount Sinai and the temple of Salomon!
What then is God’s glory? God’s glory is not a cloud or a mist – although it might have manifested as such on different occasions in the Old Covenant. When Moses said to God, “Show me your glory” , God answered, “I will make My goodness pass before you…” (Ex. 33:18-19).
God’s glory is his goodness, mercy, lovingkindness, and grace! Not until the New Covenant era arrived, was God’s true glory which lasts forever (2 Cor. 3:11) fully revealed! In the New Covenant, it is not the law of Moses, but the goodness and grace of God – His GLORY – that leads people to repentance and motivates them to follow God (see Rom 2:4 & Tit. 2:11-14).
4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:4-6)
Paul taught that God’s New Covenant glory is found in 3 places:
- In the Gospel (v 4).
- In our hearts (v 6).
- In the face of Jesus Christ (v 6).
How then can we experience the manifest glory of God?
(“In the Gospel”): By believing and preaching the true Gospel, also called the “Gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24). If what’s preached is not grace, it is not the true Gospel, and thus no glory is manifested.
(“In our hearts”): By knowing and acting upon that Christ is not far away, but in our hearts. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. Christ in us is our hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
(“In the face of Jesus Christ”): By lifting up the person of Jesus, His nature, and His finished work.
It is all about Jesus. The person of Jesus is the very glory of God. Preach Him, unveil Him and His finished work, and believe that He lives and works in and through you. The result will be that the glory of God will be revealed and manifested.