As Christians mature spiritually, we move from the initial glory of finding Christ to recognizing His glory in man. His glory is revealed in us when we become what God destined us to be.
Christ said to John (17:1), “Glorify the Son so that the Son may glorify you.”
Jesus’ life climaxed at the cross, revealing His destiny and glory.
In the King James version, II Corinthians 3:18b, we find “from glory to glory” signifies a process which, over time, helps us to become more Christ like, and to enjoy freedom and joy. Our maturation brings us glory (honor) through our obedience to God. The glorifying of God becomes more evident, not in how we live, but in how we die. There is majesty in death not found in life.
The majesty of Christ’s death is evidenced in the glory of the cross, and in our celebration of His seven “last words.” The centurion at the foot of the cross (Matthew 27:54) said, as he departed the scene, “Truly this was the Son of God.” In the cross, Christ found glory, and used his powers to draw men to Him in ways He could not during His lifetime. The cross’ glory is still in effect today.
We ask, “How does this transition, “from glory to glory” take place?” Jesus, according to John (17:6), came to “Show forth God’s name to the disciples whom God had given Him out of the world.” In
Christ’s day, the name of God (Yahweh) was sacred, and people were forbidden to speak it. Christ told us His name and, in doing so, brought God close to us, enabling us to call upon Him. It is in Christ that we came to see the mind, the character and the heart of God.
Like Christ, God has a plan, a dream, and a purpose for each of us. Our responsibility is to accept our destiny, or to reject it. In Christ’s day, the Pharisees depended upon fate, yet understood free will. It is said, “Fate is what we are compelled to do; destiny is what we are meant to do.”
So why must we shift “from glory to glory?” The shift prepares us for eternal life. The word eternal (aionis), in Greek, has more to do with life’s quality than its duration. If one seeks intimacy with
God, one must move from the initial glory of finding Christ, to the ultimate, qualitative glory of living with Him.
As we progress toward living with Him, we must become consecrated and become one with Christ. Living a consecrated life is challenging, because He sets us apart from the world. In John (17:11),
Christ prayed for our unity, our protection from the evil one (17:15), and for our consecration (17:17). These are His greatest desires for His disciples. The first of His prayers has become the motto of the United Church of Christ, “That they may all be One.”
What can you do to unite Christ’s Body? First, pray for all Christians, avoid gossip, build each other up, work together in humility, give of your time, talent and treasure, exalt Christ, and refuse to get sidetracked by arguing over divisive matters.
This daily application of God’s word has a purifying effect upon our body, mind, soul and spirit. Scripture points out that moving away from sin allows us to confess, to renew our relationship with Christ, and to find the path “From Glory to Glory!”
The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami. To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at email@example.com.