THE GLORY OF GOD IN MAN

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, full of grace and truth”(Jn 1:14).

We can never know who we are until we own our God-identity. Every other perception of ourselves is a mere shadow image at best, and a gross distortion at its worst. Man was created to bear the image of God. And until there is a return to that awareness, he is lost. Jesus put it this way, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26). He is not merely speaking of man lost without God for all eternity, but lost without a destination in this life. I am thinking of a quote I recall having read (whose author I cannot recall): “The glory of God is seen in man when man is fully alive”. We are called human “beings”, not human “doings”.

The more we allow our worldly (and sad to say, far too often our religious) culture make the primary goal of life success by our performance, the more we will miss the mark. This is the very essence of the meaning of SIN. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”(Rom. 3:23).

This is in essence of why Jesus Christ came into the world, to show us Man fully alive, bearing the glory of God.

In Ezekiel and the Book of the Revelation there is an image given of four living “beings” that relate directly to the Throne of God: One has the face of a man, another the face of an eagle, another the face of an ox, and one the face of a lion. It has been well acknowledged by scholars that this image is representational of the four gospels. For example: Matthew’s emphasis is Jesus the King, the face of the Lion. Mark’s emphasis is Jesus the Servant, the face of the Ox. Luke’s emphasis is Jesus the Man, the face of the Man. John’s emphasis is Jesus, Son of God, the face of the Eagle. I suggest that each of these descriptions bring forth an aspect of the glory of Man around or before the presence of God. I want to look at each of these images this month and find application for our own life.

THE FACE OF A MAN. This suggests dignity. The first mention of man is in reference to the eternal plan of God in creating the earth. Man was God’s highest goal and ambition. “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule…over all the earth…. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”(Gen.1:26-27). The psalmist stands in awe of this concept as he worships God in all of His majesty.  “O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have  displayed Your splendor above the heavens! From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established  strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;  What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!” (Psalm 8:1-5 NIV)

It is the pleasure and intention of God our Creator that we walk in the dignity of true sons of the kingdom of heaven. We are more than creatures reflecting a world destined to perish. We are to represent our God with a dignity that elevates, enlivens and represents His character and nature in the earth. Until man fell (read Gen. 3), he walked among God’s created order as God’s vice-roy, being and doing what God was doing in the invisible realm. There was no disconnect between heaven and earth until man had fallen from his lofty height in God. But let us thank God! That was not the last chapter to human history. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to both rescue a fallen human race and to restore man’s rightful place in the universe. “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In  Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also  believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is  given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph 1:11-14).

It is in the mystery of the eternal plan of God in Jesus Christ that we who believe in Him will once again be “God’s possession– to the praise of His glory”(Eph 1:14b NIV). What honor and dignity we have been given. May we be fully aware and alive to this reality now.

Copyright© Walter Fletcher Jr., 2011. Permission is granted to reproduce this article free of charge, provided that it is not altered in its original form and content. Please direct all correspondence to walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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