The theme for The Church of Pentecost for the five-year period ending in 2023 is “Possessing the nations,” but the Lord gives us themes for each year. For last year the theme was, “A glorious church to possess the nations” but because we could not exhaust it, the leadership has brought it back with the addition of “revived” in view of the anticipated revival. The theme scriptures are Ephesians 3.21 and 5.27. So, for the next couple of weeks ahead of us we will be looking at it and discussing glory in the church. I however want to begin today with the topic the glory of God.
Read Ephesians 3.20-21 and Ephesians 5.27.
Two important statements
The glory of God must not be lacking in any generation. Indeed, it is desire and will of God for his glory to abide in the church from one generation to another. That is why the scriptures say in Ephesians 3.21 that to him be glory in the church and in Christ throughout all generations. What this means is that the glory of God is so important that no generation dares miss it. Paul suggested that the glory of God is one important thing that must never be lost in any generation. No generation must get to Ichabod where the glory of God is missed.
The second thing is that the reason for the existence of the church is the manifestation of the glory of God. In other words, God has set up the church primarily for the manifestation of this glory among the nations. So, the church is supposed to be the vehicle or conveyor belt for the manifestation of the glory of God. In the Old Testament God chose Israel by his own purpose and counsel to achieve this. He did this by calling Abraham and giving him that mandate but now he has called the church to perpetuate and execute this agenda. So, the agenda has not changed. It is to reveal his glory to the nations of the world.
By extension, the believer who is a member of the church must also be a carrier of the glory of God. If the church is to be a carrier of the glory of God, then the believer who is a member of the church—the body of Christ—must also be a carrier of the glory of God. So, it is not surprising when 1 Corinthians 10.31 says that whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it to the glory of God.
Points to note about the glory of God
1. God is the God of glory
When I went through the book of Psalms, I found out a few things about the glory of God I want to share with you. The first is that God is a God of glory. He is awesome and majestic in glory. David saw this and said in Psalm 29.3 that the voice of God is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters.
2. God is the king of glory
God is also the King of glory. Psalm 24.7-10 says, “Lift up your heads O ye gates and be lifted up ye ancient doors that the king of glory may come in.” Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord strong and mighty; the Lord mighty in battle. The Lord of hosts is the king of glory. God is seated in glory.
3. We, the children of God, are a people of glory
Psalm 3.3 says, “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me; my glory, and the lifter of my head.” This morning may the Lord lift your head up. By reason of Jesus who went to the cross and bore our sins, we have become the children of God. Like father like son. If God the king of glory and the God of glory is our father, then you have to understand what he has made us. You also carry the glory of God.
Chabod and doxa
In trying to understand the glory of God, we consider one Hebrew word and one Greek word. The Hebrew word is “chabod.” This is a Hebrew word translated as glory in the Old Testament and it is used to describe the glory of God. When it is used, it literally means the weight of someone. It carries the idea of that which is heavy and important. It can be used in reference to the dignity or honor of a man. It is used to reference God’s honor, respect, and glory. It also carries the idea of how important and weighty our God is.
In the Greek, the word “doxa” has been translated as glory and it connotes reputation, honor, fame, praise, dignity, splendor, and brilliance. Doxa speaks of the real majesty and opinion belonging to God. So, it refers to the brilliant splendor of God’s majesty.
The glory of God refers to all that God is and all he does
Regardless of the word that is used, for me when we talk about the glory of God, it is all that God is. We are talking about his splendor, majesty, and honor. So, when we talk about the glory of God, it is all that God is. The glory of God is about what he is and what he does. So, we see that the glory of God is everything that makes God God. The immeasurable weight and glory of God are all contained in his glory. Nothing is hidden or held back. The glory of God is everything he is and everything he does. We are taking about his boundless wisdom, the weight of his majesty, and his magnitude.
The glory of God refers to his glorious presence in his church and among his people
This is what the people of Israel saw in Exodus 40.34-35 where the glory of God so filled the tabernacle that Moses, the man of God, could not enter.
In Leviticus 9.22-24 the glory of God appeared to the whole community. This is my prayer for all of us. The glory of God did not appear only to Moses and Aaron but to everyone. What is important is that we will see his glory manifest in his church. Let the glory of God be made manifest to the entire church. When this happened in Leviticus 9, fire blazed forth from the presence of God and consumed the burnt offering. The fire of God cannot be separated from his glory so when they saw the glory they saw the fire. When the people saw this they shouted for joy.
That is the first effect of the glory of God: the hearts of people are filled with joy .this is a kind of joy that does not originate form man or from material things. It does not depend on circumstances around you. that is why when people come to church, they leave the presence of God with joy in the hearts. They don’t have to be manipulated to express joy in the house of God because they have encountered the glory of God which stirs up joy.
Secondly, worship and sacrifice spontaneously flow from encountering the glory of God. When the people encountered this, they fell down and worshipped. In other words, when one encounters the glory of God, his life becomes one of worship. A life of worship is one that brings glory and honor and praise to God. I pray that as we encounter his glory and become carriers of his glory, may our lives become lives of worship that bring glory to him.
The last thing I would like to take about is that when there is the glory of God, there are supernatural experiences in our gatherings. Church services are no longer ordinary but moments of transformation. May we encounter his glory as we come into his presence. May we encounter and experience him at all times and may there be transformation in our lives.
Ephesians 3.20-21, Ephesians 5.27, Psalm 29.3, Psalm 24.7-10, Psalm 3.3, Exodus 40.34-35, Leviticus 9.22-24,