Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Glory of God: From, Through, and To Him

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:36

This comes largely from Jonathan Edwards.

There is nothing good but it comes from God, for in him is all goodness. Thus, the capacity to ascribe goodness to him comes from him. This goodness is the virtue of God, which, with his knowledge and joy, make up the glory of God. The ability to glorify God is also dependent upon knowledge of God, that we might have something to glorify God for, and the joy of God, or we would be saying, not that God is great, but that he is a harsh taskmaster who created beings to find no joy in that which all things ought to do. A separation of what  it is good to do, and what is fulfilling to do would seem to be a punishment for good, and would make God unjust, but rather, because God is just, he has ordained that we find ultimate joy in the ultimate good, praising him.

God's glory being infinite, it thus causes him to express it. Therefore it is also his delight to manifest his glory to us, and even in us, through our union with Christ by the Spirit, such that we have some measure of the goodness, happiness, and knowledge of God. We then manifest that glory, the character of God, to the world, and thus manifest God to them, and in so doing we glorify God as we, by word and deed, declare the greatness of our God. Thus, the glory of God returns to him as we glorify him. In this way we do not add to him some glory he did not have before, but acknowledge as his that glory which he has always had, and share in that glory as it comes out in our lives.

We have the goodness of God in that we are united with Christ, and so we live, by the Spirit, in Christ and thus as Christ. We have the knowledge of God, not so much in our knowing about physics or some such, but in knowing Truth, who is God, and in seeing as God sees, with the eyes of Christ to some extent. We have the joy of God in that we are fulfilled by the treasure of glorifying him, which is our purpose, thus, our joy in God is our joy in being ever more human in the way that humans were created to be, and thus in the way that humans are designed to find the most pleasure.

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