Archive for May 2019

God’s Glory in our Good

In Jesus, God’s glory and our good are inseparably joined together as one. For God brings honour to his own name in the world by reaching out to save the world through Jesus. He takes up our lost and hopeless cause turning it into the greatest good for us. And in doing so magnifies his own name. He gains the victory over all the dark forces that rule over us and so brings honour to himself. The God of glory freely decided to display the splendour of who he is this way. It was his own free decision that he has now executed.

We cannot deduce this from our own ideas of God or of humanity. We can read it only from the free love of God revealed in Jesus. In him, and only in him, that which God does for Himself is also done for us. In this unique person God acts for his own honour and our good in a single movement as our God.

Now we come before God our Father as liberated children desiring to magnify his name. The Spirit of God’s Son cries Abba Father deep within us exalting the name of the one who has freed us through Jesus by his Spirit. And in the same Spirit we anticipate with Jesus our final destiny in which God will be all and all. In this way, God’s glory and our greatest good are inseparably joined together as one in our hearts.

We have seen his glory

The world is turned away from God and incapable of turning back to him. Indeed, it does not even want to turn back. Instead, the world accelerates headlong to the abyss. Nevertheless, God in Christ turns towards the world to reconcile the world to himself.
The Father’s own Son became human taking his own place in the world as one who is not of the world. He moved downward towards us taking the lowest place in order to lift us up to the highest place. He did not owe this to the world because the world is actually hostile to him. The world has no claim on him at all. Nevertheless, God moves into the world in total solidarity with us in order to bring us back home. He does not want to be God without us even though we want to be without him.


The Father’s own Son became human taking his own place in the world as one who is not of the world. He moved downward towards us taking the lowest place in order to lift us up to the highest place. He did not owe this to the world because the world is actually hostile to him. The world has no claim on him at all. Nevertheless, God moves into the world in total solidarity with us in order to bring us back home. He does not want to be God without us even though we want to be without him.

In doing this God displays his own glory in the world as the one who is for the world. He opens to us the inner riches of who he is. The splendour of his own immeasurable love shines among us as we see him taking up the cause of the world as his own. We see love beyond all telling He does what He does for His own sake – to reveal his glory. Nevertheless, he does it all for us. He wants us to live in the love of the Father with Jesus in the Spirit. Now we say with John, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”.

The Form of a Servant

He who was in the form of God took the form of a lowly servant. As servant he was obedient even to the point of death on a cross, the lowest place of all. In moving towards us as lowly servant he did not leave behind or even diminish who and what he is. True, he becomes what he had not previously been, but it was all according to God’s eternal decision. Before the creation of the world God willed to be God as this man, Jesus. And so, when he comes among us as one of us even in our sin and suffering he is becoming the one he always wanted to be.

Even in his lowliness Jesus is one with God as the Father’s Son and equal with God. For lowliness as servant is simply his way of being God. He does not change who or what he is in giving himself to serve in humility. He simply reveals his true divinity in the world. For he is in the world what He is with his Father in the Spirit. He is in time what He is in eternity. For in him time and eternity are joined together. He is in human lowliness what he is in his majesty. For his human lowliness is his majesty and his majesty is also his human lowliness.

This is the one that the Spirit glorifies in our hearts so that we bow before him confessing him as the Lord who serves. And in the Spirit, confessing him also as the servant who is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

God Crucified

When thinking about God I used to focus on the general idea of a supreme being. The infinite, eternal and unchanging being who is utterly apart from his creation. But I have since learned to consider God through his own particular unveiling of himself in Jesus rather than my own general ideas about God. For “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (John 1:18). We must always begin with God as Jesus and when we move to more general notions of God we redefine them in light of this unique and particular unveiling of God as human.

Furthermore, when considering who God is as Jesus we must never evade the cross. Through the cross, the one true God reveals himself as the one who is lowly in suffering even unto death. With the cross fully in view, can we really start from the assumption that such suffering in humiliation cannot be true of God? No! For the crucified Jesus is not a mere appearance of the one true God. He is God crucified.

So what dominates our minds as we think about the one true God? Is it the exaltation of the divine being in his perfection above and beyond all? Or, is it the humiliation and lowliness of the crucified one? There is, of course, deep mystery in the suffering of the one true God but we must never try to solve the mystery by juggling it away. We rather gaze intently into the mystery as the Spirit opens the eyes of our hearts to the majesty of the humble God.