The Glory of Christ – John Owen – 1. Seeing Christ’s Glory

Notes from Ch.1(abridged and made easy to read by R.J.K.Law)

“The greatest desire that Christ expressed in his prayer was that his people might be with him to behold his glory”John 17:24. 1
“He is not concerned that his disciples should merely see how glorious he was, but that the beholding of his glory might bring encouragement, strength, satisfaction and blessedness to his disciples”. 2

* cf Joseph charging his brothers to tell his father of all his ‘glory in Egypt’ (Gen 45:13) to make his father happy and satisfied

“Only a sight of his glory, and nothing else, will truly satisfy God’s people. The hearts of believers are like a magnetised needle which cannot rest until it is pointing north. So also, a believer, magnetised by the love of Christ, will always be restless until he or she comes to Christ and beholds his glory.” 2
“… beholding the glory of Christ is one of the greatest privileges that believers are capable of in this world, or even in that which is to come. Indeed, it is by beholding the glory of Christ that believers are first gradually transformed into his image, and then brought into the eternal enjoyment of it, because they shall be ‘for ever like him’ for they ‘shall see him as he is’ 2 Cor 3:18, 1 John 3:1-2). On this depend our present comforts and future blessedness. This is the life and reward of our souls (John 14:9,2 Cor 4:6) 4.

* 2 ways to behold the glory of Christ: by faith in this world (evidence of things not seen), and by sight in the next 2 Cor 5:7-8, 1 Cor 13:12
* What is the glory of Christ? – grace and truth John 1:14

“It is by beholding the glory of Christ by faith that we are spiritually edified and built up in this world, for as we behold his glory, the life and power of faith grow stronger and stronger. It is by faith that we grow to love Christ. So if we desire strong faith and powerful love, which give us rest, peace and satisfaction, we must seek them by diligently beholding the glory of Christ by faith.” 7

By beholding the glory of Christ we shall:

* be transformed ‘into the same image’ 2 Cor 3:18
* find rest to our souls – ‘to be spiritually minded is peace’ Rom 8:6
* begin to experience what it means to be everlastingly blessed – 1 Thess 4:17, Phil 1:23,John 17:24, 1 John 3:2

“Sometimes, when reading and meditating on the Bible our heads are filled with such a sense of the uncreated glory of God shining through Jesus Christ that we experience unspeakable joy. So arises that ‘peace of God which passes all understanding’, which keeps ‘our heads and minds through Jesus Christ’ (Phil 4:7). Christ in believers ‘the hope of glory’ (Col 1:27) gives them the foretaste of that future glory.