Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Glory of Christ (Jn. 17:4-7)

This is my personal summary of Rev Dr Stephen Tong's sermon on 24 March 2013 in STEMI Expository Preaching at True Way Presbyterian Church Singapore. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.

Passage: John 17:4-7

“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” Jn. 17:4-5

Jesus glorified God during His ministry on earth by accomplishing the work God has given Him to do.  Many people have different concepts of glorifying God.  We think we glorify God by singing or working very hard.  However, Jesus has given us the principle.  We glorify God only when we do what God wants us to do.  God searches our heart and see through our inner motives. 

Jesus asked God the Father to glorify Him because when He was on earth, He was humiliated and punished unjustly.  He was the son of sorrow.  The King worshipped in heaven suffered greatly on earth.  He took on our curse and the hand of God was heavy upon Him.  God was willing to bruise Him.  The punishment of our sin was upon Him.

Jesus was worthy to call upon His Father to glorify Him.  God sent His Son to the world that His glory may be made manifest unto us.  The Son of God manifests the glory of God.  Jesus said when we see Him we have seen the Father who sent Him.  If we believe in Him, we believe in God who sent Him.  Jesus Himself is God in the flesh, the manifestation of the invisible God.

Everything Jesus did in His life from His birth to His death, He glorified God.  Christ become an example for us on how to live.  Every single day He lived, He lived unto God.  After 3.5 years of ministry, He returned to the Father and said “Father glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify you.” 

Would you dare to say this?  How would you summarise your words when your life has come to an end?  Can you say you  have accomplished what God wants you to do?  We are so busy with our lives, but what are we busy with?  We do many things we do not need to do, and neglect many things we need to do.

May God help us, that we may be able to boldly stand before God and say we have done what He wants us to do.  That we may say as Christ says, “I have accomplished what you have asked me to do.”

Jesus also said, “glorify Me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (v.5).  This is a grand declaration.  What Jesus says here surpassees what human can say.  He declared that His glory and God’s glory are one of the same.  It is the glory before creation.  Who can declare this?  None of the religious leaders.  God the Father and God the Son share the same glory.  Indeed He is the Christ.  He is our Lord.  He is not only the historical Jesus who was born in the manger and died on the cross, He is also the Christ who exists from eternity to eternity.  He is the eternal, the glorious One.

God took people from all tribes, all nations, all language to Jesus.  Jesus redeemed these people with His blood that they may return to God and gave them eternal life.  May we see the glory of Christ, and in His glory see His abundance.  May we enjoy His glory the rest of our lives.  The chief purpose of our lives is to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.  In the name of God and in His Word, we are preserved and blessed.