Reflecting His Glory
In the crowning act of His work, God made man in His own image. He not only created us for His glory but He has redeemed us from sin, by the blood of His Son. Through His redeeming grace, He has brought us to a higher communion with Him than if man had never sinned; in that Christ, One in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, by taking upon Himself our nature, has linked the race to Himself through eternity.
He came to save and to elevate humanity from the degradation of sin. When our finite minds begin to comprehend the significance of the provision of God, we will exclaim together with the Psalmist and Job saying, “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?” “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?” Psalm 8:3-4; Job 7:17.
We are to reflect the highest attributes of the character of God. As the stars tell us that there is a great light in heaven with whose glory they are made bright, so Christians are to make it manifest that there is a God on the throne of the universe whose character is worthy of praise and imitation. What then is the height of the Christian’s privilege? What is the marvelous power and knowledge that we might possess as sons and daughters of God?
It is “to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man,” to be “rooted and grounded in love,” to “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” Ephesians 3:16-19. The culmination of the privileges of a Christian in this passage is that we “might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:19. Here are revealed the heights of attainment that we may reach through faith in the promises of our heavenly Father, when we fulfill His requirements.
This desire for mankind was so strong in the heart of Christ that, on the evening of His crucifixion, He lifted up His eyes to Heaven and said, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” John 17:9-11.
He prayed that He should be glorified in us; that there should be a oneness that is similar to the one that was between Him and the Father. Oneness with God is the essential means by which we may glorify Him. Because He and the Father are one, He was able to say, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” John 17:6. So, through us, Christ wants the world to behold His glory, which is the glory of the Father.
Christ came to sow the earth with the seeds of truth, and He sends us forth to do the same work. When we have the mind of Jesus, He promises that “they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5, 6. The word of God is the seed. Every seed has in itself the germinating principle.
In it the life of the plant is enfolded. So there is life in God’s word. Christ says, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God. Just as every seed sown in the right conditions will develop its own life in the plant and will bring forth fruit after its kind, so the word of God when received into the soul by faith, will bring forth fruit after its kind which is a character and a life after the similitude of the character and life of God.
He, who gave His Spirit without measure to His Son, will also give us His Spirit without measure to accomplish His purpose. Jesus says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13. It is through the agency of the Holy Spirit that the word of God is quickened in our hearts. He - the Spirit - gives the increase! Under His subduing influence, we will be able to do what Christ said. “Let your light so shine before men,” said Christ, “that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. This is how the Savior seeks to reproduce himself in the hearts of men, and He does this through those who believe in Him. Thus the object of the Christian life is fruit bearing - the reproduction of Christ’s character in the believer, that it may be reproduced in others.
“Herein is my Father glorified,” Jesus said, “that ye bear much fruit.” “The fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” John 15:8 and Philippians 1:11. Christ’s followers not only bring forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” but they also, in co-laboring with Him, bring forth the fruit of new converts to the kingdom of heaven.
An example of this is seen in the life of the apostle Paul. Apart from living a life of consecration to God, his burden was to see Christ reflected upon others. In his letter to the Romans he writes, “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.” Romans 1:13. So, we see how the glory of God, His wondrous character, is to be reflected in us.