The Christian’s Response to God’s Glory

The Christian’s Response to God’s Glory

“And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” – Luke 2:9-10

Pastor Mike shared Sunday that the glory of God is the compelling and beautiful display of God in all his attributes. What is a proper response to seeing God’s glory? How has the coming of Christ impacted our seeing of God’s glory?

Fear or Joy at the Sight of God’s Glory
First, there is a seeing of God’s glory that leads to fear and terror. Isaiah, when caught up into God’s throne room, proclaims he is lost being found a sinner in the presence of God.

“[Isaiah said] I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”” – Isaiah 6:1-5

When Isaiah sees God, he is terrified, because when he sees God’s holiness set in contrast to Isaiah’s unholiness, Isaiah knows that he is not worthy to be in the same room with this holy God. Fear is a proper response for Isaiah to have. God is a like a consuming fire and is right to burn up Isaiah’s sinful presence. Isaiah is dependent on the kindness of God to stand before God and not die (see Isaiah 6:6-7).

Knowing the holiness of our God from Isaiah’s experience, how do the angels in Luke 2 have the right to say to the shepherds, who are in the presence of God’s glory, “Do not fear.” (Luke 2:10)? What has changed between Isaiah seeing God’s glory and the shepherds in the presence of God’s glory?

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

It is right to be afraid, as Isaiah and the shepherds were, when confronted with the glory of the Lord. God’s glory always exposes our unworthiness. But, the God of the universe is not a terror to the one who has a Savior, sent by that very God and God in the flesh, who is saving the unworthy and lost. What good news of great joy! The saved sinner today can hear the same words of the angels and rejoice instead of fear, for they also have clung to that Savior who is Christ the Lord.

A Greater Display of Glory
In those words of the Angels to the shepherds, the glory of God was revealed to be even more magnificent than seen before. Remember, if God’s glory is the compelling and beautiful display of God in all his attributes, then the Angels were revealing the most hopeful bit of news about God the world needed to hear.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

Unto me (sinful, unworthy before my Creator) is born a Savior (worthy intermediary who will make me right before the God I fear).
The Savior is the greater display of the glory of God. He is three-times holy. He is righteous. He is perfect in all His ways. AND, He has sent His Son to save sinners who are not worthy of saving.
God glory, seen by humanity, explodes in the coming of the Savior.
Let us worship Him this Christmas.

What I Learned Last Sunday