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The glory of God comprehends both the holy properties of His nature and the counsels of His will; and “the light of the knowledge” of these things we have only “in the face” or person “of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6).  Whatever obscure, imperfect notions we may have of them in other ways, we cannot have the light of the illuminating, irradiating, “knowledge of the glory of God,” which may enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts, but only “in the face” or person of Jesus Christ; for He is “the image of God” (II Corinthians 4:4), “the brightness of [the Father’s] glory, and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3), “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

He is glorious in that He is the great representative of the nature of God and His will unto us; which without Him would have been eternally hid from us, or been invisible to us; – we should never have seen God at any time, here nor hereafter (John 1:18).

In His divine person absolutely considered, He is the essential image of God, even the Father.  He is in the Father, and the Father in Him, in the unity of the same divine essence (John 14:10).  Now He is with the Father (John 1:1), in the distinction of His person, so is He the essential image (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3).  In His incarnation He becomes the representative image of God to the Church (II Corinthians 4:6); without whom our understanding can make no such approach unto the divine excellencies but that God continues to be to us what He is in Himself – “the invisible God.”  In the face of Jesus Christ we see His glory. ...

This is the foundation of our religion, the Rock whereon the Church is built, the ground of all our hopes of salvation, of life and immortality.  All is resolved into this, the representation that is made of the nature and will of God in the person and office of Christ.  If this fail us, we are lost forever.  If this Rock stand firm, the Church is safe here, and shall be triumphant hereafter.

Herein, then, is the Lord Christ exceedingly glorious.  Those who cannot behold this glory of His by faith – namely, as He is the great divine ordinance to represent God to us – they know Him not.  In their worship of Him, they worship but an image of their own devising. ...

The essence of faith consists in a due ascribing of glory to God (Romans 4:20).  This we cannot attain to without the manifestation of those divine excellencies to us in which He is glorious.  This is done in Christ alone, in order that we may glorify God in a saving and acceptable manner.  He who discerns not the glory of divine wisdom, power, goodness, love, and grace in the person and office of Christ, with the way of the salvation of sinners by Him, is an unbeliever.

John Owen

(The Glories Of Christ, Chicago:  Moody Press, 1949, p. 55-56)

The Evangelical Presbyterian Magazine,
January 2011

 
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