The Apostle John

Behold, the glory of God is among us! The only Son of God once became flesh and dwelt among us, and His disciples saw His glory, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:14) Having risen, He now sits at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33/Apostles’ Creed), but He has not left us, no; indeed, He promises that He will be with us until the end of the age (Mt 28:20), and the Father has sent us the Holy Spirit as a Helper (Jn 14:26). For, as it is written by the prophet Joel, “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh…” (Joel 2:28/Acts 2:17) Through the work of the Spirit in our hearts, through dreams and visions and Scripture and prayer, we too have glimpsed the vivid glory of God.


The full glory of God is indescribable, but we can comprehend it more and more. The darkness has not understood the Light, but those to whom he has given the right to become children of God may understand (Jn 1:5/1:12): “for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1:18) Truly, the power of God is not to be found in soft clothing in the palaces of earthly kings (Mt 11:8), but on a wooden cross, strung up between two thieves, dying in order to take on our sins. The glory of God is not the law that was given through Moses, but the grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ. (Jn 1:17)


If the Son has chosen to reveal the Father to us (Mt 11:27), then we have received grace upon grace (Jn 1:16), and we have seen the glory of God. Perhaps we see visions, and perhaps we dream dreams, and perhaps we understand secrets that have been hidden since the foundation of the world. (Mt 13:35) This glory of God we then express according to the gifts with which we have been endowed: some through arts, some through music, some through written words, some through prophesy, some through speaking in tongues, some through teaching, but all through love in accordance with how we have been loved by God. (cf 1 Cor 12-13)


For God has shown himself to us, and has given us grace upon grace, not as a casual encounter, but as a radical life-changing call to die to ourselves in order to truly live. (Mt 10:39) Having tasted just for a moment the glory of God, we eagerly count as loss everything we previously had in order to gain the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. (Phil 3:7-8) Pressing on upwards to the goal (Phil 3:14), by seeing the glory of God, we learn to let the glory of God work in and through us: as Paul says, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20)


The glory we have barely glimpsed is not worth comparing to the glory that awaits us. (Rom 8:18) For us, to die is gain (Phil 1:21); by this we can rejoice even in the face of persecution. But we yet live in order to proclaim the Light to those who lack it; to express to those in darkness this glory that we have seen, and this peace that we have that surpasses all understanding. (Phil 4:7) For we too were we once dead in our transgressions (Eph 2:1/Col 2:13), and so we can share the Good News that anyone who dies to their sins will receive newness of life in Christ. (Rom 6:4)