The Glorious Gospel
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” II Cor. 4:3-7.
What is the Glorious Gospel? Is it not the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face (person) of Jesus Christ? It seems to indicate in I Tim. 6:14-16 & II Tim. 1:8-10, that this is far beyond the grasp of mental conception, or normal human vision. But we read of Jesus being the “image of the invisible God,” in Col. 1:15. In Heb. 1:3 Jesus is spoken of as being “the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.”
We are wonderfully blessed to hear the good news, the glad tidings of God’s goodness, greatness and grace, which are extended unto us in His dear Son. How marvelous to behold, even through a glass his holiness, righteousness and power, as well as the brilliance, splendor and radiance of Our God. He said in the beginning, “Let there be light: and there was light” Gen. 1:3.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shinneth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth” John 1:1-5,14.
Moses requested to see the glory of God, “If I have found grace in thy sight.” He was blessed to behold the afterglow or back parts of God’s glory (Ex. 33), while hidden in the cleft of the rock and covered by God’s hand. As we today find grace, we behold His glory. His light shines for all that believe, but is blinding to those that reject to receive. Such an attitude is to open oneself to greater darkness.
Verse five in our text expresses the attitude of those who truly minister the glorious gospel. Preaching Christ Jesus as Lord leaves out room for the self life. I am so very glad that there are still some to whom the gospel of the glory is being revealed, thus committed to their trust. Praise God, He is still enabling them for that which He counts faithful - I Tim. 1:11. There seems to be a minority being intrusted with such a momentous message. God who has commanded the light of His glory to shine in the face of Jesus, is writing this message in receptive hearts - II Cor. 3:3. A veil of legality or bondage to sin seems to be upon most hearts.
We would point out five great and gracious factors, features or related elements of this gospel of the glory.
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” - Rom. 8:19-21.
It seems that the eagle wings and the wings of the cherubim express the most spacious freedom of our sonship. What a glory that all creation awaits our coming into our own as sons of the living God. Oh, to be able to soar to the throne on high, when our adversary is trying to chain us. He whom the Son has set free, is free indeed. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty II Cor. 3:17.
The glorious gospel contains the truth that makes one free. Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace - Rom. 6:14. The perfect law of liberty is certainly the wonderful Word of God’s marvelous grace - James 1:25. This message not only teaches us to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and not be entangled with the yoke of bondage, but also that we are called to liberty to use unto God’s glory. The liberty that we are called to makes us love slaves to our Lord and His people - Gal. 5:1,13.
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” Col. 1:11. The glory of His power is extended unto us that we may be able to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, in all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness, feature that! Most would tell you that God’s power strengthens us for many inferior reasons. The “dunamis” (Greek) of God is to be placed in the inner man according to the riches of His glory – Eph. 3:16. In II Cor. 4:7 we are given to understand why the Christ life-light is placed in earthen vessels, “That the excellency of the power be of God, and not of us.”
Oh, what a glorious treasure is placed in these “Clay Pots.” Let us value highly this eternally valuable deposit. The frailty of the vessel is certainly used to manifest, even magnify the excellence of treasure. This is illustrated in verses 8-14. In fact the difficulty we experience as we go on in the Lord’s will in these temporary dwellings serve to produce a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. They are part of our training for reigning verses 15-17. The afflictions of the moment won’t last, but thank God, that which they are working, will. Hallelujah!!
To be continued