Horizoned by Glory

by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 2

Having defined and explained what glory is, it becomes necessary and imperative to take notice of how serious and solemn the glory is.

God is "the God of Glory"; therefore, to meet the glory, or to be where the glory is, is a very serious matter. It can - as the Bible shows - work both ways. It can be the occasion of much joy and blessing. A real sense of joy, peace and satisfaction can abound when the glory of God is present; that is, when the nature and the requirements of God are satisfied. "When the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began" (2 Chronicles 29:27). The burnt offering was inclusive of all God's requirements, and, as in the Old Testament type, so in the antitype, when Jesus offered Himself as the whole burnt offering in which God's will was "once for all" and wholly satisfied, the ground was laid for all the joy and peace that God can give to believers to be their experience. All our blessing and blessedness rest upon the Father's nature being fully and for ever satisfied in and by His Son. Faith's appropriation and resting on Christ as God's satisfaction is the only, but sure, way to present and future glory. Hence, it is "Christ (what He is) in you, the hope of glory". "He was raised by the glory of the Father" means that His being raised is the attestation of the Father's perfect satisfaction with Him and His work.

This is a truth and theme upon which our hearts and minds should much dwell.

There is, however, another aspect of the glory. If things - in particular or in general - are other than according to the Divine nature, the glory may mean judgment. Judgment may mean correction, discipline, chastening, frustration, confusion, strain and unhappy conditions. It may mean destruction. We have instances in the life of Israel when, because of some positive opposition to the Divine nature, the glory appeared in the gate and very serious were the consequences. In a less but still imperative way, on the Mount of Transfiguration, when Peter, "not knowing what he said", impulsively sought to take charge of the situation and manage things, the voice from Heaven said: "This is my beloved Son... hear ye him." The glory will not allow the place of God's Son to be usurped by man, even with the best intentions. It was only the sovereign grace of God in eternal purpose that did not allow the imperious Saul of Tarsus to be destroyed on his Damascus journey. John said, concerning the incarnate Son of God, "We beheld his glory". For those simple, honest and unprejudiced men the glory could be present to blessing. But for the Jewish nation as such, embodied in their ruling and official classes and hierarchy, the presence of the same Son, because of the blindness caused by pride and prejudice, meant destruction and the "outer darkness" of these many centuries. "Blindness has happened to Israel"; the blindness of not seeing who Jesus is, and that is a terrible judgment.

Wherever God, in Christ, is present or presented, He is there on the ground and terms of God's satisfaction, and the issue of blessing or judgment is in the balances. That is the inner meaning of "Wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am". The Name is what He is in nature, perfection, glory, God's satisfaction. That is the ground of His presence; no other. It is not location, geography, assembly, but characteristic as to Christ.

The "Crown of Glory" will be God's attestation that things have been according to Christ as to God's good pleasure. Because Christ is God's Horizon of all things for eternity, glory is God's horizon for His faithful ones in as much as Christ has been everything to them both from God and to God.

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