Holiness Through Beholding The Glory Of Christ: A Meditation On 2 Corinthians 3:18 -- By: Mark R. Stevenson

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 21:1 (Summer 2012)
Article: Holiness Through Beholding The Glory Of Christ: A Meditation On 2 Corinthians 3:18
Author: Mark R. Stevenson


Holiness Through Beholding The Glory Of Christ:1
A Meditation On 2 Corinthians 3:18

Mark R. Stevenson

Introduction

The glory of Christ is the most important reality in the universe and is thus a subject of overpowering magnitude. How shall we speak of one whose glory is “like the sun shining in full strength” (Rev. 1:16)? C. H. Spurgeon said this of the glory of Christ:

Hope not, my brethren, that the preacher can grapple with such a subject. I am overcome by it. In my meditations I have felt lost in its lengths and breadths. My joy is great in my theme, and yet I am conscious of a pressure upon brain and heart, for I am a little child wandering among the mountains…. I stumble among sublimities, I sink amid glories.2

In what follows, we want to explore 2 Corinthians 3:18 to see the exegetical foundation for the concept that growth in personal holiness comes through beholding the glory of Christ. Once we have the biblical foundation, we want to think through the implications and the application of that truth.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Cor 3:18 ESV).

We Become What We Worship

Human beings were created in the image of God. That means we reflect, to some degree, the likeness of our Creator. Sin, of course, distorts that image. When we worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:25), the image of God in us is marred and disfigured. Thus redemption, at one level, has as its goal to restore the image of Christ in us. The process of growth in holiness is about reflecting more and more the image of Christ.

So this issue of what we worship—whether Christ or idols—has huge implications in the quest for holiness. New Testament scholar Greg Beale has written a book entitled We Become What We Worship. The main thesis of the book is this: “What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or restoration.”3 Beale writes:

God has made humans to reflect him, but if they do not commit themselves to him, they will not reflect him but something else in creation. At the core of our beings we are imaging creatures. It is not possible to be neutral ...

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