Glorifying the Father on the Earth, #785
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do (JOH 17:4).
Our Saviour came for one purpose, to glorify His heavenly Father in our human nature. Man was created for the glory of God, and man fell from that state of the image of God in which he was created, and is no longer capable of serving for the glory of God. Our Saviour was to glorify His Father by His perfect obedience in our human nature to fulfill the purpose for mans creation.
The Lord gave Adam a work to do. He was to be obedient. He was to earn eternal life by perfect obedience, but he fell in transgression by rebelling against the perfect will of God. The Lord Jesus, as our substitute, came upon this earth, among sinful people, and in His perfect obedience, He fulfilled the purpose for which man was created, thereby glorifying the Father.
When our assignment is finished, we come for our wages, and so it was with our Saviour. Our Fathers ultimate glory was to reward His Son for finishing His redemptive work. He came to serve the will of the Father, what you and I were unable to do. PHI 2:9 says, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name." He purchased us with the price of His blood, and now we are His. We are no longer our own. We are His servants because He has redeemed us from the service of sin. That is what gives weight to our Saviours request for His reward when He said, "Father ... glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee."
We also shall reap what we sow. If we know anything about farming we know that if we sow barley, we do not harvest corn. If you sow wheat, you harvest wheat. This is well established principle throughout Scripture. 1-SA 2:30 says, "Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." We cannot serve sin and expect to honor God for all eternity. If we live unto the flesh, if we live unto the world, we will be lightly esteemed.
This same principle is taught from PRO 4:7-8, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her." Wisdom is a symbol of Christ. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the fear of the Lord is to hate all evil. If you embrace this principle it will bring you honor in the courts of heaven.
Life eternal, according to JOH 17:3, is to know "the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He] hast sent." Now in our text our Lord shows that He has finished that work for which He was sent. As our example, our Lord now freely asks what He knows His Father will grant based upon His covenant relationship. Therefore we also may come and plead His promises when we have done His will.
MAT 16:27 says, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." There is such a misconception in todays gospel thinking that all you have to do is accept Jesus and that His blood will take care of all your sins, and that you can go on and live in sin. The blood of Christ is to pay the penalty of past sins, but not to give us a floor mat to walk on and to trample on His blood and continue in sin.
In the resurrection everyone shall fully realize that their works follow them. JOH 5:28-29, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." It is not irrelevant how we live in this world. We are given a job to do. On resurrection day we will all get our wages.
Our Saviours petition, "glorify thy Son" was not for selfish reasons, but "that thy Son also may glorify thee." The purpose of our creation is that we live to Gods glory. There is a penalty for sin so that we will learn to respect the law. The Lord Jesus Christ paid a penalty that we are unable to pay. It does not give us license to disregard the law. Can you imagine a son or daughter, for whom the father has just paid an enormous fine, going back and committing the same crime, showing no regard for what he or she put the father through? That is what we would be doing if we sin willfully after the Lord Jesus Christ has taken His lifes blood to pay the penalty for our sins. We cannot lightly esteem the penalty that He has paid. We are called on to glorify the Father by doing what He has commanded us to do.
The Lord Jesus glorified His Father in many ways on the earth. He came to reveal the character and Person of the Father that He might be glorified in His church. He did this so we could be restored so we can live to the glory of God. The Father looks on us in the imputed righteousness of Christ as our penalty having been paid, that we may now be restored back into a life of obedience.
HEB 1:3 says, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." The word image in the original means a "reflection of." We were created to be reflectors of the Person and character of God the Father. We have fallen from that, and the Lord Jesus came to be the express image of his person. You and I are to become conformed to that image.
This "brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person," was revealed in His perfect obediencenot only at His deathbut as our example throughout His whole life. JOH 8:46 says, "Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?" Christ did not commit one sin. If He did, He would have to die for His own sin. By His life of spotless obedience, He has given you and me the example of what we ought to be.
Our Saviour glorified His Father as the express image of His Person by revealing His mercy, grace, and truth, not only in words, but by His actions. We all offend in many things, but the Lord looks on our hearts. Is it our desire to do His will? Do we have remorse over every infraction of His law? Do we grieve that we have offended Him?
JOH 1:14 says, "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." That Spirit of Christ must be seen in us.
The Father was glorified in His Son, that is, "the Word" in the first creation, but much more so in our new creation. The Lord spoke the Word when He created. The Word was Jesus Christ. In the first creation the object He created was from purely nothing. He spoke the Word and it was there. What He created had no pre-existence. There was no help, nor any hindrance. We had nothing to do with our first creation. When we were conceived in the womb, we had nothing to do with it. The same was true with the first man. He had nothing to do with His creation.
In the new creation, sin hinders. The demands of justice must be met. We have sinned, and God will not tolerate sin. Not one sin will go unpunished. Christ had to shed His blood for that sin, or you and I would have to spend eternity in hell over that sin. Justice has great demands. In the first creation man was taken out of the dust. In the new creation, man must be taken out of the service of sin. When we start to rightly understand our nature, sinful as we are, when the Holy Spirit starts to work grace in our hearts, we must be removed out of the service of sin, and we must be transformed into the kingdom of the Son of God, and we must become servants of God.
In the first creation man was made in the image of God. In the new creation it was necessary for God to become man! Much more is involved in the new creation than there was in the first. In the new creation it took nothing less than the infinite wisdom of God to make a plan whereby you and I could be redeemed from sin. Everyone wants to be redeemed from hell, but how many people want to be redeemed from the service of sin? Christ came to deliver us from all iniquity. The Father is a merciful Father, yet for Christ to deliver man from the tyranny and service of sin the high demands of justice stood as a wall between Him and mercy.
PSA 85:10 says, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." The Lord would not allow truth to fall in order to show mercy. The Lord could not allow His righteous demands unto the law to fall so that we could have peace. Mercy and truth met in the perfect atonement of Christ. The righteous demands of God were met. He paid the last farthing of our debt, and peace was born on the cross of Calvary. Then He was the Prince of Peace, because there was peace between an offended God and offending sinners. He made peace where there was no peace.
Christs work on earth was to purchase peace and mercy mild. His work was to proclaim the good news or Gospel of the Kingdom and redeem mankind from sin and iniquity by bruising Satans head under His feet. We can now be redeemed from the tyranny of sin, and we can again please God by serving Him under the yoke of Christ. The Lord can look at us with our sins washed away and our rebellion broken. Our hearts are renewed and now we desire to live according to His perfect will.
This was prophesied in GEN 3:14-15, "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Satan would bruise the heal of Christ, but Christ would bruise his head. The head of Satan was crushed by the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan was no longer to sit on the throne of our hearts, and we no longer serve him.
By His example Christ came to show us what it is that glorifies His Fatherby finishing the work He has given us to do. God is glorified even when men act passively, even when they totally disregard His will for our lives. We will still glorify God, but not for our own good. By His wisdom he overrules the rebellion of man for His glory PSA 76:10-11 says, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared." We must come before the Lord and make a vow, a commitment to the Lord that we will serve Him and do His will.
Here is an example of God being glorified by man acting passively and totally disregarding what the will of the Lord is. Pharaoh was raised up for Gods glory. ROM 9:17-18 says, "For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." The Lord was glorified in Pharaohs destruction. He will also be glorified either in our salvation or our destruction. God will not be mocked. We will either thus passively glorify Him as Pharaoh, or with our active obedience.
If we persist in fatalistically violating Christs highest command, God will be glorified in us as He was in Pharaoh. We see this in PSA 50:20-22, "Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mothers son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver." Gods highest command is that we love one another and cover their sins as Christ covered ours.
Gods glory is found in doing as Christ says in our text
"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." This is the work that you and I have been given to do. PSA 50:23 says, "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation [walk of life] aright will I shew the salvation of God." This shows the contrast between those who slander others and those who praise them. Charity is to look at others in the best possible light. Can I find something to praise in others. I do not have to look at their faults. I have enough of those. If we had a mirror of the law pointed at our heart while we are slandering others we would not have one stone to throw. We learn that to think evil thoughts against others is as if we slaughtered them.
When we offer praise our Father is glorified, seeing the Spirit of Christ formed in us. This declaring of Gods glory is expressed in two wordspraise and blessingas we see in PSA 145:9-10, "The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee." What better things to occupy our conversation with than to speak of the wonders of Gods grace of sending His own Son to take away the penalty of our own sin.
Our Father is glorified when we are actively endeavoring to glorify Him, serving according to all that is well pleasing under His will. Actions speak so much louder than words. Pleading for Gods favor, Jobs petition was based upon actions as we see in JOB 31:19-21, "If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone."
These labors of love are the things that accompany salvation. There is more to salvation than just going to heaven. Salvation begins in this life, being delivered from the power of sin, and being transformed into the kingdom of Christ. HEB 6:9-10 says, "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."
It is through such labors of love that we accomplish the work that the Father has given us to do for His glory and the glory of His Son. MAT 25:34-40 says, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
2TH 1:10-12 says, "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
God is most glorified when His dear children study to please Him in all things. This should be our highest desire. We should ask ourselves if the Lord would be pleased in what we are considering doing. Would it be for His glory? COL 1:9-10 says, "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God." We must always seek Gods will, to be transformed into the image of Christ. We are not going to be changed after we die. If we die serving sin, we are not going to serve Christ after we are dead. If we do not serve Christ in this life, we are not going to serve Him hereafter. We must be reconciled with Christ in this life.
It is a great honor to any master when his servants are so ready and willing to please him. A man came to Jesus to ask for help and said as we read in MAT 8:9, "For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." Should we be less sensitive to do the will of God than we would be to obey a senior officer in the military? What logic is there in those who think that Christ abolished the law after paying our penalty for breaking it? I have been in the military and I know what the consequences are of not doing what you are told. I have seen a man dig a six by six hole to bury a one inch cigarette because he threw it on the ground after he was told not to.
The Father was greatly glorified by the willing obedience of His Son, even in the hour of extremity, as we read in JOH 12:27-28a, "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name." The Lord Jesus stepped into death as an act of obedience because the Father had told Him to lay down His life and take it again. It would have been much easier for Christ, according to the flesh, to call on twelve legions of angels and escape the cross. Death was as real to Him as it is to you and me. If it comes to such an extremity, are we going to look for a way out or are we going to obey? Sometimes we have to make a little sacrifice. Sometimes there are things we could easily do to please our flesh that would be much easier than obedience.
The blessed example we receive from our Saviour is to be satisfied that our Father is glorified, even if it is in our utmost extremity. We must be willing to say, "Father, Thy will be done." We must not allow anything of the flesh to come between us and refuse to make that sacrifice, because if we do, if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before His Father. This is the same principle taught in PHI 1:20-21, "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." When we walk in faith we see that it is better to obey and lose our life than to disobey and displease the Lord. We know that we go from here to a better place. Even if our life depends on it, we are not going to be willing to disobey the Lord.
We glorify God much more by becoming transformed into the image of His dear Son than by attempting to glorify Him with an empty profession. It is so easy to say, "I believe, I accept and praise the Lord," but our actions speak louder than our words. 1PE 2:9 says, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."
A profession of carnal Christianity is likened unto spiritual adultery. EZE 36:17 says, "Son of man, when the house of Israel [those who profess to be Gods children] dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman." If you and I make a profession of being Christians while living our own ways, not willing to sacrifice for that which is pleasing to God, in the eyes of the Lord we are nothing but whores. These are solemn realities. MAT 7:21-23 says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." These died believing they had salvation in Jesus Christ, but He will tell them, Depart from me, I never knew you, because they were still living in sin. You have not been cleansed. You have not separated yourselves from the things of the flesh.
Such a profession does not bring God any glory. It brings reproach and blasphemy upon Gods name. When you profess to be a Christian and then show anger and bitterness against your neighbor, you do the things that the world does, and the world will blaspheme the name of Christ. EZE 36:19-20 says, "And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land." The heathen saw them profane the name of the Lord.
Satan has his gospel. He would have you believe that you are saved when you are not. It is a very important issue to know whether you are saved. Do we conform to the image of Christ?
The order of the Lords prayer reveals wherein our Lord is glorified. "Hallowed be thy name [how is that done?]. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" as we read in MAT 6:9-10. The Fathers name is glorified in that His will is done. Christ must be sitting on the throne of our hearts, that we serve Christ and not the things of the flesh.
As our text reveals, glorifying the Father by doing His will was the purpose of Christs coming, not only in Christ but in those He came to redeem, that we might glorify God by our works.
If we are Christs servants to glorify Him on earth, He will be our Advocate (a legal counsel who presents our case for us) in heaven as we read in 1JO 2:1-4, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." He will take our case before the court of heaven and plead that our violations have been paid for.
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