|Topical Bible Study||February 1961|
The Creator Series—Lesson X
The Glory of God
THE personal glory of the Creator is quite beyond our comprehension, but we can understand to some extent the glorious virtues of his character. We might say that God’s infinite wisdom, his unyielding justice, his boundless love, and his almighty power, in perfect balance as they are, together reveal his glory.
We can “see” God’s glory through an understanding of his plan for the redemption and recovery of the human race from death. But the world in general does not possess this knowledge, and therefore does not now “see” the glory of God. But with the full establishment of the kingdom of Christ this situation will change. Then the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth, and all shall know and serve him. (Isa. 11:9; Zeph. 3:9) Then all flesh will “see,” or discern, the glory of God.—Isa. 40:5
The whole world will then know of God’s justice as represented in the divine penalty for sin. They will know how divine wisdom found the way whereby God could be just, yet release the condemned world from death. (Rom. 3:26) They will know that it was divine love that provided the Redeemer, who himself lovingly died for their sins. (John 3:16; Rom. 5:7; I John 2:2) The world will also then discern, even better than we are able to comprehend at the present time, the miracle-working power of God; for they will see it demonstrated in the resurrection of the dead. Since all the dead from every part of the earth eventually are to be awakened from death, the glory of God will indeed fill the earth.—Acts 24:15
The glory of God was reflected to a limited degree in our first parents, whom he created in his image, and crowned with glory and honor. (Gen. 1:27; Ps. 8:4,5) As a result of the reign of sin and death, man has lost much of his original perfection, although there are degrees of the divine qualities of justice, sympathy, and love to be found in many persons even now.
During the Gospel Age God has been inviting a company of people to come out from the world, offering them the privilege of striving, through the exercise of faith, for a change of nature, from the human to the divine. (II Pet. 1:4) Those who reach this high position in the resurrection will attain also unto the divine glory.—I Cor. 15:47-49
All who do not attain to spiritual glory in the resurrection will be restored to human perfection during the thousand years of Christ’s kingdom. And think what a change that will be!* It will be a progressive return to holiness, or perfection, which the Bible likens to traveling over a “highway.”—Isa. 35:8
* “The Divine Plan of the Ages,” pages 191-193.
This “highway” is in reality the return road, not only to life, but to the image and glory of God. All who have been ransomed by Jesus will return from the sleep of death. If they then accept the provisions of divine love through Christ, and obey the laws of his kingdom, they will obtain eternal joy and gladness, and sorrow, sickness, and death will be no more.—Isa. 35:10; Rev. 21:1-5
The Bible assures us that all will then acclaim the glory of God, and the glory of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, the “Lamb” that was slain to take away the sin of the world. (Rev. 5:13; John 1:29) They will then sing that inspiring song recorded in Revelation 15:3, 4, Revised Version
Test your knowledge! To know the correct answers to these questions is important to all who would be pleasing to the Lord.
Explain one manner in which the glory of God’s character is revealed.
Can the unbelieving world “see” God’s glory? When will the knowledge of God’s glory fill the earth?
In what manner will the world of mankind, during the kingdom age, see the glory of God manifested, even more clearly than we do now?
What Scripture text affirms that our first parents were endowed with a measure of God’s glory?
Will any members of the human race ever attain the full measure of God’s glory?
Will man’s restoration to perfection be instantaneous?
What is the “highway” of Isaiah 35:8?
How do we know that the whole world ultimately will ascribe glory to the Creator, and to his Son, Christ Jesus?
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
The glory of God’s character is reflected by his wisdom, justice, love, and power. This glory eventually will be recognized by all mankind.