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“They Glorified God In Me”
IT IS OFTEN SAID that the highest service a man can render his race is to raise its conception of itself. This was said when men had more to do than look for ways to destroy mankind. This idea of service seems out of place and out of date today.
Men used to think more about mankind and set forth, in fuller light, the greatness of human nature, as they thought it to be. One author in the 1920's wrote, “...many so live as to dwarf our conception of ourselves; so we are all the more ready to reverence the immortal few, who in any wise vindicate our superior claim and quicken our sense of potential greatness” (W.L. Watkiusou, D.D.).
Whatever human thinkers and doers thought and did in days gone by, there is yet open to us a higher WAY—GOD’S WAY.
My text, found in Galatians 1:24, fits into this picture: “And they (the Apostles at Jerusalem) glorified God in me (Paul).” Because of Saul’s conversion (he was now to be called Paul), those who were once in fear of him, now glorified God in him. This quality of life in God ought to be sought after by all Christians. By God’s transformation in our lives, we can make Jesus to appear more real, make Him more near, more worthy to others, and hopefully cause others to obey His calling.
Attaining to a true Christian “transcending moral excellence”, we can glorify God. How sad to see this present generation of “Christians” live unworthy lives—lives full of the world. That glorifies not God, but SATAN!
If Christians were to live in full obedience and pursue moral purity, our race could be exalted in a much higher degree; but when the Church goes a whoring after the gods/goddesses of this world, we bring our race down even further.
In nature, we have a certain God-given revelation of the Creator (read Romans 1:20)—clearly seen, yet faint in some ways, and partial. In humanity, since men were created after God’s image and likeness, the Creator finds, as it is said, “a better medium for the manifestation of Himself”. Holy men/women in both the Old and New Testament reflected God’s presence.
Nowhere do we find God rebuking the righteous; only the unrighteous. The righteous reflect the divine; the unrighteous, the demonic. While writers of the past and present are ever-and-always negative in speaking about the “incommunicable glory of God”, some still assume that in pure human nature, we behold, as in a minor, “the best reflection of the Supreme”. The Bible plainly states, “For a man...is the image and glory of God” (1 Cor. 11:7).
You see, in the Incarnation of the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, we see the fitness of human nature to furnish the glory of God; we see the most perfect medium for the manifestation of Him “whom no man hath seen or can see (God the Father).” This ought to make the whole world continually glorify God and the Son.
History is full of examples whereby evil men degraded the True Living God. At times, history even tells of God’s very own people in such a way. Israel, too many times, switched God for gods! They degraded the pure conception of Jehovah God in the estimation of the pagans round about them. Sadly, we Christians do this today.
In Romans 2:24, Paul penned these words: “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.” Just where was this written? Look up 2 Samuel 12:14, Isaiah 52:5 and Ezekiel 36:20.
The liberal Church of today certainly shares in this condemnation. Not only is God’s name used in vain (i.e., it is used without respect of His Divinity), but his name is also used in cursing, way too often. We can further dishonor His name by greed (a BIG sin here in the West!), by sensual indulgences, by too many other iniquitous deeds which we cannot fully mention here. We can deny Him by atheism in our character, our conduct, our dress . . . we are guilty, GUILTY! By this sin of atheism (i.e., denial of God’s existence in our lives, even denying God in the little areas of our lives), we can and do destroy the faith that men would have in godly ideas, and instead, we furnish them with occasions for unrighteousness and we help strengthen their already brooding prejudices and their disbelief in God’s Holy Kingdom.
THE CHURCH IN THIS HOUR IS FILTHY THROUGH AND THROUGH! Every sin possible in thought and deed is done by those who claim Christ’s name. And we wonder why we can’t see a revival. REPENT, my dear sinning churchites, and you might rise up into the glories of Heaven again. What sin can be darker than to blaspheme His Holy Name? What guilt can be darker?
On the other hand, we can cause men to glorify God as we live a holy, separated life, walking upon God’s Highway. We can bring the unbelieving into the realms of belief. We can bring the lost into His saving grace. We can bring the sinning church members (at least some) to truly repent of their sin. We can cause the full (who are full of worldliness) to become hungry and thirsty for righteousness. We can cause the haters of truth to love the truth, the fearless (who lack the fear of God) to fear His name, and the fearful to find safety under His mighty banner of love.
Incredible as it may seem in this age of mockers and scoffers, such is the sublime gift and privilege of the true Christians; such is their high and holy calling—to inform the ignorant world about the Person and Presence of Almighty God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. We can share the concepts of His justice, His goodness, and His love. The world is just waiting to find such Christians—ones who walk the walk. If we would walk upon the LORD’s Highway, men—lost men; “religious” men—could be established in Him, in His everlasting sovereignty.
Not only are we to “Take Jesus TO ALL THE WORLD!” but we are TO BE HOLY, FOR GOD IS HOLY. The mission of the Christian is to go “above and beyond” the call of duty, to visualize and actualize the moral perfection which constitutes the essential glory of the Supreme—“being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:11). It is a shame that the modern Church has stopped pursuing this course of holiness and has settled for self-love, “self-esteem”, and just pure SELFISHNESS!
Paul, in the above quote, does not glorify himself, as most are apt to do. Too many have already fallen victim to this temptation of self-glorification; but Paul glorifies God. We live in a generation of SELF-GLORIFICATION and SELF-TRANSFIGURATION. Yet the Bible, dear reader, supplies many a striking example of the fatal working of our beastly egoistic passions!! (Remember all those Biblical examples?) All too many ministers of our evil day brag like ol’ King Nebuchadnezzar, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” MY, MY! Sounds like all these “Kingdom/Freedom” builders today. (Read Daniel 4:29-33.)
This Babylonian King was not a mere legend or myth, but a real man who committed real sins. Does not our own Church scene today supply a parallel to him that none may dispute? If the “BIG” boys and girls in religion can’t get us to bow before them, they bow before themselves! Will not their prideful ways degenerate unto that same megalomania which reached its highest pitch at the moment of Neb’s severe mental catastrophe? Will not these bragging religionists succumb to the same dangerous, shameful end which Neb succumbed unto? Invariably, a BIG fall accompanies every immorality in ones’s own name: this is the danger of self-glorification. If men of sin, even “Christian men”, cannot get God to glorify them, they will proudly place the Crown of Deity upon their own heads. And this all happens while the world looks on. Let us take heed, therefore: the moment any of us tremble on the edge of vanity, let us quickly, quickly REPENT.
Paul was keenly aware of his shortcomings. He had spiritual acumen, for he always gave the glory where glory was due—to God alone—as we can see from I Corinthians 15:10. Ephesians 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace,” is the doxology that rings in all of Paul’s epistles.
By our text, Galatians 1:24, we see also that the churches of Judea glorified not Paul, but God. Oh, the praise and glory that churches in this hour bestow upon human vessels! I mean, you can even be a raving homosexual and churches almost deitize you!
All this glory and praise heaped upon men/women in our age, just proves how SICK this generation really is. People are charmed by some example of supposed human excellence, and they sin in the sight of God. The one or ones taking the glory, sin as well. This is called IDOLATRY! Some of these televangelists literally ensnare people into religious idolatry through their “revelations”, their skill in raising large sums of $$$$, and one hundred other things. Millions worldwide, for various reasons, extol these TV “stars”—the way they “skillfully” explain the passages of the Bible, the “hidden mysteries”, the doctrines of Scripture, and so on—yet these same people fail to hear and obey God’s voice in the written Word, let alone the spoken Word.
“Bible idolatry” is another pitfall. You might be thinking I’ve went too far here. No! Multitudes are fascinated with both Bible teachers and Bible content—its wisdom and eloquence, its common sense yet embodiment of deep truths—yet they do not discern the eternal things or do them. “Blessed are they that DO His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in though the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14, New Jerusalem Bible). Oh, yes, read the next verse if you dare.
Idolatry of any kind is a FATAL SIN. What we love and worship other than God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, becomes a gross snare and stultification.
I see nothing wrong width godly admiration of a saintly life; but to idolize is wrong. I would rather admire a godly person than a godless one, unlike so many “Christians” in this hour. We should only honor the ones who honor the Lord.
Psalms 115:2 says, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truths’ sake.” Truth’s sake! Yes, for Gods’ truth—here is the confession and the high calling of the Christian Church. Whilst the Lord is inflexibly stern, and we must remember that, He is also to be given glory for He is ever compassionate, rich in mercy, waiting and wanting to be mercifully loving to ALL who call upon His name.
If God’s creatures would give Him honor and praise, this deranged world could become a paradise. Jesus lived and died that He might bring fallen humanity into glory, and we can share this wonderful work of reconciling.
The Apostle Paul continually witnessed to others about what Christ did to him and for him. He not only witnessed of God’s saving power, he also testified of God’s goodness by the life he lived. Sadly, too many “talk the talk” but never “walk the walk”. Let us put walk to our talk. We owe it to our neighbor, our nation, the world, to acquaint them width a genuine, real Christian testimony and a true godly life. How cheap we have made “witnessing” for the Lord these days! The eminence of Paul’s character confirmed his incredible testimony. He was a “living epistle, known and read of all men”. His living confession touched men and women everywhere he went. His letters still touch millions today.
Our Christian profession ought to persuade both the pagan and the religious. John 15:8 says, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye (we) bear much fruit”—not green fruit or rotten fruit, but real quality fruit, ripe and good.
Matthew 5:16 tells us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Glorify who? Us? The Alford translation puts Galatians 1:24 this way: “My example was the cause of their glorifying God.”
I know what I’m writing will not be popular with modern Church thought, but it is true. God still honors His worthy saints and detests hypocrites. But the Church of today detests true saints and loves hypocrites.
The pagan world has seen and heard enough from this “thing” called the “Church” of today. The pagans want to see some real Christians for a change. What a vast graveyard the modern Church has become!—full of all manner of filth and odor. The Church has taken the cross out of the cross: no more death to self! Now the Church provokes, demands, even commands others to worship her. Sorry, devil, choke on your own glory! I’ll not give you an ounce! God and only God deserves the Glory.
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