Do you know the glory and majesty of Jesus Christ?
True saving faith, given by God, knows Jesus Christ in all the glory of His person and all the majesty of His works.
Jesus Christ is known as the Savior of our souls. He is known as the lowly and compassionate One. The Bible calls Him the Friend and the Lover of our souls. The Bible calls Him the Brother that is closer than any other.
But the Bible also makes very plain that Jesus Christ is both God and Lord. Thomas confessed in John 20:28 when the risen Jesus stood before him, “My Lord and my God.”
Although Jesus Christ is indeed that Friend of sinners and the compassionate One, nevertheless He is also the One who is filled with majestic glory. Our familiarity and love of Him as our Savior is a familiarity and love which is covered with reverence. We read in Psalm 2, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
We do not believe it is right simply to say, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” and to sing that in tunes associated with the immorality of the world. We do not believe it is right to be casual or to be disrespectful towards Jesus. But we believe that Jesus, the true Jesus, must be approached with reverence and with awe in the heart.
Jesus said in John 5:23 that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. We read in Revelation 1, “I fell at his feet as dead.” That is, when John saw a vision of the exalted Son of God, whose countenance shone like the sun, and out of whose mouth went a sharp, two-edged sword, he fell at the feet of Christ as one dead.
Yes, Jesus is the Friend of sinners. But true faith also is covered with reverence, with a godly awe and a godly fear, a respect, an honor of the glory and the majesty of Jesus Christ.
The One in whom we believe, Jesus Christ, and the One in whom we trust, and the One to whom we belong is glorious and is the worthy object of our worship and of our reverence.
It is this that is missing from so much that calls itself Christianity. Man hates to reverence the holy God, and tries also to take this aspect away from Jesus Christ and clothe Him only with a familiarity which is absent of any respect or reverence.
The glory of Jesus Christ is, first of all, found in this: that He is God’s Son. He is the only begotten Son of God. He is the eternal and natural Son of God.
We read in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There the Scriptures are speaking to us of the great measure of the love of God. This great measure is not seen primarily in whom He loved. He loved the world, that is, the world of God’s election, the world of God’s choosing, the world who believed in Jesus Christ – the world who believes in Jesus Christ because God works that in their heart. But the great measure of God’s love is not that He loved all of those whom He elected and all those who then believe in Jesus Christ. But the great measure of God’s love is found in this, that He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus is the very natural and eternal Son of God.
But we might ask the question: What does that mean? Does not the Bible also teach that believers are made the sons and daughters of God? Does not God say that He wants His house to be full of sons and daughters? Are we not also the sons and daughters of God?
The answer is that Jesus is the only begotten Son; that is, He is the eternal and natural Son of God. You see, Jesus did not become the Son of God. He is the Son of God from all eternity. He confessed before the Jews in John 8:57, 58 that He was the eternal Son of God. The Jews there were stung by His words, for He had just called them “sinners.” And they had responded that they were the children of Abraham! The Lord speaks to them that Abraham had rejoiced to see the day of Jesus Christ. And the Jews say to Him, “What? Are you trying to tell us that you know Abraham – Abraham, who lived 2,000 years before? Man, you are not even 50 years old. How in the world can you say that you saw and knew Abraham?” And the Lord responded to them, “Before Abraham was, I am.”
You see, when Jesus was born in the stable of Bethlehem, He did not become God’s Son at that time. It was then that the Son of God took upon Himself our human body and flesh. But that was not the first time that He was the Son of God. He ever was and is the Son of God.
When the Holy Spirit conceived in the womb of Mary the flesh of Jesus Christ, that was not when Jesus Christ began to be God’s Son. But Jesus Christ was and ever is the eternal Son of God. God sent forth His Son into the world, we read in Galatians 4:4. God sent Him into the world. Before His coming into the world He was, eternally, the Son of God. He is the eternal Son of God. That is, He is God.
He is the natural Son of God. And that is what the word “only-begotten” brings out. “Only-begotten” means that Jesus Christ, according to His divine Being, is very God of God. Jesus Christ is both God and man in one Person. He is Immanuel, “God with us,” with man. Jesus Christ is God! He is God’s only begotten Son. He is the eternal, and the natural Son of God.
The word “begotten” means “to bring forth another out of your own substance, to give your substance to another.” And that is a great mystery: the mystery of human birth. Jesus Christ is begotten of God. He is not made, but begotten. The very substance, the very being of God is His. He shares the divine nature. He is God of God! There is the majesty of Jesus Christ. There is the glory. He is God, blessed forever!
In John 10:30 Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” And He meant, We are one in being. We are the same. He did not simply mean, “We are one in purpose. We have agreeable purposes and agreeable viewpoints.” No. He means, “We are one in being,” for the Jews understood Him to say exactly that. They took up stones to kill Him. They took up stones because they said, “That’s blasphemy! You, being a man, make yourself equal with God.”
Well, it was not blasphemy. It was truth. Jesus Christ is equal to God. He says so in Philippians 2:6, “He thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” That is, for Jesus Christ to say, “I am equal to God,” was not robbery. He was not taking to Himself an honor that did not belong to Him. He was not saying something that was not true. He is indeed equal to God. He is the same as God. He is God’s only begotten Son.
This is the majesty of Jesus! He is God’s only begotten Son.
But the majesty and the glory of Jesus Christ is found not only in that He is the only begotten Son and therefore God of God. But the majesty and the glory of Jesus Christ is also found in that He is our Lord. He is God’s only begotten Son, but He is also our Lord.
When the Bible calls Jesus our Lord, then it is expressing the glory of Jesus Christ in His human nature, as a man. As God, of course, He is Lord. But He is also Lord as our Savior in our flesh. That is what Thomas meant when He said, “My Lord and my God.” He was speaking of the risen Jesus Christ who stood before him in His glorified and risen human body. Jesus Christ is Lord. He is the Sovereign.
Now the word “Lord” means that He is the almighty Ruler, He is the Master. The Bible teaches us in Matthew 28:18ff., and in I Corinthians 15 (various verses there), that through His obedience Christ was honored by God. God honored Him by giving Him authority over all things, so that now Jesus Christ, at God’s right hand, rules over all things. He performs God’s will. And He performs that will without error or mistake until at last the ultimate purpose of God is attained: God’s glory in His church and in the new heavens and in the new earth.
Jesus Christ is not then a Lord among lords. He is not a force to be reckoned with. He is not someone who is vying, fighting with others for power. He is not out wrestling with men and nations and movements trying to make a name for Himself. He does not look at the world as out of control and therefore trying to get hold of the reigns and get it under control. But all authority and power in the absolute sense has been entrusted to Jesus Christ. He is Lord. That is His glory and majesty.
Read Psalm 2. That Psalm begins with the threats of unbelieving men shaking their fists before God and saying that they are going to break His yoke, break His rule over them, they are going to set up their own kingdom. Then God responds and says, I will have you in derision. He laughs at them and says, “I have set My Son, My King, upon My holy hill. I have exalted My Son, I have given all power to My Son, Jesus Christ. He is Lord.” Then He says about Jesus Christ, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron. Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” And He goes on and says to all the powerful of the earth, “Be wise, be instructed. Serve the Lord with fear. Kiss the Son lest He be angry and ye perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they who put their trust in Him. He is Lord.”
That is the glory of Jesus Christ. He is God of God, God’s Son. He is Lord, the exalted Lord Jesus Christ who, through His suffering and death, through His resurrection and through being ascended into heaven and being placed at the right hand of God, now possesses all power and authority of God and rules over all things to the glory of God the Father.
You see, when we say that Jesus Christ is glorious, then we are not concocting a glory for Him. We are not fabricating an honor for Him. But we are declaring to you that glory and honor is intrinsic to Him as God. It is owed to Him as Lord. He is altogether glorious and great!
It is in the light of this that you can understand the guilt of the world in rejecting Him. That was God’s Son who came into the world in Bethlehem. That was God’s own Son who was hanged upon the cross. That was the One before whom the angels veiled their faces, the One whom they mocked and spit upon and slapped with their palms. The world ought to have received Him. And, oh the judgment that shall be upon the world in rejecting Him, who do not bow before the Son of God, who do not swear allegiance to Him. He is not a poor beggar who is dependent upon man for His honor. He is the Son of God!
It is His name that we proclaim to you. We are not proclaiming to you another movement and urging you to enlist in this movement. We are not proclaiming another name, a great leader among men. We are not bringing you a new fad. But we proclaim to you the Son of the living God to whom belongs all glory, power, and honor. You must repent and you must bow before Him. Life is to be found only in belonging to Him.
That not only shows us the guilt of a world which would reject the Son of God. But it also shows the folly of resisting Him. He is Lord. Will unbelieving man plot to overthrow Jesus Christ and His church? Will man say to Jesus Christ, “Well, we’ll just see what becomes of you and of the church. We will do with you as we please. If we want to give you a little place in our life we will do that. If we don’t want to, we’ll reject you.” Will man come to the Lord and say, “Well, we’ll examine your word and if it makes sense to us and if our reason says, yes, that is true, then we’ll believe it. But if it doesn’t make sense to us and if it’s not consistent with our reason then we will reject it and we’ll think our own thoughts and go our own way.” Will man do that to the Lord, Jesus Christ?
They shall be broken. They shall be dashed in pieces as a broken pot.
And will you negotiate with Him? Are you going to barter your life with Him and say, “Well, Lord, here’s a part of my life. I like the gospel message which says that Jesus is Savior. I like that, the forgiveness of sins. But I’m not ready yet to call Him my Lord. I’m not ready yet to submit certain parts of my life to His word. There are areas in my life where I will obey because it’s easy, it’s convenient for me now to obey. There are areas where I want to trust in Him, especially when things get pretty dark and lonely. And there are certain times and certain days when I want to follow Him as my Lord. But, not exhaustively. I’m not ready yet to relinquish control of my life here and there. I’m not willing to relinquish my life in my dating. (Perhaps you are dating an unbeliever.) I’m not willing to relinquish my life in matters of my entertainment, where I go, what I do with my time. I’m not willing to relinquish my life as it concerns my friends and how I choose and pick them. I’m not willing to relinquish my life concerning my goals and what I will do with my life. I want my independence. I want my own notions, my own concepts of what is good and right for me to do at certain times. I will not simply bow to Thy word, to the word of the living Lord. I want my independence.” Is that the way you negotiate your Christianity with Him?
Then you cannot call Him your Savior. Do not call Him your Savior! For He is both Savior and Lord, together. He is Lord. To all whom He saves, His scepter is extended over them. By His blood He has redeemed them to make them His own property. And He calls them now, as the living Lord to whom we belong, to bow and to yield, to stack our arms and to kiss the Son, and to put our trust in Him. Honor and majesty bow down before Him. Tremble in awe. Rejoice in reverence before the Redeemer, the great King. Serve the Lord!
The Christian has been saved. But he has not been saved to go back to the bondage of his sins. He has not been saved to serve himself. He has not been saved to live as he pleases, only now with a measure of assurance that he is going to be saved. No, the Christian is not his own. He is the possession, he is the slave of the glorious Son of God, the glorious Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian says, “I am now at His disposal to do His will.” Serve the Lord with fear and trembling. All your energy, your time, your possessions, your talents, at every occasion! The Christian says, “I am His purchased possession. He is the glorious and only Lord God.”
To whom do you belong? Are you a free man? What comes first in your life – yourself, your own thinking, your own pleasure, your own way, your own name, popularity? Then do not confess that you belong to Him. You belong to yourself. And woe to you if you belong to yourself. You have a tyrant for your master. You have a fool for your lord. That fool is yourself.
No, the Christian says, “I no longer belong to myself. But, by the grace of God, I belong to this glorious Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who loves me and who gave Himself for me. I delight to serve Him. I know the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ. I confess that glory. I confess that He is the Son of God who has purchased me. And I confess that He is Lord who now rules over me.”
May God bless these words to your heart.
Let us pray.
Our Father in heaven, we thank Thee for Thy holy Word. We pray that we may draw near with reverence and with godly awe before the Son of God, our Lord. Amen.