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Building up believers and the New Testament church

The Hope of Glory

The Glory That God Has Given Us

"The glory which You gave Me I have given them..." What is this glory that God has given us? It is important that we know, for Jesus says it is the basis of our being "made perfect in one." It is also the basis of the church's testimony to the world: "that the world may know that You have sent Me." So much around us falls short of this. The "oneness" most experience does not even come close to the oneness expressed in the Godhead. The testimony given forth lacks power and a divine fragrance; therefore, men do not believe that Jesus was God and that He was sent from the Father. This should concern us deeply. What is the answer? Jesus says it is something vital that has been given to us: the glory that the Father gave Him.

Consider the testimony of the apostle John as he and the other disciples beheld the Lord: "And the Word became 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. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, 'This was He of whom I said, "He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me."' And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (John 1:14-18).

What did John say they had seen? He said that the living Word that existed from the beginning "became flesh"--was expressed in human form. He said that as they beheld the glory of the only Son of God, it was expressed in "grace and truth." He said that nobody had ever seen God, but that Jesus declared who God is. The disciples believed they had seen the "glory" of God expressed in human form.

So what was the glory the Father gave Jesus? Was it not that God was fully expressed through human form? We read that Jesus had a glory from the foundation of the world, but He laid aside that glory and took upon Himself another glory (see John 17:5). As men beheld that second glory, they saw a full expression of grace and truth. Jesus said plainly that He did not move on His own initiative: but that He moved only as the Father moved. He also said that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father (John 14:9). Jesus was not the Father, but the Father was in Jesus. This was a "glory" that had never been seen by man and had never existed until this time. Not every man who saw Jesus saw the glory, but those who had spiritual eyes to see recognized this glory.

What does this mean to us? In this context, John makes an amazing statement. He says, "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace." Is this true? Is the fullness of God now available to us? The truth is staggering. If Jesus has opened the door that we also may be filled with all the fullness of God, if He has given us the same glory that the Father gave Him, the possibilities are beyond natural comprehension. Have we even begun to comprehend what Jesus has opened up to us in our fellowship with God?