One of my favorite things about ROL is how much we look to Jesus; we have spent the last number of years meditating as a church on the Gospel. The content of our worship songs, our sermon series, our conferences, all centered on Jesus. I spent most of my life studying the epistles; I loved the meat and theological topics of Paul and Peter’s teaching. Whenever I would read the gospels I never felt like I got anything from them. I knew the stories of Jesus, and so I tended to just skim over them excited to get to things I could really think about, and wrestle with.
When we started ‘The Son’ series I felt the Spirit convicting me for how little time I spent in the Gospels. I had a realization that I knew the stories, and on an intellectual level knew Jesus, but I was so far from knowing His heart deeply enough.
I took for granted that we can actually learn about and know God, know His character, His personality, His grace and goodness. Jesus is the full revelation of God, and God chooses to use the scriptures to show us who He is! It is so amazing that we can know the very nature of the God who created the Heavens and the Earth. The all powerful, sovereign Lord of all creation eating and drinking with thieves and hookers, holding children, caring for crowds, touching the sick and contagious and being beaten and tortured for me.
I would read Paul, Peter, James and John’s letters and miss the point. It is all about Jesus. All of the meat, all of the deep content pointed to Jesus.
Two or three weeks ago I was preaching at the 1:30 service and the Spirit gave me fresh revelation and excitement about studying the person of Jesus. My primary text was 2 Corinthians 3:18.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
The Greek word for beholding in this text is ‘katoptrizo’ which can mean to ‘behold’, or ‘to reflect’ or ‘look into a mirror’, and scholars support all three views. For most of the chapter Paul is making comparisons between the old and new covenant. In Exodus 34 Moses would enter the presence of God and would come out with his face shining, which he then would leave veiled until the next time he entered the Lord’s presence.
Commentators suggest that the veil was placed on Moses for two reasons, first so that the Israelites wouldn’t shy away from Moses, but also because Moses knew that the glory upon his face was fading (R.V.G. Tasker). The fading was symbolic of the ultimate abolition of the Old Covenant (the coming of Christ).
Paul contrasts this with the joys of the New Covenant. We can gaze upon the glory of Christ with unveiled faces! As we look to Christ and allow the work of the Spirit to transform us we begin to reflect Him ‘We are transformed into the same image, from one degree of glory to another.’
This is the process of sanctification. Being made pure. Overtime, becoming more like Jesus. Reflecting Him in our homes, with our families, at work, in the church.
Everyday I am feeling the call of God on my life increasing; my life is to be dedicated to the pursuit of knowing Jesus and being transformed by His Spirit.