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December 18, 2020 7:00 pm
BJU President Dr. Steve Pettit continues a Seminary Chapel series titled “The Aroma of Christ – Ministry According to II Corinthians.” The passage is II Cor. 3:7-18.
Welcome to The Daily Platform or program future sermons from travel services of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, whether it's the general travel service for the whole student body or services for those in the ministerial class or seminary. Everyone at the school is blessed by the preaching of the word each day from the travel platform during the course of 2020 uncertainty and unrest have risen to a degree. Many of us have never seen before in second Corinthians. The Holy Spirit breathes out perfect guidance of how to minister God's truth in love through Paul's ministerial testimony, a testimony full of difficulty, but more full of Christ today were continuing the seminary series from second Corinthians, and today's message will be brought by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University photo morning is good to see all of you today and I'm glad that you're here in Chapel when I was a student here at Bob Jones. We didn't have seminary chapel and I'm just thrilled that that you're here and I'm so glad that you're in the seminary preparing to serve the Lord and minister and follow his will in making impact for Christ in the world in which or what you're getting here is so foundational. I often think that when I when ice come back here to the school when I was out ministry. I would always go find my professors and I would all thank them for their influence on my life because they really had a profound influence, and I think of Dr. Custer Dr. Pernod Zeehan Dr. Bell and others who just I just love their classes.
I love them and the things that I was able to soak up the reason why say that to you is when you get out in ministry is not that you don't study, you definitely study but is not quite the same as what you're doing now is a little bit different, so make the most of your opportunity to ask you take your Bibles and turn to second Corinthians chapter 3 this morning second through Griffey is three. How many of you want to change and become different. How many of you would like to change. Measuring how many of you ever get sick and tired of being you. If I highly ever get frustrated with yourself and think of your why is it so hard for me to be different or why do I keep stumbling in this particular area. Do you ever get frustrated with yourself. Of course you do, so inevitably we always ask ourselves the question and maybe we know the answer. We still asked the question and that is how I change what is it that I do.
It is obviously that is obvious. That is not that you don't do anything, but in second Corinthians 3, especially verse 18 will read 17 and 18 that I want to talk to you about how it is that God is set it up for us to change and it is a sure way for us to change.
Second, Griffey is 317 and 18 now the Lord is that spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in the glass the glory of the Lord are what say it, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord. The apostle Paul. At the end of this passage of Scripture is declaring how it is that we are changed into the most perfect image and that is the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. So how do you change will the text word here in verse 18 says that we are change the word change. There is the word metamorphosis. It's the caterpillar going into the cocooning coming out of butterfly. Not only is it not only is it something different but is like radically different. How did this happen. How does this change take place. It is always amazing to me to watch the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the heart of a person when it changes them and it's a transformation in its very different from if I could say this way.
Growing up in a home where you grow up in a Christian family and you you learn how to how to live a particular way and then and then suddenly this passage begins to kick in gear and suddenly you become even a very different person you are changed and what is very interesting about this word is that is in the present passive which means it's an ongoing process and is not something that you're doing. It's something that God is doing in you.
So we have to begin with the reality that when we talk about changing is not something you can do. It's not hard to change is impossible. It is something that God has to do what you have to put yourself in the place where it is that God can change you. And that's what second Corinthians 3 and verse 18 is all about free tells us how we change and noticed a little more carefully. In verse 18 when he says, but we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed, how are we change where change when we see the glory of God.
It is the glory of God that is transformative in our life and where do we see the glory of God really tells us here as we behold in a glass the glory of the Lord. We are changed into the same image that's the image of God's glory from glory to glory that is from one experience of seeing glory to the next experience of seeing glory to the next experience so it's not a one time it's a present process. It's the process that were in now that we go through this present process of seeing and observing the glory of God been literally we by God's power because it is kids working or changing us into the very image that we are saying we see the glory of God. So he's telling us how to change so two things almost look at this morning.
The first ones that take me most the time to explain and when I finish it will be woefully inadequate, inadequate, and that is what is the glory of God because the glory of God is one of those terms like grace, that we all have a tendency to assume we understand, but in reality we don't.
So what is the glory of God. And then secondly, what is the mirror that we look into, which is the actually active part, we look into the mirror we see the glory of God and were change God's changing you but we have to be looking into the mirror.
So what is that mirror so let's begin with the question what is the glory of God.
Paul says as we behold in a glass the glory of the Lord. We are changed in the same image from glory to glory. So what is the glory of God. We can begin with an illustration maybe. Hopefully this will help us get our brain around this, the father of Alexander the great was a man named Philip who was the king of Macedonia.
He was killed in a battle and he was buried in the capital city of Macedonia near Philippi and the town that he was buried in today is called the town of they are Gina in 2002. I went with Dr. Sam Warren on a trip to Greece in Turkey to do to survey the spots where the apostle Paul planted churches. So as it was a pretty cool trip and as we were coming outside of the town of Berea you remember where Paul went briefly talked about the nobility of the brands I God said we're going to go to an ancient tomb and it was the tomb of King Philip of Macedonia that was discovered by Greek archaeologists in 1977 will course. I got pretty excited about that. But what is really cool is that when they discovered the tomb.
They found with the tomb all the artifacts that had been buried with the king when he died.
And if you know anything about history when you marry a famous king usually litters come back and they still all the steel all the artifacts because they think they're to take it with them in the next life. Obviously they don't. So the losers come and take them well all the artifacts were there so they built this this this museum literally in the mausoleum and so I remember the anticipation of walking down into this underground tomb and is now a museum and it was dark except the artifacts in the each one was in the glass case with the light perfectly shining in so I solved the shield that he would've wore embattled King Philip the the the the Scooby that the helmet he would've wore the shield he would've carried and then we saw his golden Royal goldleaf diadem so it's it's not just the crown it's the goldleaf.
It looks like the, the olive branch around his head, and as soon as I saw it I thought, man, that guy had a big head. I mean it was huge and the first thing out of my mouth was why this guy has some serious glory. What is glory. Is there one word that can adequately describe it on her splendor, abundance, riches, dignity when you and I want to describe something that we seen, or something that we've experienced. We we try to use words that that express what we feel that the moment like unbelievable incredible awesome. We watch people that that do things that are that are beyond our abilities and were wow bow by them number of years ago my son Steven and I went into a local little stripmall gymnasium to lift some weights wasn't far from the local church where I was preaching and was in a very fancy place at all. There was a guy in there that was massive I mean. His chest came into the gym about five minutes before the body came in the gym. That's this guy was just like it was just massive any Savino and just let you know that in a gym like that. Usually there's not a lot of intelligent conversation going out it's surrounded by mirrors on the wall for the intention of looking at yourself. So it's a very self-centered place. So this guy is walking around and lifting some weights and he walks over to the flat bench press and that there's a bar there that that waste 45 pounds and so he began to take plates and put them up on the bar. The largest plate is a 45 pound plate so unit lift weights. You know what I'm talking about so I put 245 pound plates one up on the set that's 135 pounds and then he put up two more. That's 225 and he put up two more and that's like 315 and he put up two more in a put up two more so essentially he had 500 more or less 500 ailments total of 10 plates that when you lift that that much weight literally that Bart begins to wobble and then he went and got three guys to help spot him.
That means getting it off the rack bring it down, pushing it up, one on each side and one behind him so he couldn't get it up. It takes three guys to help me get it up so I turned my son Steven. I said but you better watch this because you may never see this. The rest of your life now on a flat bench presses a call, chest press, where you grab the bar and you bring it down, you push it up like this and it works at your whole chest muscles, but he did something very different. He brought his hands in like this and that works out a very different muscle it works out church price.
You know what a tricep is is that right there that your tricep so here's a guy working out 500 with 500 pounds to build his $0.20 in my first thought is, who is this guy's got to be somebody famous because only famous people can do this and grab the bar and brought it down and he just it was, like that put it back on the rack I thought I can file them if I know this guy is so he can walk in by not stopping them again asked questions like who are you and for the next 30 minutes he told me who he was. He was a national benchpress champion for over 50 years old drug-free. That's kind of his shtick. He played football for Seattle Seahawks. He play football for Arizona State University and II walked away, and I've never forgot that. So what is it that that all of me. It was something about him at the display of his strength, his ability so when we talk about glory.
We talk about some strength something incredible, something that is all, some being put on display. However, there is a huge difference between seeing the glory of a man and seeing the glory of God in Exodus 33 verse 18 Moses asked the question, the God show me your glory. God, there's a lot about you.
I haven't seen I want to see it all but you know that's a good question when you meet the Lord you want to know him in a greater way want to seem put himself on display. He said unveil yourself to me, but God said there's a problem Moses because you can't see my glory because you wouldn't live long enough to enjoy it because he said in verse 20.
You cannot see my face for no man can see me and live. So what is the glory of God the glory of God is something that is actually deadly. You and I can even handle it the glory of God is this, it is the sum total of who he is.
His intrinsic nature being put on display is the sum total of all of his attributes. All of his character. All of his perfections being put out there so that we can see it. So what would that look like if somehow we could see God.
How would he do plate display himself. We go back in the Scriptures, it is undeniable that when we see God, displaying himself in many different ways. He primarily displays himself in Houston in a huge, radiant light, how do we know that because in the Old Testament the presence of God dwelt in the tabernacle in a room called the holy of holies in the presence of God was manifested in a bright cloud called the Shekinah glory. It means the presence of God residing with us.
God displayed his self in a brilliant light. We come to the New Testament we read what Paul says in first Timothy six and verse 15 when he speaks of Christ as the King of Kings and the Lord of lords who only hath immortality, dwelling, or living in the light, God is light and hit in him is no darkness at all.
However, the problem with that is that if we tried to approach the light it would kill us.
We think about it. If you woke up this morning, went outside and you watch the sunrise and you put your eyes on the sun all day long and you never took your eyes off the sun until the sun settled in the West at somewhere around 7 o'clock at night so all day long you look at the sun. What kind of eyesight.
Would you have in the end of the day. Now let me ask you this.
If you can't. If you can't handle the glory of the SU in. How can you handle the glory of the SON who made the SU in. In other words, the glory of God is something that we can handle. It's like a guy saying I'm thirsty and he sticks his head in Niagara Falls is just a little too much. You and I can't handle the glory of God and yet it is always been the passion of God to display his glory. That's his passion because what can be greater than God for the heavens cannot contain God. What can be greater than God.
So the greatest thing God could do is to display himself to us and he's done that for example God's displayed himself in creation. The heavens declare what the glory of God in the firmament show with his handiwork. The heavens tell the story of his glory. I could go out. I mean, I can throughout all the figures of the vastness of the universe.
I don't have to do that but but I will say I love used to taking my little daughter Rebecca out and put her on my shoulders and I would say to her, Becca, who made the stars and she would say that he God made the stars and I would say hallelujah and she would say Lou you and whether it's a child's mind or in adults mind.
It blows are mine to try to comprehend the vastness of the universe and yet the vastness of the universe is simply a display of the power and the divinity of our God for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are maybe even his eternal power and Godhead. God displays himself in creation over and over and over. That's why people like to buy a house that's overlooking a lake or you have a view of the mountain you pay for the view but what you're really paying for is the see God's glory on display. God displayed his glory also in the person of his son Jesus Christ. What is John right about Jesus in John one. In verse 14 and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory beyond the glory as of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth, and the whole life of Christ every single day was a display of the glory of God. Whether it was in his display. This power of creation or his power of healing or in the words that he spoke his whole life was a display of the glory of God. And yet when we see Jesus we would've seen him as a human being, but there was one time on a mount called the Mount of Transfiguration, which, by the word way is the same word in second Corinthians 318 where it says we are changed in the same image is the exact thing will of what happened to Jesus on them on the Mount of Transfiguration was almost as if he zipped down his humanity, and suddenly this bright radiant brilliant light comes bursting out and God magnificently revealed himself in terms that we could understand we could know God through his son Jesus. But we see this brilliant light and so in the person of Jesus Christ.
God displayed his glory.
Let me also say that God is displaying his glory today in his church.
In Ephesians 3 it says now the him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us under it unto him be glory in the church in the church. What is God doing he is displaying the power of his resurrection who is who takes people who are totally his enemies completely depraved in nature.
Having no desire for God. Having no desire to be a part of the light who choose darkness over light who choose death over life, God is taking dead, disobedient and depraved sinners and God, who is rich in his mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, have quickened us together in Christ, and we have experienced our resurrection and God is doing such a transformative work in the church that even the Angels are amazed at the display of the wisdom of God in what he's doing to prepare a bride for his son on his amazing thing. If you think about so the church is a display of the glory of God.
So we see God's glory in the church we see God's glory creation we see God's glory in in Christ, his son, all of it is in seeing this glory. We are being changed, so I told it would be woefully inadequate is like trying to describe the Pacific Ocean by taking a little cup in scooping out the water and then trying to describe the whole thing.
We can't but we know this is that when we see the glory of God. It changes us now very quickly.
Where do we see that glory and I want to go back and notice if you will. Verse 18. My time is short so be very fast.
He says we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord. The word openface there means unveiled and I will take the time to explain it because of our time, but essentially he's referring back to the experience of Moses who was on top of the mountain at Sinai when he was in the presence of God.
His face began to shine.
He came down from the mountain and he put a veil over his face. Because of that glory, but also not only because of the glory. But because the glory faded away in the fading glory on the face of Moses was an object lesson to the Jewish people that the old covenant was not permanent, but temporary, that God would eventually replace the old covenant with the new covenant and what is the new covenant is the person of Jesus Christ and what he's come to do for us and so under the old covenant essentially what Paul is saying is there is a glory but that glory was going to fade away and God is going to replace it with a much better glory. And that's the new covenant, and he says so when you turn to the Lord in a and receive Christ as your Savior. He literally takes the veil off because Jews today, even in the reading of the Old Testament law have a veil upon their eyes because they don't really see Christ because when you and I read the Old Testament we see Jesus throughout every book in the Bible we see Jesus everywhere because Jesus fulfilled what the Old Testament prophesied and pictured as so here's what the apostle Paul saying when we look into this glass we see the glory of the Lord. So what's the glass what's the mirror and if you go back you can read it in verse 14 in verse 15 it is in the reading of Moses, or simply the reading of God's word.
How do we change here's how to change the average Bible and he took a long time to get to that point yet, but that's the point until you begin to read the Bible as it is the living word of God under the, the, the influence of the author of the word of God the Holy Spirit that whatever change comes in your life is going to be somewhat superficial, but where there is real and genuine change. It is always marked by this a passionate reading of God's word under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the person of Christ within you, who takes that word in. He begins to transform your thinking, your emotions, your mind, your will, your emotions, everything is coming under that that influences like the wave of the ocean. If you go swimming in the ocean. It overflows you and if you do that day by day then you experience a little glory every single day, and over time, not overnight that glory.
That is the presence of the Lord being displayed through his attributes as he reveals himself in Scripture as you read the word of God. A supernatural metamorphosis takes place you are changed into the image of Christ. It's really an amazing thought and is really an amazing experience.
So the most important thing you can do in seminary is read your Bible father, thank you so much for your word and your faithfulness to us and thank you Lord that by your power of your spirit in your word you change us into the likeness of Jesus as we spent time in your word.
Thank you for this in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to The Daily Platform.
I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University and I invite you to join us at our beautiful campus in Greenville, South Carolina to see how you can be prepared academically and spiritually to serve the Lord through one of our more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit www.btu.edu or call 800-252-6363.
Thanks for listening and join us again next week as we continue the study in second Corinthians on The Daily Platform