Welcome to The Daily Platform. Today, we're continuing the seminary series from 2 Corinthians, and today's message will be brought by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University.
Well, good morning. It's 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 a seminary chapel, and I'm just thrilled 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 and make an impact for Christ in the world.
And what you're getting here is so foundational. I often think that when I used to come back here to the school when I was out in 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. Pernosian, Dr. Bell and others who just, I just loved their classes.
I loved them and the things that I was able to soak up. And the reason why I say that to you is when you get out in ministry, it's not that you don't study. You definitely study, but it's not quite the same as what you're doing now. It's a little bit different. So make the most of your opportunity. I'm going to ask you to take your Bibles and turn to 2 Corinthians chapter 3 this morning.
2 Corinthians 3. How many of you want to change and become different? How many of you would like to change?
Raise your hand. How many of you ever get sick and tired of being you? Anybody do that? How many ever get frustrated with yourself and think of 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, but we still ask the question and that is how do I change? What is it that I do?
And it's obviously, it's obvious that it's not that you don't do anything. But in 2 Corinthians 3, especially verse 18, we'll read 17 and 18, that I want to talk to you about how it is that God has set it up for us to change. And it is a sure way for us to change. 2 Corinthians 3, 17 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? Well the text word here in verse 18 says that we are changed. The word change there is the word metamorphosis. It's the caterpillar going into the cocoon and coming out a butterfly. Not only is it something different but it's like radically different.
How did this happen? How did 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 and it's very different from, if I could say it this way, growing up in a home where you grow up in a Christian family and you learn how to live a particular way. 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 it's in the present passive which means it's an ongoing process and it's 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 it's not something you can do. It's not hard to change, it's impossible. It is something that God has to do but you have to put yourself in the place where it is that God can change you and that's what 2 Corinthians 3 and verse 18 is all about. For he tells us how we change. And notice 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 changed? We're changed 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? Well he 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 we're in now that when we go through this present process of seeing and observing the glory of God, then literally we by God's power because it is his working are changing us into the very image that we are seeing when we see the glory of God. So he's telling us how to change. So two things I want us to look at this morning.
The first one is going to take me most of the time to explain and when I finish it will be woefully 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 we're changed. 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 into the same image from glory to glory. So what is the glory of God? Let me 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 Vergina. In 2002 I went with Dr. Sam Horn on a trip to Greece and Turkey to survey the spots where the apostle Paul planted churches.
So it was a pretty cool trip. And as we were coming outside of the town of Berea, you remember where Paul went, preached and he talked about the nobility of the Bereans. Our 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. Well of course I got pretty excited about that but what was 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 bury a famous king usually looters come back and they steal all the artifacts because they think they're going to take it with them into the next life.
Obviously they don't so the looters come and take them. Well all the artifacts were there so they built this museum literally in the mausoleum. And so I remember the anticipation of walking down into this underground tomb and it's now a museum. And it was dark except the artifacts and each one was in a glass case with the light perfectly shining and so I saw the shield that he would have wore in battle, King Philip. The helmet he would have wore and the shield he would have carried. And then we saw his golden royal gold leaf diadem. So it's not just a crown it's the gold leaf it looks like 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 wow this guy has some serious glory. What is glory? Is there one word that can adequately describe it? Honor, splendor, abundance, riches, dignity. When you and I want to describe something that we've seen or something that we've experienced we try to use words that express what we feel at the moment like wow, unbelievable, incredible, awesome.
We watch people that do things that are beyond our abilities and we're wowed by them. A number of years ago my son Stephen and I went into a local little strip mall gymnasium to lift some weights. It wasn't far from the local church where I was preaching and it wasn't a very fancy place at all. But there was a guy in there that was massive. I mean his chest came into the gym about five minutes before the body came into the gym.
This guy was just like, it was just massive. And just to let you know that in a gym like that usually there's not a lot of intelligent conversation going on. 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's walking around and lifting some weights and he walks over to the flat bench press. And there's a bar there that weighs 45 pounds. And so he began to take plates and put them up on the bar and the largest plate is a 45 pound plate.
So if you lift weights you know what I'm talking about. So he put two 45 pound plates, one up on each side, 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 and then he put up two more. So essentially he had 500, more or less, 500 pounds.
Total of 10 plates. Now when you lift that, that much weight, literally that bar begins to wobble. And then he went and got three guys to help spot him. That means getting it off the rack, bringing it down, pushing it up. One on each side and one behind him. So if he couldn't get it up, it'd take three guys to help him to get it up.
So I turned to my son Steve and I said, buddy you better watch this because you may never see this the rest of your life. Now on a flat bench press, it's called a chest press, where you grab the bar and you bring it down and you push it up like this and it works out 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 your tricep. Do you know what a tricep is? It's that right there, that's your tricep.
So here's a guy working out 500 with 500 pounds to build his triceps. And my first thought is, who is this guy? I mean he's got to be somebody famous because only famous people can do this. And he grabbed the bar and brought it down and it was kind of like that. Put it back on the rack and I thought I'm going to find out who this guy is. So he came walking by and I stopped him and began to ask questions like, who are you? And for the next 30 minutes he told me who he was. He was a national bench press champion for over 50 years old, drug free. That's kind of his shtick. He played football for Seattle Seahawks.
He played football for Arizona State University. And I walked away and I've never forgot that. So what is it that awed me? It was something about him, the display of his strength, his ability. So when we talk about glory, we talk about some strength, something incredible, something that is awesome 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 to God, show me your glory. God, there's a lot about you I haven't seen. I want to see it all.
You know, that's a good question. When you meet the Lord, you want to know him in a greater way. You want to see him 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't 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. It 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 display himself? Well, when 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 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. And 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 himself in a brilliant light. We come to the New Testament, and we read what Paul says in 1 Timothy 6 and verse 15 when he speaks of Christ as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who only has immortality dwelling or living in the light. God is light, and 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.
I mean, think about it. If you woke up this morning, went outside, and you watched the sun rise, 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 seven o'clock at night. So all day long, you looked at the sun.
What kind of eyesight would you have at the end of the day? Now let me ask you this. If you can't handle the glory of the S-U-N, how can you handle the glory of the S-O-N who made the S-U-N? In other words, the glory of God is something that we can't handle. It's like a guy saying, I'm thirsty, and he sticks his head in Niagara Falls.
It's just a little too much. You and I can't handle the glory of God, and yet it has always been the passion of God to display his glory. That's his passion, because what can be greater than God? For if 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, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.
The heavens tell the story of his glory. I could go out and, I mean, I can throw out all the figures of the vastness of the universe. I don't have to do that, but I will say I loved 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, Daddy, God made the stars. And I would say, Hallelujah.
And she would say, Lujah. And whether it's a child's mind or an adult's mind, it blows our mind 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 made even his eternal power in 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 mountains. You pay for the view, but what you're really paying for is to see God's glory on display. God displayed his glory also in the person of his son, Jesus Christ. What does John write about Jesus in John 1 and verse 14? And the word was made 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, and the whole life of Christ every single day was a display of the glory of God, whether it was in his display and his 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 have seen him as a human being, but there was one time on a mount called the Mount of Transfiguration, which by the way is the same word in 2 Corinthians 3.18 where it says we are changed in the same image.
It's the exact thing of what happened to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration where it's 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 unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us unto him be glory in the church. In the church, what is God doing?
He is displaying the power of his resurrection, who takes people who are totally his enemy, completely depraved in nature, having no desire for God, having no desire to be a part of the light, who would choose darkness over light, who would 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, hath quickened us together in Christ, and we have experienced a 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 and what he's doing to prepare a bride for his son.
I mean, it's an amazing thing if you think about it. 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 in creation, we see God's glory in Christ, his son. All of it is in seeing this glory, we are being changed. So I told you it would be woefully inadequate.
It's like trying to describe the Pacific Ocean by taking a little cup and scooping out the water and then trying to describe the whole thing, we can't. But we know this, that when we see the glory of God, it changes us. Now very quickly, where do we see that glory? And I want you to go back and notice if you will, verse 18, my time is short so I'll be very fast. He says, we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord. The word open face there means unveiled.
And I won't 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 in Sinai. And 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. And 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?
It's 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 gonna fade away and God is gonna replace it with a much better glory and that's the new covenant. And he says, so when you turn to the Lord 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. And so here's what the apostle Paul is 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 and 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. You gotta read your Bible. Man, you took a long time to get to that point.
Yeah, but that's the point. Until you begin to read the Bible as it is the living word of God under the influence of the author of the word of God the Holy Spirit then 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 and he begins to transform your thinking, your emotions, your mind, your will, your emotions everything is coming under that influence.
It's 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 it's 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 spend time in your word. Thank you for this in Jesus name. Amen. You've 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.bju.edu or call 800-252-6363. Thanks for listening and join us again next week as we continue the study in 2 Corinthians on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-09 15:56:15 / 2023-05-09 16:06:42 / 10