Christ`s Glorious Character.

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Marilyn

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#1
INTRODUCTION


How do you express the inexpressible?

It is only by God`s revelation of His Son in His word that we can ever comprehend in part the Father. The Son clearly reveals the heart of His Father by His own character. And we are privileged to not only read of Him but to know Him in our own hearts.

More and more, I believe we need to meditate upon Christ`s glorious character as shown in His word. Then we will see ourselves changed `from glory to glory,` and the old slipping away.

Truly we are a most blessed people to know the love of Christ in all its many aspects. So let`s together learn to look afresh on Him who gave His all for us, and is making us like unto Himself.



`For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.....

  • that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
  • that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
  • that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height -
  • to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;
  • that you may be filled with the fullness of God.`
(Eph. 3: 14 - 19)

 

Marilyn

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#2
The Godhead.


`God...who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see,...` (1 Tim. 6: 16)

The Godhead would be beyond our understanding except the Father sent His Son to be the true and faithful witness of Him. Christ alone reveals the Father for He is deity, and Christ alone can reveal His character as well as His purposes.

`For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.` (2 Cor 4:6)

Christ Reveals the Father.

Thus it is by the Holy Spirit we are able to understand about God the Father and His great love for us. Christ, Himself, is the very image of the Father.

`Christ....who being the brightness of His (Father`s) glory and the express image of His person..` (Heb. 1: 3)

So as we look upon Christ and learn of His character, then we ourselves are changed from glory to glory.

`we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.` (2 Cor. 3: 18)



So what is the character of Christ?

We would think of words like, kind, caring, truthful, compassionate, faithful etc. Actually there are 42 revealed aspects of His character in His word.

Have we really taken time to meditate upon each part of His character and give Him the praise due? Often we are too taken up with our everyday life and do not take to heart His words -

`Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.` (Matt. 4: 4)



God`s word is all about revealing His Son, His work and His character. So as we learn more about the Lord Jesus Christ then we come to know the Father more also.





 

Marilyn

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#3
The Glory of God.



`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.` (John 1: 14)

Glory is the exclusive excellence of the divine character in its essence. Glory consists of all the attributes essential to Deity blended in harmony and perfect unity.

Each characteristic is of equal proportion whether it be -

Divine goodness, gracious, gentle, greatness, righteousness, restful, pure, perfect, peaceful, precious, loving kindness, fullness, tender, merciful, changeless, truthful, meek, blessed, holiness, joyful...

or many other incorruptible qualities that comprise the very nature of the Godhead. Christ in person is the full expression of every feature of Deity.

The glory of His moral characteristics are seen in His meekness as well as His might, His humility as well as His honour, His service and His sovereignty, his gentleness and His greatness.



Administering the Glory.

Christ is not only the glory of the Father, but the Lord (administrator) of that glory.

`Christ...who being the brightness of His (Father`s) glory...` (Heb. 1: 3)

`...our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory...` (James 2: 1)

This means that Christ administers the glorious aspects of His character to those who desire to partake of His divine nature.

`..as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God....` (John 1: 12)

Being a `child of God,` means that the character is of the Father. And this is through the very life and character of Christ. His glorious character is imparted to us as we meditate upon Him, upon the various aspects of His glorious character and work with the Holy Spirit to let Him form Christ within.

`the Lord Jesus Christ....that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints....

to know the love of Christ...` (Eph. 3: 16 - 19)

 

Marilyn

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#5
The Divine Nature. (character)



Jesus is called the `Bread of God.`

`For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives His life to the world.` (John 6: 33)

`I am the bread of life.` (John 6: 48)

Now bread is bought to nourish those who are alive, but Christ the Bread of God imparts life eternal.

The physical bread we eat is from wheat grown in the ground from where our bodies are derived. The calcium, silicon, iodine, phosphates, etc in an organic form are packed into the wheat in order to build up our strength.

In like manner, if we are to become partakers of spiritual life and immortality we must eat the Bread of God, which is made up of -

  • Righteousness, goodness, loving kindness, graciousness, perfectness, holiness, gentleness, merciful,
and such like which results in Godliness.



Partakers of the Divine nature.

`Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,

as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and virtue,

by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature....` (2 Peter 1: 2 - 4)



As we learn more about the Lord`s character and meditate upon the different aspects, we have been promised that we will receive the Lord`s very own character imparted into our spirits.

`For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren.` (Rom. 8: 29)



And one glad day we know that we shall see the Lord`s handiwork in our lives -

`Beloved, now we are children of God and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.` (1 John 3: 2)
 

Marilyn

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#7
HOLINESS



`Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts.` (Isa. 6: 3)

Holiness - Heb. `qadosh,` meaning sacred, morally pure,

The thrice proclaimed `Holy, Holy, Holy, `by the angels over the throne of God reveal that Holiness is the over arching attribute of God`s character.



Worship in response to Holiness.

`Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool, For He is Holy.` (Ps. 99: 5)

And the only appropriate response is to worship and honour this Holy God. Any lesser response means that one`s heart is elsewhere on an idol. Man was made to worship God, who is Holy. The heart rejoices to know and appreciate such beauty and sacredness.

The Psalmist had a revelation of God`s beautiful holiness.

`Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him...` (Ps. 96: 9)

And the writer, to the Hebrews encourages the believers in their service to do so with a reverent attitude.

`Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptable with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.` (Heb. 12: 28 & 29)



Our Need of being made Holy.



Nothing can stand in the `fire` of His Holy Presence. The prophet Isaiah cried out when he saw the vision of God`s holy throne, with the seraphims crying, Holy, Holy, Holy.`

`Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.` (Isa. 6: 5)



It is man`s sin that separates us from a holy God. And it is only by the blood of Christ that a sinner can be washed and sanctified to come near to God`s Holy throne.

`For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.` (Heb. 9: 24)



It is Christ Himself who will present us holy.

`Christ....now He has reconciled (you) in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.` (Col. 1: 21 & 22)
 

Marilyn

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#9
Agape - LOVE

Our word, `love` can mean many things, `I love chocolate, I love my cat, I love my children, etc.` However in Greek the word `love` has specific words for a variety of meanings.

  • Phileo, love of a friend,
  • Eros, romantic love.
  • Agape, moral love.
`Agape` in relation to God`s Love is not of feelings but of the will. We see God`s love in the `giving of Himself` out to another.

`For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son....`(John 3: 16)

Then the Son gave of Himself out to others.

`Christ....gave Himself a ransom for all...` (1 Tim. 2: 6)

Christ gave of His Holy Spirit to the believers to make them like Himself, with His divine nature, His pure, holy, character. By Christ`s divine power we -

`....may be partakers of the divine nature....` (2 Peter 1: 4)



Christ`s agape love can be seen -

  • To those in need by His great goodness.

  • To those hurting by His great compassion.

  • To those who are sinners by His great mercy.

  • To those who are downtrodden by His great gentleness.
Christ revealed to mankind God`s great love that was not based on feelings, emotion or partiality. He even said to those who killed Him -

`Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.` (Luke 23: 34)



It is only through Christ`s great love that we can love not only one another but those who persecute us.

`Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God......In this the love of God was manifested towards us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him...

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.` (1 John 4: 7 - 11)
 

Marilyn

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#11
MERCY

`Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.` (Heb. 2: 17)

Mercy is what man needs most of all in his relationship with the Most High. The Hebrew word for mercy is derived from the root which means to bow, to bend, to stoop, and indicates the compassionate attitude which God has towards mankind.

The ark in the Holy of Holies, contained God`s Holy Law, so the mercy seat above it showed that mercy intervened between heaven`s holy law and humanity`s terrible sin.

What heartening news this is from the Most High, which tells of a gracious Mediator with abundant mercy in His outstretched hands for mortal man, to safeguard him from the penalty of sin.

Mercy steps down.

The Lord in His highly exalted dignity, would certainly need to stoop low even when condescending to speak with a regal prince, but a much lower stoop is necessary to give mercy on those poor and in poverty.

Moved by divine love to mediate for man, the Son of God met every requirement of the righteous justice of God. This He accomplished by His substitutionary death on man`s behalf and afterwards rose again, ascended to present Himself in the heavenly sanctuary.

Mercy raises up.

Therefore Christ, the anointed One, has the right to be heaven`s mediator between God and man. He is now able to minster the tender mercy of God`s gracious kindness and compassionate care for the lasting blessing of the redeemed.

The angelic hosts on high heard the announcement as His Royal Highness told Paul -

`that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us..` (Eph. 2: 7)

Such riches of His kindness, in so costly a manner on such as were devoid of merit. Christ raises up the redeemed so that He may set him on Christ`s very own throne.

Mercy`s song.

Oh what wondrous love and mercy he has showered upon us. We should meditate more upon His tender mercy and gaze more intently on His kindly grace and look more earnestly into His wondrous pity until our hearts burn with gratitude and we learn to sing the melody of that mercy that saved our souls.

Not with silver or gold, but He Himself purged our sins, for He bore in His own body our sins on the tree. This is mercy`s deep unfathomed sea, love eternal, love to me. God now invites me to meet Him and I have no fear of responding, for the merciful High priest stands with me.
 
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#13
GOODNESS

`Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!` (Ps. 136: 1)

God`s goodness is the sincerity of His pure character that acts sacrificially in seeking and saving the lost. All His mercies and blessings, (physical and spiritual) emphasize the generosity of His great goodness.



The Good Shepherd`s care.

King David describes the Lord`s goodness like a Shepherd`s care over his flock. Having been a shepherd himself, David knows very well the care, oversight and protection needed constantly, for a shepherd to guard and protect the sheep while they graze in pastures green.

`The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name`s sake.` (Ps. 23: 1 - 3)

What a great picture of the care the Lord has for us as we daily feed upon His Word; know His love changing us and His guidance as we walk close to Him.



The Good Shepherd`s Protection.

`Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table in the presence of my enemies;` (Ps. 23: 4 & 5)

In this earthly journey towards death we know that the Lord is with us. His shepherd`s rod chastises us when going astray, while His staff will draw us back to the fold. Comfort and encouragement by His Holy Spirit minister`s to our heart as we feast upon Him who so loves us and appreciate His goodness towards us.



The Good Shepherd`s Equipping.

`You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.` (Ps. 23: 5 & 6)

Anointing is for ministry and as we learn to walk close to the Shepherd out of our life will flow His goodness and mercy towards others.

Our heart will overflow with thankfulness not only of the Lord saving our souls, but also of working through us, helping us to receive the joy of being fruitful in every good work.
 

Marilyn

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#15
FAITHFUL

`Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God...` (Deut. 7: 9)

Faithful, is to be loyal and trustworthy. And God has shown Himself in many ways to be faithful `who keeps covenant and mercy to a thousand generations.`

The Lord Jesus reveals His faithfulness as -

  • the faithful High priest. (Heb. 2: 17)
  • the faithful Son to the Father. (Heb. 3: 2)
  • the faithful Head of the Body. (2 Thess. 3: 3)
  • the faithful forgiver of sins. (1 John 1: 9)
  • the faithful witness. (Rev. 1: 5)


The Faithful and True Witness.

  • `And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, `These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.` (Rev. 3: 14)
  • The words Christ spoke when on earth reveal He is the `faithful and true witness` of God and eternal truths. The words He spoke have not diminished in their authority and authenticity one iota. No one else exists whose words abide the centuries in truth and faithfulness.

  • The witness of One who is `faithful and true` never wears away with the waning of the years, nor dies down with the decay of worldly dominions. The imperishable charge Christ gave as a challenge to sinners over two thousand years ago is as changeless as His own character-

  • `Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.` (Rev. 3: 20)
  • His Faithful Message.

  • In His faithful witness our Lord did not worry over temporal things but testified to eternal truth. In His message to mankind He unveiled the mysteries of God, revealed the treasure of truth, foretold the future of nations and spoke on the questions of life.

  • The illustrations He used were of the most familiar kind such as catching fish, buying food, patching garments, seeking treasure, losing money, finding sheep and many other everyday events.

  • When Christ spoke prophetically He spoke mighty in word and wisdom. Nothing He said ever needed to be recalled or corrected.

  • His testimony to redemption, judgment and the Father`s purpose are wholly faithful and true.
 

Marilyn

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#17
RIGHTEOUS

Righteousness is that which is straight and accurate, wholly devoid of duplicity, double dealing, deviation or deceit.

`Gracious is the Lord, and righteous.` (Ps. 116: 5)

Christ is King of Righteousness.

` King of righteousness.` (Heb. 7: 2)

No one is qualified to be King of righteousness except He who is wholly and altogether Righteous. Therefore we know perfectly well that He will never be unfaithful, untruthful, unmerciful, or unreliable in anything He declares or does.

His majestic pre-eminence -

`A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your kingdom.` (Heb. 1: 8) `Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness.` (Isa. 32: 1)

Christ gives the gift of Righteousness.

Christ is inherently and essentially righteous. He is the absolute standard of divine righteousness in expression. And what Christ is, in His character, God has made available to us.

`But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, ..` (1 Cor. 1: 30)

This is the righteousness which is of God by faith. Righteousness is the passion of our saviour`s heart and is promoted by love.

`Your throne, O God is forever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.` (Heb. 1: 8 & 9)

Apart from this fact there is no remission of sins, no redemption from bondage, no reconciliation to God, no resurrection of the dead, and no reception into the family of God and the Father`s house.



All the compassionate benefits Christ bestows, all His blessings, His truths, His holiness are all based on His righteousness of Character. God`s purpose in sending forth Jesus Christ the Righteous is to make this precious gift available to man.

Imparted righteousness adds manliness to morality, sincerity to sympathy, faithfulness to fervour, confidence to courage, permanence to peace....... No excellence in Christian character is so upright and just, and no feature in godliness so desirable as righteousness.

`...those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.` (Rom. 5: 17)
 

Marilyn

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#19
CONCLUSION


I believe we have just begun to know some of our Lord`s glorious character. There is so much more to look at and meditate upon.

May we be encouraged to read God`s word in a different light, not just for events and special verses, but to really look at Christ, how He thought, spoke and acted.

It is His glorious character that thrills our hearts and encourages us to show forth His mercy to others and be faithful in what He has given us to do and be.

In eternity we will ever be learning and beholding more and more of Christ as He unveils the glories yet to unfold in the age upon ages of eternity.

Thus let us with unveiled face, (honestly and truthfully) gaze upon Him and be changed `from glory to glory.` And one day soon, I believe, we will see Christ as He is in all His glory for we too will be changed.



`Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

And everyone who has this hope in him, purifies himself, just as he is pure.` (1 John 3:2& 3)