The Person of Christ - 21 - His Moral Glory Epistles

 

Chapter 21 - The Moral Glories of Christ

In The Epistles

Harold S. Paisley

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ has more glories than the colours of Joseph?s coat. His glory fills both the past and the present, as well as the future. No subject is more conducive to worship and effective to service, than the contemplation of the Lord of Glory. There are many words in the beautiful Hebrew language translated glory. They speak to our hearts of honour, splendour, renown, light and beauty. For consideration of this glorious theme the Word of God presents three glories in particular: His Eternal Glory, His Moral Glory and His Acquired Glory. Our theme is a most noble one; His Moral Glories.

 

On account of who He is and what we are it is impossible to grasp much of His greatness as a Man down here, but we trust our meditation of Him will produce sweetness.

The Lord Jesus did not cease to be the Eternal Son of God when He became the Son of Man. In His holy person we behold deity and humanity blended in One. The glory of the ark was hidden in the veil, so the glory of what He was, was largely veiled by what He became. However there was a splendour and beauty belonging to Him that could not be hid. These perfections of character, displayed in His pathway here, are what we describe as His moral glories.

In the Old Testament these glories are the subject of prophecy; in the Gospels the subject of history, while in the Epistles they are the subject of doctrine. We will consider His glories in the Epistles from four main viewpoints.

 

THE MORAL GLORY OF HIS STOOP

 

Paul used the wondrous example of the down-stooping of our Lord Jesus as the greatest proof of sacrificial giving. ?For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor? (II Cor. 8:9). These words record the eternal riches of the Lord, and the poverty of the position He assumed when He came into manhood. The contrast is beyond comprehension. His moral beauty is displayed in the manger at Bethlehem; in the carpenter?s shop in Nazareth and on the Mount of Olives. His poverty shows that He borrowed no outward glory from earth, but the loveliness and perfection of His pathway displayed moral glories that were all His own.

 

THE MORAL GLORY OF HIS SPEECH

 

?Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive? (Acts 20:35). The lips of the Lord were always filled with grace. His words will outlive the earth in which they were spoken. They are eternal and full of grace and truth. In His first address the hearers wondered at the gracious words that came from His lips. His recorded words are very precious; every word He uttered is pure and priceless.

 

There are many unrecorded words of Christ that lingered in the minds of the disciples. In Acts 20 Paul quotes words that are not found in the Gospel records. They reveal the moral beauty that was constantly in His speech. Paul remembered these words. When he first heard them we do not know; whose lips conveyed them we cannot determine; but he prized them above rubies and worked out the spirit of them in his own experience. As in all things, so in this, the Lord Jesus is the great example to us. May we know how to speak and what to say. Of our blessed Lord we can say, ?His mouth is most sweet.?

 

THE MORAL GLORY OF HIS SERVICE

 

?He took upon Him the form of a servant? (Phil. 2:5-11). The Lord Jesus was ever a Divine Person yet He took upon Him the form of a servant. By so humbling Himself He did not cease to be what He ever was. It is true that He left the glory which He had with the Father, but He did not divest Himself of His eternal attributes of deity. He became the Perfect Servant. All other servants that God ever had, failed through self-seeking and sin. The brightest light of testimony has been dimmed by man?s inherent sinfulness, but in the Lord Jesus there was absolute moral perfection. It is very important to notice the difference between the word translated bond slave, and the other word that is often rendered minister or deacon. A deacon is one who is viewed in relationship to a service for which he is fitted, but the bond slave is a much deeper idea. The bond slave is seen in relation to his master. He acknowledges his master and obeys his desires. His master?s will is his will. The Lord Jesus was the deacon of men, but He was never man?s bond slave. His moral glories shine out as being the bond slave of God alone. May this mind, not only of constant humility, but of true bond slave service be manifested in us also.

 

THE MORAL GLORY OF HIS SUBMISSION

 

?Who when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered He threatened not? (I Peter 2:23). The Lord Jesus ever had the will of God before His heart. For this cause He came into the world. He pleased not Himself, but did always the things that pleased the Father (John 8:29). This beauty of character which was seen in His whole life reached its fullest manifestation in the sufferings which He so patiently endured. The wondrous silence and grace of Christ, under slander and indignities heaped upon His holy Person, display His moral worth. He did not avenge Himself; He did not defend~ Himself; He opened not His mouth to vindicate Himself. The hymn displays the touching attitude of the

Lord:

For ever on Thy burdened heart a weight of sorrow hung, Yet no ungentle, murmuring word Escaped Thy silent tongue.?

 

These are a few of the manifold moral beauties of our Lord Jesus Christ. They fill our souls with appreciation and worship. The subject is also practical. As we become occupied with Him we are conformed to His likeness. ?We all with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit? (II Cor. 3:18).