In his first letter to his protege Timothy, the apostle Paul uses this phrase:
“the gospel of the glory of the blessed God”
This is a pretty amazing phrase, with a lot in it, but one thing that should grab our attention is this word “glory.” What is glory?
If you look up the Greek word that underlies the translation, you’ll get something like “brightness, radiance, splendor” or even “renown, honor, fame, prestige.” And that certainly gets at it. But whenever you read the word in context, there seems to be something even more powerful in the glory of God. After all, it was the glory of Christ’s appearing that knocked a man off his horse (see Acts 22:11).
Once I tried to work up a list that captures what the bible means when this word is used. Here is what I came up with.
The Glory of God is His…
- Aggressive brightness
- Overwhelming beauty
- Dominating importance
- Unnerving nearness
- Dizzying transcendence
- Burning purity
- Penetrating personalness
I wonder if anyone has any thoughts to add to the list?
And, even though that list might seem intimidating (which is probably just part of real glory, right?), don’t forget what Paul means when he refers to “the gospel of the glory of God.”
He means that God’s glory is good news.