Monday, February 28, 2011

The incarnation and the glory of God

I'm currently working on three talks for this Saturday's "Growing to Serve" meeting at Grace Church, Westerleigh. Here's an excerpt from the middle talk on The Incarnation:

The ultimate purpose of the incarnation was to magnify the glory of God. Some have objected that God having his own glory as the great object of all his works makes him a monstrous egotist. Jonathan Edwards would respond by saying that because God is the greatest of all beings, his glory must be the greatest of all ends. In addition, when bear in mind the doctrine of the Trinity we are reminded that God’s glory-seeking is not selfish narcissism, as each person of the Trinity seeks the glory of the other, John 17:1, 16:13-14. Philippians 2:11. Moreover, as Miroslav Volf has said, God has tied his glory to the good of his human creatures,
God’s glory, which is God’s very being is God’s love, the creative love that confers good upon the beloved. Now the problem of the self-seeking God has disappeared, and the divinity of God’s love is vindicated. In seeking God’s own glory, God merely insists on being towards human beings the God who gives. (Free of Charge, Zondervan, p. 39).
In Christ, God not only gives, he gives himself. The self-emptying of he who was in the form of God in the incarnation of Christ is the supreme disclosure of the heart of God. Here we have God with us as one of us. Bob Letham writes,

The point is that when we have to do with Jesus Christ we have to do with God. His presence in the world is identical with the existence of the humiliated, obedient, and lowly man, Jesus of Nazareth. Thus, the humiliation, lowliness, and obedience of Christ are essential in our conception of God. (The Holy Trinity, P&R, p. 397).
Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus, for the mind of Christ is the mind of the stooping and saving God.

1 comment:

Jonathan Hunt said...

wowzers. If my wife permits me two trips in a week (off to bridgend tomorrow) and my sermons are ready I mgiht make it down.