Awesome majesty

sunset-76207_640Job 37:22: Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty. (ESV)

God’s house is heaven and his footstool is the earth (Isaiah 66:1). In heaven is his regal throne.

However, in the beginning of the bible we do not see him so much as the exalted one as the one who relates with man, the one who speaks.

We hear him say: let there be light. He is the one who takes the initiative, who speaks things into being, who creates by the word.

Another thing we learn in the beginning of the bible about God is that he is a plural. When he wanted to create man he said: let “us” make man in our own image.

So we see the God who takes initiative, who speaks words and who manifests what is. The Father (the source) takes the initiative, the Word, gives design to the initiative, and the Spirit manifests the initiative (Job 33:4).

The Father

The identity of the father was unveiled to some in the Old Testament, e.g. to Moses (Exodus 3) and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-5). He was seen as a fearful God.

When God manifested to Moses in the burning bush that did not burn, he was told to remove his shoes in recognition of the holiness of God. You wear sandal in those days to protect your feet from the weather or the stones and dirt on the floor. But in the holiness of God, in the very presence of God there is nothing harmful, and to make that plain, Moses was asked to remove his sandals.

When Moses was getting used to God (because he was not even allowed to look at the fire burning the shrub without burning it, in that first encounter) he asked God to show himself (Exodus 33:18-20).

He said: show me your glory. But God told him he had to wait till he gets to heaven because no one sees him and lives.

However, sometime afterwards, man with the special grace of Jesus Christ (unique ability that Jesus himself possesses made available to us, Christians) would be able to see God and live.

Isaiah did not enjoy the experience of seeing God. He was awestruck, suddenly thrust into the presence of God and he wanted to hide, if that was possible standing in front of the living God. He confessed his sinfulness there and then. There is no hiding from God. Isaiah got a taste of what Adam and Eve must have experienced when they sinned and they ran away from God when he showed up in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).

The Word

Then we come to the manifestation of God as Jesus. It was already prophesied that a virgin will give birth to a child who will be called Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23).

How can that be possible? How can the God who is fearful in praises, glorious in holiness (Exodus 15:11) be with sinful man? The answer was “incarnation.” John puts it this way: the Word became flesh and dwelled among us and we beheld his glory as that of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth (John 1:12-17).

The presence of God commands awe, but with the manifestation of Jesus men could feel the love of God. We can behold God (face).

Because God is Spirit and man’s spirit was dead because of sin (John 3:1-8, 4:24), man was severally limited in the level of connection he can experience with God apart from being born again (John 3:1-8), born of the Spirit.

But with the coming of Jesus, who share the same emotions with us, uses our words, humanity can finally connect with God’s love which ultimate expression was the death of Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

Now Jesus is risen but he is still human in an undying body, representing our future hope.  We see in him who we can be and who God is at the same time. When we believe in him, it is counted to us as righteousness, we believe he was God in the flesh.

When Nathanael met Jesus, his physical appearance was not scary it was his knowledge that was awesome. Jesus told him that while he was a long way off from where he was, he saw him, telling him the tree under which he stood. He believed in him there and then as the king of Israel, he believed in him as the Son of God, and Jesus said he will see heaven, being the portion of those who believe in Jesus.

The Holy Spirit

The third expression of trinity (which is not really the third except for the purpose of the progressive revelation of God to humanity) is the Holy Spirit. While Jesus manifested in the flesh, sharing our humanity, the Holy Spirit came to emphasise our divinity, activate us in that dimension. Jesus restore us to the presence of God, The Holy Spirit manifests the presence of God through us.

The gate through which the Holy Spirit accesses us is Jesus Christ to dwell in us. By the Holy Spirit, God cam dwell with man, changing him.

There are mountains in us that need to be levelled, valleys that need to be elevated, crooked paths that needs to be make straight and rough paths that needs to be made smooth, for the glory of God to manifest in us (Isaiah 40:3-6).

The Holy Spirit prepares the church to be truly the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33). Through his work we are being built into an habitation of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22), we are being changed into the image of Jesus Christ. We are made to reflect the majesty of God in the spirit.

Conclusion

Paul mentioned the love of God, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit which should be manifested in our lives (2Corinthians 13:14).

To communicate his love to us, The Father needs the Word, to commit his grace to us down the ages Jesus (the Word) needed the Holy Spirit.

God loves us but we would not be able to connect with that love apart from Jesus, Jesus wants to come into man to manifest his eternal life in us but as a human he cannot to that, He needed the Holy Spirit. We are supposed to move forward empowered by the Holy Spirit, through fellowship with him, reveling in the love of the Father and walking in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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