Moral Glories of Christ
Presented by Jeremy Griffin

Moral features that were displayed by Christ and that reveal the perfection of His character. Perfections that marked every step of His earthly life and ministry. Every inward feeling and outward expression were in continual and absolute conformity to the character of God.

Introduction

  • What is the goal of the Christian life?
    • Having a goal is important so that we understand what it is we are supposed to be after
    • If we are unclear or forget then we are not likely to achieve it or even, make progress
  • The apostle Paul sums it up nicely in Phil 3, essentially it is 1) know Christ and 2) be like Him
  • In opening I would like to comment on these two points to highlight the importance of participating in a study of topic like we have this evening

Know Him

  • When we love someone, it is natural that we want to know more about them
    • Usually there is some connection or bond that forms a relationship (spouse, child, friend)
    • Time, energy, attention all to learn deeper the real person – want to be around them
    • Either find something we don’t like and change course… or the affection grows
    • No matter how hot the love can burn…it is possible that affections can wane or be divided as time passes
    • Biggest competitor for time and attention in any relationship is the third-party selfishness
  • As born-again believers we have a unique bond and relationship with Jesus Christ
    • He loved us, pursued us, provided for us, continues to care and support us
    • All of us would confess outright that we love Him
  • But there is a bit of a litmus test that we can apply to measure our current level of affection
    • Do I desire to know Him?
      • On a deeper level, in a more meaningful way?
    • Do I make getting to know Him and spending time alone with Him a priority?
      • Proof is in the pudding
    • Would I say I know Him more now then I did 5 years ago?
  • Comments aren’t to cause feelings of guilt (never good in a relationship) but to motivate

Be Like Him

  • It is a well-known fact that the more time you spend with someone the more like them you will become
    • Negative – “bad company corrupts good character” 1Cor15:33
    • Positive – “pattern your lives after mine and learn from those who follow our example” Phil 3:17
  • The more we get to know Christ the more He grows inside us, changing from the inside out
    • Character, interests, affections all align
  • Being like Christ then is really the true test of my love for Him
    • Doesn’t rush us, He pursues us tirelessly looking for the response of our hearts to His love
  • Hopefully there will be something in this session that will cause your heart to worship and strengthen your desire to 1) Know Him and 2) Be like Him
  • Like Paul, have the goal of the Christian life front and center and push towards it
    • “I press toward the goal” Phil 3:14

 

What Does “Moral Glories” Mean/Refer to?

Break it Down

  • Moral: concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour and the goodness or badness of human character
  • Glories: a thing that is distinctive or beautiful, a special cause for respect or delight
  • Christ: the anointed One, Greek translation for the Hebrew word Messiah
    • Denotes being set apart for specific work in a certain role (prophet, priest, king)
    • The official title of our Lord

 

Put it all Together

  • Moral Glories of Christ
    • Moral features that were displayed by Christ and that reveal the perfection of His character
    • Perfections that marked every step of His earthly life and ministry
    • Every inward feeling and outward expression were in continual and absolute conformity to the character of God
  • The glories of Christ have been broken down into three main subgroups:
    • Eternal Glory – what was always His because of who He is “Son of God”
    • Acquired Glory – conferred upon Him for the work He completed at Calvary
    • Moral Glory – the displayed perfection of His character
  • Noted that often His other glories were veiled (hid)
    • His moral glories could not be hid and was on display for all to see
    • Evident in every situation He was in
    • Attached to Him in every circumstance and interaction
  • It is who He is at the core and it shone bright – continues to shine bright in scripture
    • Sinless, pure, true humanity

 

Ex #1 – Perfect Man

  • Ps 45:2 – You are fairer than the sons of men
  • Variance when comparing between earthly man and heavenly man is stark
  • Adam – Given position and privilege, but yet for personal pleasure he forfeited it all
  • Christ – Had/has position, but yet for the pleasure of His Father and benefit of others He sets it aside
  • The flaws, failings and fragility we are all familiar with in our own experiences He never experienced
  • Circumstances that are necessary to develop character in us only served to demonstrate perfection of character in Christ
  • Matt 4:1-10 details the attempts the devil made to tempt Jesus
    • Self Pleasure – make food miraculously à satisfy yourself
    • Self Exaltation – cast yourself down à spectacle for all to see
    • Self Glory – worship me (devil) à splendour of the kingdoms of the earth
  • Matt 4:11 – “the devil left Him”
  • John 14:30 – “the prince of this world is coming and has nothing in Me”
  • Absolutely flawless character and fortitude

 

Ex #2 – Poor Man

  • 2Cor8:9 – For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor
    • Manger in Bethlehem
    • Carpenter shop in Nazareth
    • Penniless in the Temple
    • Forest floor on Olivet
    • Borrowed tomb near Golgotha
  • Yet never one word of complaint or posturing for something self serving
  • Not reliant on the trappings of society He borrowed no glory from earth
  • Loveliness of pathway was all His own

 

Ex #3 – Humble Man

  • Jn 7:3 – “that your disciples may see your works” (in Judea at the feast of tabernacles)
  • Jn 7:4 “if you do these things, show them to the world”
  • Goes up secretly – in a private humble fashion
  • Begins to serve and teach among the people – not performing miracles as his brethren suggested
  • When they marvel at teaching, He indicates that the doctrine is not His own but Him that sent Him
  • Jn 7:18 – “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.”
  • In the world but not of the world

 

Ex #4 – Gracious Man

  • King – Ps 45:2 – “grace is poured into your lips”
  • Teacher – Lk 4:22- “marvelled at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth”
  • Accused – Matt 27:14 – “but He answered him not one word so that the governor marvelled greatly”
  • Condemned – 1Peter 2:23 – Who did no sin, neither was there any guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously
  • Words spoken or restrained display His moral worth

 

 

Why Does this Topic Matter?

Jesus Means the World to His Father

  • Means everything to Him and yet to save the world it cost Him the death of His Son
  • Mark 12:6 – Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, “they will reverence my son”.

 

Jesus Lived a Fragrant Life Before His God

  • Like Frankincense upon the altar, it was all for God (only the Father can truly appreciate it)
  • Ever under His watchful eye the Lord Jesus brought continual pleasure to His Father
  • Mark 1:11 – Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”

 

Jesus Proved He was the Spotless Sacrifice to all Heaven and Earth

  • Ex 12:5 – Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year
  • 2Cor 5:21 – made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin

 

How Does it Apply to Me?

Knowing Him

  • Means more than just knowing about Him
  • It is the cultivation of a deep relationship where in a safe place we open ourselves to His love and be confronted, cleansed and conformed
  • Cultivation – like a garden carefully tended to with attention and interest
  • Confrontation – relationships require openness and frankness to deal with issues (sin)
  • Cleansing – once open then cleansing can happen and subsequent healing
  • Conforming – changing, uniting, stronger
    • Isn’t this a sweet place to be…beautiful harmony?
  • Knowing Him requires interest and energy on our part to seek Him out in the scriptures
    • This is where God reveals Him to us
    • Song of Songs 3:2 “I will search for the one I love”

 

Worshipping Him

  • Is a response to His love and worth
  • Humility – higher view of him and lower estimation of self
  • Reverence – wonder and awe at the awesome majesty and greatness of God
  • Service – kingdom of priests

 

Being Like Him

  • Power of His Resurrection > Temptations
    • Victory and power over sin through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
  • Fellowship of His Sufferings > Trials
    • Suffering is the test of obedience
    • Learning to commit ourselves to Him and sovereign will yields a close intimacy otherwise unknown
  • Conformed to His Death > Transitions
    • Dying to self so as to walk in power of new life
  • 2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
    • The more we are occupied with Him the more conformed to His likeness we become

 

Click here for PDF version of notes: Moral Glories of Christ

Click here for PowerPoint Presentation: Foundations of Our Faith – Moral Glories of Christ

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