From Glory to Glory
(Deuteronomy 32:2) My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: A beloved relative recently sent me stunning macro photographs of water droplets on various flowers. The detail and clarity were such that one could see mirror images of the flowers in the droplets which clung to the flowers. This moved me to search the scriptures, which brought today's text to mind. The doctrine of the Lord is as vital to believers as the rain is to plants; it is by His doctrine that both minister and church member are saved (1TI 4:16) and also grow (2PE 3:18). Looking a second time at those fine drops in the pictures which captured the reflection of the flower, I remembered this text: (2 Corinthians 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. In the context of 2CO 3:18, Paul is dealing with the superior glory of the New Testament of Jesus Christ which, like a mirror, reflects God's glory clearly and plainly. Unlike Moses whose face was veiled “...that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished” (2CO 3:13), believers with OPEN face see in the New Testament that Christ is “...the end of the law for righteousness...” (ROM 10:4), the “...express image of [God]...” (HEB 1:3) and the only way to know the Father (MAT 11:27; 1JO 5:20). So, “...He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son” (2JO 1:9). When we look into that “...more sure word of prophecy...” (2PE 1:19) AND apply it in our lives as doers of the word (JAM 1:22-25), it can do what the Old Testament could never do---liberate us from our dead works (c/w HEB 9:13-15) to be more like the living God. Those who cling to Moses and the Old Testament will not experience this; “...the vail is upon their heart” (2CO 3:15). The vitalizing rain which forms drops on the plants can only reflect an image which is the natural glory of the plant; the Scriptures reflect the spiritual glory of God. And when God's children look "...into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein..." (JAM 1:25) as doers of the word, they see the image of the spiritual glory of God increasingly reflected in their own lives. Since God has predestinated His children to be "...conformed to the image of his Son..." (ROM 8:29), it is guaranteed that in their resurrection state their weak, corrupted earthly glory shall be changed into a powerful, uncorrupted heavenly glory (1CO 15:40-44), being given a body like that of Jesus Christ---sinless, powerful and transcendent (PHIL 3:20-21; 1JO 3:2). How much, therefore, does it behoove God's children NOW to "...by any means.....attain unto the resurrection of the dead" (PHIL 3:11) and "...press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (PHIL 3:14)! The apostle John shows us how important the present absorption of God's word is to assure us that we are God's own---now and forever: 1 John 2:27-29 (27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (28) And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (29) If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.