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What is God’s Glory?

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“What is God’s Glory?”

Series: Glory [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

June 5, 2022

Introductory Comments:

The glory of God is something that the Bible speaks about a lot. We talk about it in church, we sing about it, and some have even said that our greatest purpose in life is to bring glory to God. 

However, what is the glory of God? What is God’s glory? [on screen]

Today, we are starting a two-part series that will take place today and on June 19 about the glory of God. We’re going to take a short break from Romans and then return to Romans in July. 

Before we get too far into this, let’s pray together and ask God to speak to us. 


First, as we talk about the glory of God, we must first try to define what it is. 

As I studied this topic, I came across something that Dr. John Piper had written on this topic. Piper is very helpful when it comes to trying to define the glory of God. 

Piper points out that you cannot describe God’s glory easily. He explains that some things are easy to describe while other things are difficult to describe. 

For example, I can describe what a largemouth bass is. [on screen] I can describe what a whitetail deer is. [on screen] I can describe what a sewing machine is. [on screen] I can describe what a football is. [on screen]

However, how do you describe what love is? How do you describe what beauty is? How do you describe what frustration is?

So, although it is difficult to describe God’s glory, Piper offers this definition of God’s glory: “The glory of God is the manifest beauty of his holiness.”

Christopher Morgan, writing for The Gospel Coalition, defines God’s glory as, “The glory of God is the magnificence, worth, loveliness, and grandeur of his many perfections, which he displays in his creative and redemptive acts in order to make his glory known to those in his presence.”

Well, I thought these definitions were good, but perhaps a bit too complicated. So, I offer this definition of God’s glory. Definition: God’s glory is the display of all of His Godness. [on screen]

God’s glory is all of God on display. It’s who He is in His worth, in His beauty, in His goodness, in His justice, in His majesty, all wrapped up into one glorious package. It is His God-ness on display. 

Well, let’s talk about a few different ways that we see the glory of God. 

First, . . . 

I. God’s glory is seen in general ways. [on screen]

The glory of God is so big that it is seen on a general level all over the universe. 

Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands.” [on screen]

We also read in Isaiah 6:2-3,  “Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies; his glory fills the whole earth.” [on screen]

The earth would not be what it is today without the glory of God on display in it. To be sure, there are many negative aspects to the world that we live in but there are also many wonderfully beautiful aspects to our world. 

God created the heavens and the earth and His glorious fingerprints are all over it. His beauty is seen in the grandeur of the Grand Canyon and the great oceans. His kindness is seen in the gift of love that we can share with each other. His justice is seen when the innocent are defended. His power and grace are seen when wicked sinners are saved from their sins. 

God’s God-ness is seen all over Creation as His glory is revealed in general ways. The earth is full of His glory. 

Second, . . . 

II. God’s glory is seen in specific ways. [on screen]

God’s glory is certainly seen in a general way throughout the entire earth but it is also seen in particular ways as well. We see, for instance, that God’s glory was displayed as a presence or a cloud in the Old Testament, particularly during the time of the Exodus.

God’s glory specifically guided Israel and indicated God’s presence among the people. 

For example, we read of this in Exodus 40:34:“The cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”[on screen]

This glory, spoken of frequently in the Old Testament, and which we have seen as well in the New Testament such as when Jesus was baptized and when He was transfigured, is referred to as shekinah glory, which simply means, “dwelling glory.”

So, we see the glory of God revealed specifically in a way in which His glory is dwelling with His people. 

We also know that God’s glory was specifically seen in both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. 

Listen to what Hebrews 1:3 says about the glory of God seen in Jesus. It says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”[on screen]

As we’ve learned at other times, Jesus Himself is God. As such, glory is seen in Jesus! So also, the Holy Spirit is God as well. So, we see God’s glory not only revealed in specific ways in Creation but also in specific and unique ways in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Did you know that the glory of God is in heaven in a specific and special way? 

We read in Acts 7 of Stephen seeing the glory of God as he is about to be killed because he was a follower of Jesus. Acts 7:55-56 says, “55 Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 He said, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” [on screen]

So, Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, is able to see the glory of God in heaven that seems to be present in a concentrated way that is distinct, unique, and specific. God’s glory is fascinating and beautiful. 

Although God’s glory is often seen in general ways, it is also seen in specific ways. 

Both of these facts point to the reality that . . .

III. God’s glory is seen in revealed ways. [on screen]

God did not keep His glory to Himself, He revealed it to His creation. 

John Piper helpfully said, “[God’s glory] is the way he puts his holiness on display for people to apprehend.”

You see, church: God revealed Himself and His glory to creation in order that mankind might know God on some level.

Paul spoke of this in Romans 1:20-21. Paul says, “20 For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. 21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened.”[on screen]

By God choosing to reveal His glory to us in some ways, He is revealing Himself to us and revealing our great need for Him in our lives.

It is a sign of God’s love for us and grace shown towards us that He reveals Himself to us.  

Well, some of us might say, “I want to see the full glory of God!” Well, we need to be careful about that. 

You see, although, we have seen some of God’s glory in the earth, and others have had more of a direct experience with God’s grace, we certainly haven’t seen God’s full glory because as mere creatures we couldn’t handle the full weight of His glory. 

We read about an experience that Moses had with the glory of God in Exodus 33:18-20: 18 Then Moses said, “Please, let me see your glory.” 19 He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the Lord’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.”[on screen]

You see, the God-ness of God is so great that if we were fully exposed to His glory, it will actually kill us. That’s incredible, isn’t it? God is so full of God-ness that we as mere humans cannot handle it. Why? Because as humans, we are full of human-ness, not God-ness. 

So, God is revealing Himself to us, although we don’t want Him to fully reveal Himself to us.

Did you know also that when the end of all things comes and we are experiencing the New Heaven and New Earth with God, God’s glory will be revealed in a beautiful and powerful way in the New Jerusalem?

Listen to how the Bible describes the glory of God in heaven. Speaking of the New Jerusalem that will come at the end of all things, John says in Revelation 21:23, “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” [on screen]

Isn’t that amazing? The glory of God will be the light by which we live in the New Heaven and New Earth. Incredible!

So, God’s glory is revealed to us and we are able to experience God in His God-ness, if even in a small way. 

Concluding Thoughts:

Once again, the glory of God is the display of all of God’s God-ness.  We see who He is as He reveals Himself in different ways. 

Let this bottom line summarize our message today and point us to a concluding thought on this topic. 

Bottom Line: God is full of glory and He is worthy of glory. [on screen]


God is full of God-ness; He is full of glory. He is also worthy to be celebrated and acknowledged for who He is. That will be the topic of our next sermon in this series; we will answer the question, “How do I glorify God?”

For now, challenge yourself this way this week:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

1. Dive deeper into God’s glory. [on screen]

Discover more about why God is worthy of glory. Read His Word to discover more of His God-ness. Take some time and identify how you have seen the glory of God in your life. Study how the glory of God is displayed in God the Father, and Jesus (God the Son), and the Holy Spirit. 

Dive deeper into God’s glory. 


God is full of glory. God’s glory was seen when He created all things. Yet, we rejected Him and His glory. We sought to glorify ourselves and our own ways. 

Because we rejected God and chose sin, God’s judgment has come upon us. Part of God’s God-ness is that He will judge sin. As God, He must judge sin. As a matter of fact, the glory of God is seen even in His judgment of sinners. 

However, God is also glorified in the salvation of sinners. God is glorified when we are justified (or made right with God). God is glorified when we are sanctified (or made holy). 

Have you been changed by God? If not, come experience the glory of God today in salvation. 

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

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