Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Beholding is Becoming

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

-- 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
The multitudinous excellencies of Christ are so radiant that the eye fixed on him, truly beholding his loveliness, will cast the gaze that transforms. Like the Israelites looking to the uplifted serpent, the beholder is healed. And the longer we behold, the more we are transformed.

This is why gospel-centrality is crucial to the life of discipleship. Let's never depart from the gospel! It sounds strange at first but it is as logical as following Christ means keeping our eyes glued to him. The grace of God in Christ is effectual, powerful. And the longer we will gaze upon his transforming loveliness, the more sure "the things of earth will grow strangely dim." The light of his glory and grace is soul-encompassing. And as Paul tells us, beholding Christ is becoming Christ-like.
"It is by beholding the glory of Christ by faith that we are spiritually edified and built up in this world, for as we behold his glory, the life and power of faith grow stronger and stronger. It is by faith that we grow to love Christ. So if we desire strong faith and powerful love, which give us rest, peace and satisfaction, we must seek them diligently beholding the glory of Christ by faith. In this duty I desire to live and to die.

On Christ’s glory I would fix all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.”

-- John Owen, The Glory of Christ


Andrew said...

Posts like this make me deeply thankful for your blog. So encouraging.


Hin-Tai said...

Thanks for this! You inspired my own latest post. Also, I'm not sure I've ever commented before, but I love your blog, its focus on the gospel, and your desire to see its lovely beauty expressed in the language with which we talk about it :) thank you!