John Owen said, “No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight in heaven who does not, in some measure, behold it by faith in this world.” Furthermore, Octavius Winslow puts it this way: “If a man sees not the glory of Christ, we hesitate not to say of him that with regard to all other spiritual objects, he is totally blind—he is yet a stranger to the illuminating grace of the Holy Spirit.” What do you think of those statements? Be honest. Do you agree with them? Or do you think them an aberration, an exaggeration…maybe a form of mysticism? Owen goes on to say, “Let no one deceive himself. He that has no sight of Christ’s glory here shall never see it hereafter.” Really? Thankfully, he explains himself: “The beholding of Christ in glory is too high, glorious, and marvelous for us in our present condition. The splendor of Christ’s glory is too much for our physical eyes just as is the sun shining in all its strength. So, while we are here on earth, we can behold His glory only by faith.” So, he is not talking about dreams or visions. Rather, he says in his famous work, Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ, in His Person, Office, and Grace: with the Differences between Faith and Sight Applied unto the Use of Them That Believe—or simply, The Glory of Christ—that we can only see Christ’s glory in the Scriptures, preeminently in the gospel, through faith quickened by the Holy Spirit. When I first read Owen’s book, I confess that I was surprised, challenged, reproved, corrected, edified, and transformed. And, after prayer and contemplation, I realized that Owen’s point was simple, profound, and much neglected by modern Christianity. Friend, do you see the glory of Christ?
We read Owen in our Chapel Library staff prayer meeting, and with hearts humbled by God’s transforming truth, souls warmed with biblical glimpses of the Sun of Righteousness, affections moved by the stunning beauty of the Savior, and lives transformed by seeing Him Who loved us from all eternity, we offer you this Free Grace Broadcaster: The Glory of Christ. John Owen introduces us to this vital subject by explaining the great privilege of seeing Christ’s glory in this world as preparation for seeing His eternal splendor and majesty in the next. Following this, Owen briefly explains that the glory of Christ is the glory of the person of Christ. Charles Spurgeon then helps us to glimpse that glory with a remarkable and concise panorama of Christ’s love, His incarnation, His atoning sacrifice, His resurrection, His enthronement, and His second coming! Oh, what a vision it is! Octavius Winslow then declares that there is no love like Christ’s—a revealing love, a condescending love, a self-sacrificing love, and a forgiving love. John Flavel skillfully reveals the glory of Christ in His offices as our Prophet, our Priest, and our King. Then, William Plumer gives us yet another panoramic look at Christ; but this time in His humiliation, that is, His obedient submission to His Father in His earthly life—from virgin conception to His suffering and agony on Calvary’s cross. From there, Spurgeon declares to us that Christ’s crucifixion is Christ’s glory! He presents the revelation of Christ lifted up, drawing sinners to Himself in the greatest love ever manifested in this depraved world. But Christ’s story and glory do not end there: Thomas Watson shows us that God the Father exalted His Son in His titles, His office, His ascension, His session at God’s right hand, and His judging of the world! If we really see Christ so, our hearts cannot but be ravished by His beauty; and Octavius Winslow proclaims that there is no beauty like Christ’s beauty—nothing in the universe compares! Winslow then brings this theme to a close by challenging us to contemplate Christ’s astonishing glory.