A Good Church Glorifies Christ
A Good Church / John 9
Glory is when God’s works are displayed in our walk
People talk about experiences like this, that overwhelm them, in terms of the sublime or even surreal.
But Sometimes if they are really serious they will use the word glorious.
Glory is the word that you use when you don’t quite have a word that fully describes what you’re experiencing. But it’s beyond description. It is glorious.
Christ helps us to find our way through them. To navigate those things that are too big. And as He does we find that there is always something more glorious than we have previously experienced, and it is always found in Christ.
› But we can’t get there on our own. We will need to see how He walks this individual from the “why” to the “how”
› This then isn’t an individual action. It belongs to the church. To those who follow Christ together in locality.
› Our stories collect and corroborate one another’s and point to the same bigger than us picture. We tell that story as the practice of giving glory to God.
To Glory in God is to participate in His activity
John 9:1–5 ESV
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
But to begin let’s look at the presenting issue.
The man’s blindness.
IN ANE when someone had a disability it was assumed that there was a form of sin somewhere, that the individual deserved it either from his family or because of himself. The disciples are asking a question everyone would have had.
Whose fault is this? Was it his or someone eles’s? There are asking more than simply whose fault was this but moreso, why did this happen?
Because everything was an issue of merit. If you or your family did something wrong, then you would pay for it later on. We would call this retribution or even using Eastern Religious terminology, Karma.
SO Jesus answers and when He does He goes above blame. He gives purpose. He writes that God will show up in power through it.
He is saying that it didn’t come from sin but that God would make meaning from it.
› What if whatever you perceive as weakness is is actually a display of Gods glory?
› The disciples would have passed right over that being an opportunity for God’s glory
› We often pass right by opportunities for God’s glory.
The very thing that you think has no meaning because it is weak or it is painful is the very thing that God can display His glory through.
2 Corinthians 12:8–10 ESV
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Glory is that which is unmistakably God. So when we give glory to God, we participate with Him, that means we experience His power and character and we point back to Him.
Giving Glory to God means that we can only make sense of our story in Christ.
John 9:24–25 ESV
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
Everyone in his community can’t makes sense of what has happened.
He was blind and now he could see. What did it mean.
They ask about Jesus. They want to know what kind of person he is. He is trouble. HE is a sinner. That much they know.
And the reply from the previously blind man is excellent. “I’m not really sure who he is. I only know that I was blind. I met this man Jesus. Now I can see.”
That is the working out of God’s glory in a life.
If you are a Christ follower this morning there is a real sense in which our stories don’t fully make sense unless our stories are found in Christ.
We experience peace when we shouldn’t
We love when others have given up
We have experienced otherworldly mercy
and grace and love
We can persevere because we know who our heavenly Father is and where we are going.
We long for a heavenly home but can rest in Christ now.
› Because we live otherworldly lives, we practice alien things like rest and peace.
› This is God’s glory coming through
2 Corinthians 3:1–3 ESV
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
We in Christ are a letter about what that life is about. Your story matters. Because it is about the God of the Universe who loves HIs creation so much that He would die for us to give us a chance at life. You are marked with the value of the Creator.
Glory is maybe more about unconditional pointing than skilled perfection.
John 9:35–39 ESV
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
It is the work and glory of Christ that brings this once blind man into belief. He experiences all these things that are larger than Him, healing, kindness, redemption. And in so doing, what other choice does he have?
The call of the church is to live in the glory of God and to give glory to God, honor to Him, by participating with Him in such a way that our stories only make sense in light of who Christ is.
That is who we want to be as a church. That our story as a church would only make sense in understanding who God is.