27 June 2008

The Gospel of the Glory

I noticed today that most translations provide a built-in interpretation that is more unhelpful than helpful. 1 Tim 1:11 reads, in the ESV, "...in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted." This might be an appropriate understanding of the genitive. But more literally it reads "...in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God..."

Paul says something similar in 2 Cor 4:4, calling the good news "the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

"...the gospel of the glory of God..."

"...the gospel of the glory of Christ..."

The gospel of the glory. The good news of God's affective enlargement in your heart and mine and, ultimately, in the eyes of every human, in Christ or out (Phil 2:10).

How is that good news? Because, first, God's mercy is mainly what magnifies him. It is God's communicable, not incommunicable, attributes that magnify him, as Edwards has taught me. God looks good not mainly by being big but by being kind. That is what glorifies him. His goodness in light of his greatness, the latter of which makes the former utterly unnecessary and surprising. And second, because when we embrace this gospel, we are freed to give him glory, recognizing for the first time how self-glory directed we had been.

1 comment:

Clay Johnson said...

His goodness in light of his greatness, indeed! The glory of his mercy is magnified by the preservation of his justice; THAT mystery is what humbles me. Thanks for this.