When the Bible mentions “glory”, it generally refers to God displaying his nature; Matthew 5:16 states that all that He does for our glory (Matt 5:18).
Gospel accounts often point to Jesus’s incarnation (“Glory to you,” Luke 2:14), miracles, and suffering/crucifixion as examples of God’s glory.
The glory of God is an overarching theme in Scripture. It can be found throughout key biblical passages and doctrines, while being embedded into its narrative as an overall theme. Glory can refer to various aspects of God’s perfections such as magnificence, worth, loveliness or grandeur; or more directly it refers to manifestation of his presence such as Psalm 19:1 where Psalm states: “the heavens proclaim his majesty while heaven above bears witness to his handiwork”.
Glory often communicates a special attribute or quality of God. Ezekiel described seeing an illuminated figure with lapis lazuli face and body covered by brilliant light; further, Ezekiel noticed “From his waist up he looked like metal; from his feet down was fire; and his head was full of steam” (Ezekiel 1:26-28). Biblical authors were very aware of God’s splendor that they used to draw their readers into worship, reverence, and wonderment.
While God’s glory can manifest itself in many forms, one of its most memorable manifestations can be seen during Jesus’ birth when His heavenly hosts proclaim: “Glory to God in the highest!” (Luke 2:14). These words are frequently repeated at Christmas and other holidays as an affirmation of his grandeur and beauty.
Remembering God’s glory must remain sacred; any attempt at taking it and giving it to something or someone else could bring consequences (Romans 1:29-32, 3:18-4:24). Stealing His glory could result in severe punishment (Isaiah 42:8).
Biblical glory takes on many meanings. One common understanding is of splendor or majesty as seen through stories about Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:18), the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:10-11) or Ezekiel 43:1-5; it can also be seen through Jesus saying He came “to do what was necessary for God’s glory,” such as in Lazarus’ death and resurrection where Jesus said He came “do whatever necessary” in John 11:4 for God’s glory – communicating God’s worth, grandeur and grandeur in all its perfections.
Another manifestation of God’s glory can be seen through his creative works, especially those found in Genesis 1:26 where we learn that creation was His glory (Genesis 1:26). Additionally, in Jesus incarnation and ascension stories there are glimpses of that glory manifest in Him (John 1:1-18).
God’s redemptive acts serve his glory, uniting people together through Christ so that He reflects it back onto his Father and will one day be fully immersed by it (John 17:24). This glory demonstrates God’s immense love, power, and grace – truly magnificence of his redemptive acts!
Glory can be translated from the Greek doxa, which can be used as either an adjective, noun, or verb. Adjectival forms of this Greek term can be found throughout the Old Testament while noun and verb forms tend to predominately occur in New Testament passages. Example: when Moses stood atop Mount Sinai, we are informed that “the mountain burned with fire,” an allusion to God revealing himself in all his splendor (Exodus 19:18). The first use of the glory be to God prayer can be traced back to the fourth century when it first appeared as part of an extended set of prayers known as doxology. Recited at key parts of synagogue services and often quoted by Paul, this prayer eventually found its place within rosary prayers themselves, often being sung at every decade ending prayer session.
Biblical references use of glory as both an adjective, noun and verb to refer to showing or manifestation, while its noun form refers to magnificence or majesty. Glory often serves as a means to talk about God’s incredible qualities such as love, power and justice.
Glory and Christ are intimately interwoven. This can be seen from biblical passages that detail his incarnation (John 1:1-18), birth narratives (Luke 2:9-14), miracles (Matt 2:11; 11:38-44), suffering and crucifixion (John 7:39; 12:16-23, 23-28 Mark 10:45), transfiguration (Mark 9:2-13 Luke 9:28-36 Mark 9:30-36 Luke 9:28-36 Mark 9:2-13 Mark 9:2-13 and resurrection and exaltation in Acts 3:13-15).
God’s glory can often be linked to specific acts or activities of Him such as raising Lazarus from death or sending Holy Spirit to convict people of their sin (Acts 7:55). Furthermore, glory refers to His glorious presence within believers’ lives – see Revelation 21:23 for instance where light from sun or moon does not need to shine on it!
Glory be to God is often utilized during prayer or worship gatherings such as Eucharist. This short prayer begins by saying: “To the one and only wise God be glory forever.” Also known as Gloria Patri, this short phrase serves as the minor doxology during Mass services. As believers of one true God worthy of praise, this practice can serve to demonstrate our belief. We remember and reverence Him as King of Glory with all his power, majesty and beauty that we could ever desire – something Irenaeus alluded to when he said the glory of God is man fully alive – this can only happen through relationship with him.
When the Bible refers to God as being worthy of our worship, this phrase essentially means we should give all praise and honor due Him for who He is – He certainly deserves all our recognition! After all, He’s all-powerful, all-wise and all just – truly worthy of worship from us all and worthy of being worshipped! In fact, He created us specifically so we could worship Him; that’s why the bible contains many hymns extolling his virtues such as “glory be to God in the highest!” (Luke 2:14)!
One way we can honor Him is by living holy lives that reflect his goodness. Doing this allows others to witness and worship Him – giving Him all of the glory he deserves in return! Keeping a holy lifestyle can also show others why worshiping God should not be ignored or overlooked; thus emphasizing its importance. Thanking and giving thanks is crucial.
One way in which we can give glory to Him through prayer is through our prayers. When praying, it’s important that we ask Him for His glory to shine brightly through us so we may glorify Him through our actions and lives. Additionally, praying can bring salvation for ourselves, loved ones and His kingdom to come.
Last but not least, we can give Him glory by sharing our testimonies with other people. According to Scripture, sharing testimonies brings Him honor while also helping people better know Him. Praising God brings glory too – giving praise gives Him pleasure and feels good to His heart!
Gloria Patri is a traditional church prayer which uses the phrase, “To God be the glory,” to give thanks for who God is and celebrate His greatness. If this prayer hasn’t already become part of your daily routine, do so now – you won’t regret it!