Those who have been coming here for a while know that the Bible is a picture-book of Jesus, showing us His loveliness, His beauty, His character, and His heart for us.
Today I would like to share with you a wonderful truth from the Scriptures that is for every believer today; and that is the Bible can also show you yourself, but it will not point out your faults or your wrongdoing, instead it will show you your very own loveliness in Christ Jesus.
So if you have been finding your Bible-reading unfulfilling, this message is for you today.
To understand this, we must first have the foundation of the finished work of Jesus Christ… that He has washed us completely clean, removed our sin and made us righteous by faith alone and not by our performance. Let’s read Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Now we aren’t going to spend a lot of time on this scripture today, for we have covered it in detail in prior messages and everyone who is new here is encouraged to also get the previous teachings and articles. It is sufficient for now to simply recognize that our complete righteousness comes not through our own performance, works or deeds (although right living is an end result), but our righteousness comes by faith alone — faith in the person of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for us.
It is important that we truly understand this concept, and all that it truly affords us. The righteousness that we have available for us today is not the righteousness of a mere man, nor of an animal or even an angel, but it is the very righteousness of God Himself. Jesus is not just a “good man” or a “fine teacher”, but He is God manifested in the flesh, and the more that we truly understand that the righteousness which He has given us is His very own righteousness, then we start to have our vision enlarged as to what He truly has done for us and all that it affords us.
Now let’s take a look at 1st Corinthians 13:12:
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Glass here is actually referencing a mirror, in this case a dark mirror. The writer is making a reference to looking at a mirror in a darkly lit area — have you ever done that? When you look into a “dark mirror” you see some things, but not all the details. Yet when we arrive in Heaven, we will see clearly, knowing all things. What a wonderful hope and promise!
You see my friends, the mirror is an analogy for the Scriptures, showing us the way that we truly are, righteous and pure because of Jesus Christ. Take a look at the following verses in James 1:23-24:
“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was.”
We can see here that when we look at the Word, and we see ourselves, but not in our faults, we see instead what these verses call our “natural face”; bright and shining with the light of Christ shining through us.
Now some people get confused at the phrasing “doer of the word” but in this context it simply means to “believe what the word says”; if we hear the scriptures telling us that we are righteous through Christ, but then we walk away still buried in guilt and condemnation, then we are a forgetful hearer, not remembering how clean we really are.
There is one more verse that we need to look at, 2nd Corinthians 3:18:
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.”
Here is the secret. As we look at the scriptures and we see the Glory of Christ, His perfection in absolutely every way, we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory.
1st John 4:17 states that “…as He is, so are we in this world.”, not some time in the future, not up in Heaven, but now in this world!
So now my friends, when you read the Bible, you can see Jesus in His perfect beauty, and then honestly thank Him for all that He has given you, because as you see Him, you are also transformed into the same image. Just as Peter beheld Jesus walking on the water and then proceeded to do the very same, as you see Jesus and then realize that He has actually given you His same righteousness, you too will also shine with His glory. This is our God! This is our Savior! Hallelujah!