Moses’ great desire was to see God’s glory (Ex. 33:18-23; 34:6-8). David’s one desire was to “...dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple” (Ps. 27:4). David said God’s eternal covenant in Christ was all of his salvation and all of his desire (2 Sam. 23:5). Jesus manifested His glory to His disciples (John 2:11). He made known His glory in His transfiguration to Peter, James and John. Under inspiration by the Holy Spirit, John wrote, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Christ told His disciples, “He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus said that His Father’s everlasting will was that all He gave to His Son to save, to have as His Bride, should see and believe Him, and be raised up by Christ at the last day (John 6:40). Paul said that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). And Paul told the Ephesians that the Spirit of God in them, who makes Christ known to them, was the earnest of their inheritance in Christ until the day of the redemption of their bodies (Eph. 1:13-14; John 16:13-15). Christ is our inheritance (Eph. 1:11; Gen. 15:1; Song 2:16). Our greatest delight is seeing Christ, being found in Him, being conformed to His image, knowing Him, knowing I am His and He is mine, worshipping Him, and asking Him all things with His people (in His temple -- Ps. 27:4). Christ sent His Spirit to take the things of His own and show them to us (John 16:13-15). Paul prayed to the Father of glory that the Church would be given “17 the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him (Christ): 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:17-23). Jesus said eternal life is knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3). Can you begin to see God’s purpose for creation? Isn’t it that we might see His glory in Christ, our great God and Savior, who created all things by His word, and created the Church out of His side in His death?! But we continue...
We live by faith on the word of God. That word reveals Christ. We do not walk by sight; we walk by faith in what God has said concerning Christ crucified (1 Pet. 1:18-25). He is our great God and Savior, the Son of God, the one God-Man-Mediator, chosen and appointed by God the Father, our Husband-Redeemer from eternity (Isa. 54:5; Rev. 13:8; Eph. 5:23-25). Faith is defined in scripture as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Thus, faith is that God-given sight of Christ now, in this present world, until we receive the final fulfillment of God’s purpose in heaven. Our faith is in God’s word. All that was written in scripture, speaks of Christ and Him crucified (Heb. 10:7; 1 Pet. 1:11; John 5:39, 46; Luke 24:44-46). Scripture holds up Christ to the eyes of our God-given faith, that we might behold Him, the Lamb of God, the Lord of me and the God of me (John 20:28), the High Priest who obtained our eternal redemption and now intercedes for us in heaven, the conquering and reigning King (John 1:29; 3:14-15; 12:32; 20:28; Heb. 8:1; 7:25). It is said that “Jesus opened their (disciples’) understanding that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:32, 45). Faith, and the sight of Christ crucified, therefore, is the gift of God that provides a present possession of that eternal inheritance. Christ commands every sinner to look to Him and live. His command is our warrant to come to His throne of grace for faith to do so. He said, “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:22-23; Rom. 14:9). Isaiah revealed Christ’s sovereign power to save and so fulfill His eternal purpose when Isaiah received this prophecy from His throne (Isa. 6:5-9): “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name” (Isa. 65:1)! There is no greater mercy and favor from God than to see His glory in Christ (Ex. 33:12-23).
Paul prayed for the entire Church of God’s elect, the whole family in heaven and earth, that the Lord Jesus Christ would grant them, “16 according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:16-20).
Our life now and hope of glory is Christ living in us (Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27). This faith that sees Christ is the present foretaste of the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose. What is accomplished at the end of time is God’s design from the beginning, from eternity (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11 -- He works all things according to the counsel of His own will). We who believe were predestinated to be conformed to the image of God’s dear Son (Rom. 8:29). Paul said this conforming process is performed by God’s Spirit of grace as we behold Christ in the mirror of the Gospel (2 Cor. 3:18).
God’s eternal purpose, and all of the details of our lives that were laid down in His predestination, will reach its final fulfillment when we see His face. David said, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Ps. 17:15). The apostle John said the unsurpassing love of the Father is seen in that He has made us His sons by eternal adoption, by the redeeming blood of His own dear and only begotten Son, and by bringing us to birth by His Spirit. The evidence of our birth by the Spirit of Christ is that we look to Christ crucified as all of our salvation (John 3:14-15). And the eternal purpose of God in Christ, and therefore in creation, is that we might be brought to glory as His sons, that Christ might be glorified as our Surety for doing so, and our Head and we as His body might behold Him in all of His glory, the Lamb of God (Eph. 1:4-7; John 1:29; 3:14-15). John said that though it does not yet appear to our physical eyes or to our enlightened understanding, what we shall be, we nevertheless know that when Christ appears at His return in glory, we shall then be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:1-2).
Therefore, the grand overarching purpose of God in creation (in fact, creation is but the foreshadowing of that purpose) is to shine the light of His glory, which is seen only in His Son, to His eternally beloved, elect people, those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, who are given His Spirit, that in this new, this new creation in Christ, we might behold Christ as our all: our Surety, the Lamb of God, our great God and Savior, our one Mediator, who is glorious in all of His person and work. That great purpose, that great promised inheritance for which we, by the Spirit of God, look with certain expectation through faith (Gal. 5:5), is that we will see Christ. We will spend eternity beholding Him. We will be like Him. And scripture says that all of this shall soon be fulfilled!
The end spoken of in the beginning will be fulfilled: we “shall see His face” (Rev. 22:4)! What an unspeakable blessing Christ has purchased for us by His own blood! What an inheritance God our Father has prepared for us before the foundation of the world (Matt. 35:34; Rom. 9:23)! We will realize the full blessing of our union with Christ in our experience when we see Him in His fulness, and look upon His face with redeemed eyes (Rom. 8:23).
It is a marvelous thing to know that we shall see His face! In ourselves, we turned our back, and not our face to Him (Jer. 2:27). In ourselves, by our sins, we covered His face; we spit in His face (Matt. 26:67; Mark 14:65). But in His eternal love and incomprehensible grace, He did not hide His face from shame and spitting, that He might give to us to behold His face in righteousness (Isa. 50:6; Ps. 17:15). Angels desire to look at the perfections of Christ that He displayed in His sufferings and death and resurrection and enthronement (1 Pet. 1:11-12). Yet God has shown Christ to His beloved people in His redeeming love! By our salvation in Christ, when the Spirit of God applies His Gospel to our hearts, God gives us such a sight of Christ by faith that it comes before and exceeds the sight that even angels have of Him (1 Pet. 1:12). Do you see something of the eternal glories of Christ now by faith? Faith is seeing Him (Heb. 11:3; Isa. 6:5). Do you long, as Moses and David and Isaiah and Paul, and all the prophets, to see Him of whom scripture speaks in His sufferings and glory (1 Pet. 1:11)? Do you, by faith, see the eternal blessings God has laid up in Christ for His people, His elect, His Church?! Let us then fall on our faces, and in our hearts let us lift our praise to our great God and Savior! May we find delight only in what delights Him. May our heart beat with His. May we believe what He has said as the whole truth about the way things are. May we hunger and thirst for His righteousness (Matt. 5:6; Ps. 42:1ff). May we rejoice with thankful hearts that He has given to us this precious faith. And may we strain in prayer, and by hearing and meditating on His word, to see Him, ever asking Him to open our understanding that we might understand the scriptures, that He might give us greater measures of His Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him! Seeing Christ by faith is eternal life possessed now (John 5:24). Seeing Christ in our resurrected souls when we die is eternal life (Rev. 20). But seeing Christ in our redeemed bodies, with all that we are, spirit, soul and body, will be heaven itself. This is the hope we hold in confident anticipation. Let us declare His glory in prayer. And let us pray that we might be enabled to declare His glory in every part of our lives -- to the praise of His glorious grace (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14).
God’s purpose for creating this world was to glorify His Son, that His Son might be seen to be all-glorious in His perfections by His saving grace to sinners (Col. 1:14-15). God’s purpose in creation was to have a people for Himself and to show them His perfections in the threefold character of the one God, our Father; His only begotten Son, our Redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, our interceding, Christ-exalting, life-giving Paraclete. God’s purpose in creation is made known in Christ crucified and exalted in glory. Therefore, let us behold, the Lamb on His throne who washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 5:9; John 1:29; 10:11, 15; Rom. 11:26-27)!