If you ever wondered why we at Desiring God write so much about doctrinal particularities, here’s one answer.
If glory includes beauty, as I wrote last week, it includes lines. They may be curved or straight. But without lines there is no form. You would never see a cloud, if there were no border to it. The whole sky would be one color. You would never see the sun or the moon or a baseball, if there were no circumference. Never see an oak leaf, if there were no fingered outline. Never see a human face, if the cheeks and nose and brow and chin had no edge.
Therefore the glory of Christ has lines. Without them, “glory” is just a word. These lines define forms of beauty. Aspects of glory. Particularities that can be seen and enjoyed. This is who Jesus is. He is not a vague glory. He is a glorious coherence of particular glories that have lines.
Jesus is real. He is not a smudge of wonder. As you turn the lens of Scripture correctly, he comes into amazing focus, yes, even with our present limitations (1 Corinthians 13:12). We do not worship a formless glory.
So look for the lines, the form, the particularities of his person, his specific beauties.
I am praying that my pastor and the church I love would live for
- the glory of the Jesus who was in the beginning with God and was God (John 1:1).
- the glory of the Jesus who shed his blood to seal the new covenant for his people (Luke 22:20).
- the glory of the Jesus who said, “I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15).
- the glory of the Jesus who said, “No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27).
- the glory of the Jesus who said, “You do not believe because you are not among my sheep” (John 10:26).
- the glory of the Jesus who said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me” (John 6:37).
- the glory of the Jesus who said, “No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father” (John 6:65).
- The glory of the Jesus who wept over Jerusalem, saying, “Would that you had known the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:41–42).
So when you pray, and when you worship, remember there is no beauty without lines. And there are ways to draw the lines of glory that are not the glory of Christ. Know your Bible well. Trace its lines. And worship this Christ