Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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Transfiguration – February 19th, 2012 – Sharing Christ’s Glory

Introduction: Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Our text for this our contemplation of the “Transfiguration Of Our Lord” is the first part of the epistle lesson just read, from 2 Cor. 3, verses 12 through 18. We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • The transfiguration of Jesus Christ leads us into contemplation of a great mystery – how the infinite and glorious, the divine and eternal Son of God, could dwell bodily in the flesh of one man, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the principle revelation of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ – the divine glory and exaltation of this Divine man, our dear Savior and Lord.
  • However, according to the words of our text, just as real as the glory of Jesus, seen in His marvelous transfiguration, is the “transformation from one degree of glory to another” of those who believe in Jesus Christ. And this too is wondrous and glorious – for those who have the “eyes” to see it.
  • This is God’s will for each of you, and what He has commanded us to speak and preach to you, what He wants you to know, and why we proclaim “not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord” – that you also may “SHARE IN CHRIST’S GLORY.” For as we heard read from God’s own Word: “God Who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
  • So we know from our text that:

I. We Also Are Being Transformed Into Christ’s Image In Glory

Text: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit.”

A. But This Cannot Happen To Unbelievers, For Their Minds Are Veiled In Ignorance Of God’s Love And Salvation

Text: “But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”

B. So This Transformation From One Degree Of Glory To Another Happens To Us When We Are “Beholding The Glory Of The Lord”

Text: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”

C. And This Is God’s Gracious And Glorious Work Within Us, By The Power Of His Spirit

Text: “This comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

Statement:

  • Now, you may not have come to church here this morning with this thought in mind: “Hey, I’m going to be transformed into the same image of God’s glory today, from one degree of glory to another, by the power of God’s Spirit.” This is, however, what God wants for you, what He intends for you, and what He offers you in worship.
  • In fact, think of the many times you have come to worship on a Sunday morning, or some other church festival – never once giving any thought to what God wills to accomplish in you and for you, this “transformation” into His glory! But now you know – that church is not just some flat social event, not some cultural conditioning, not just a “human” thing. Rather, God is here in the worship of His people, not just filling your mind with certain thoughts or facts – but rather “transforming you from one degree of glory to another.”

Application:

  • This has been happening to you – if you are a believer in Christ, even when you have been unaware, for it is accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord. It is God shining in your heart, God giving you “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
  • You might ask – “but when and where has this ‘shining’ of God been taking place?” “Where is it that the ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ is shined and imparted to us? The answer is quite simple: Whenever and wherever Jesus Christ is proclaimed as Lord and Savior, whenever and wherever Jesus Christ reveals Himself to us. Where is that?

1. In the preaching of Christ’s Word, the glorious Gospel of God’s gracious forgiveness and mercy in Jesus Christ.
2. In the absolution, the forgiveness of sins, which Christ has commanded His servants to proclaim upon His people.
3. In the precious gift of Holy Baptism, in which God has placed the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake, and the gift of His Holy Spirit.
4. In the precious sacramental meal of Christ, of which He says, “This is My body . . . this is My blood, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

  • This is “the glory of God,” His gracious and merciful love and forgiveness, and through these means God shines the knowledge of His glory into your heart. And thus – by this shining of God, you also are “transformed from one degree of glory to another” by the power of God’s Spirit.
  • Ah, but you didn’t notice this happening to you? And no one has ever told you? Well, not all can observe this transformation – certainly not those with hardened minds! And I’m certain it is a shame – but we Christians are somewhat shy, and perhaps insecure, and afraid of pride and arrogance – so we are not overt in speaking the joy we have when we observe this glory of God shining in one another. But surely it happens – and I know that you have seen it in others as well.

Transition: So – are you in? Are you willing to “SHARE IN CHRIST’S GLORY”? Now this would all be quite an idolatrous thought were it not for the clear Word of God, expressing that this is His will and His work in us! And so it is certain that:

II. This Transformation From One Degree Of Glory To Another Is The Church’s Destiny – And The Sole Purpose Of The Ministry Of God’s Word

A. All Is By The Gracious Mercy And Love Of God, His Will And Decision

Text: “We have this ministry by the mercy of God.”

B. The Light Is Always Christ’s – He Is The One Shining God’s Glorious Light Into Our Hearts

Text: “in the face of Jesus Christ”

Statement:

  • If we were to properly grasp all of this, it would revolutionize our attitudes about church, and our understanding of what “church life” is all about. We would think quite a bit differently, much more respectfully about others in the church, our brothers and sisters. It would also change our attitudes and valuation of “preaching” and the Sacraments.
  • It would also dramatically change our hopes and dreams for the future – that we are not just hoping to be barely “saved” by the skin of our teeth, but rather that God has great, grand, and glorious plans for us. He is “transforming” us, already in the here and now, from one degree of glory to another, preparing us for the glories of our real home – His heavenly kingdom. If God so respects and values us, surely we ought to respect and value ourselves, and also our fellow children of God!

Application:

  • So you can stick with the mundane, the shallow, the superficial, the common way of looking at life in the church – viewing it in the same way as those whose hearts are hardened and whose eyes are veiled. But this is not what God wants for you – His Word is quite clear about this! He invites us into far grander and more glorious realities – by means of His Word and Sacraments, which powerfully convey the light of His love, and have marvelous transformative power!
  • So see clearly the glory of Jesus Christ our blessed Savior, and the wondrous love He has for you! Receive His bread and wine for what it is, what His creative and powerful Word declares it to be – His body and blood, the New Covenant, of forgiveness, grace, and glory!

Conclusion:

  • I’m sure the disciples who witnessed the transfiguration of our dear Savior and Lord Jesus Christ couldn’t have envisioned themselves sharing in that same glory – but they ultimately did! We too may find it remarkable, hard to believe, but it is God’s will and His promise that by His power we too will be “SHARING IN CHRIST’S GLORY.” Remember, it is through His Word and Sacraments that this glorious “transformation” takes place. So keep the veil off and let God do His thing with you! Amen.

Votum: And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.