- Sermon Notes
Transformed by God’s Glory
When Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Law of God, he came down to find the people had fallen into terrible sin. Moses had been gone for a long time and they didn’t know what had become of him, so they asked Aaron to make a golden calf. It represented of one of the gods of Egypt; the god of fertility, virility, and strength.Then they “rose up to play” and it turned into a party.Moses became so angry he threw down the tablets of stone and purged the camp.
God later told him to bring two more stone tablets up to the mountain and he would write the words of the Law upon them again. That is where we find Moses in Exodus chapter 34. He spent another 40 days and nights receiving the Law again.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he did not realize that his face was visibly shining with the brilliance of God’s glory. I believe this was the condition in which man was originally created. Scripture tells us that it was only after Adam and Eve sinned, they realized they were naked. They were in God’s presence and they were filled with the radiance of His glory.
When the people of Israel saw Moses’ face radiant with glory, they were afraid to come near.They were afraid of God’s glory, so Moses put a veil over his face.
This story is not only about the glory of God which shown on the face of Moses, it’s also about the veil.Whenever he was in the presence of God, he would remove the veil.When he was with the people of Israel, he replaced the veil over his face.
Paul made a spiritual analogy in 2 Corinthians 3, saying that Moses wore the veil so the sons of Israel might not look at the glory - that was fading. In other words, they did not want to see God’s glory.They were afraid.
It was a picture of a veil that lies over their heart. But whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away, so that we, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the image of God from glory to glory.
This story is filled with spiritual insight and application.
- Moses was in the presence of the living God, that’s why there was glory on his face.
- God’s glory was transforming Moses and that same glory is in the heart of the believer in Jesus Christ.In other words, God’s glory is transforming us. But into what?
A. Into the image of God’s Son
- God’s glory was transforming Moses because he was near to God’s presence.
- There is something similar that happens in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ. When you have your own spiritual, devotional, personal, intimate “tent of meeting” encounters with God, you will, in fact, be transformed.
2 Corinthians 3:7-8, If the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?
- The Holy Spirit, the very presence of the living God, dwells in the heart of the one who trusts in Christ.
- We love Romans 8:28, but we need to see that it only makes sense in the context of verse 29.
Romans 8:28-30, We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.For those whom He foreknew, he also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren… And those whom He justified, He also glorified.
B. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence
- God’s intent is to transform us into the character, attitude, heart and actions of Christ in our lives. To change us from what we once were, into who we are in Christ.
- He gives the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer to bring that transformation.
- Moses’ glory was fading when he was away from the presence of God, but we have the very presence of God within us.
2 Corinthians 3:11, If that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.
- We don’t have to go up to the mountain or to a place a great distance from the camp, we have the very presence of God within us.But – we still must take the opportunity to draw near to God in our hearts.
Illus - It’s like waiting and waiting to get married but then not taking advantage of the fact that you’re married.
Hebrews 10:19-22, Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way… Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.
- The Holy Spirit is an eternal well of life springing up within the soul.
John 4:14, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; and the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
- External changes are seen in your life when there is an internal glory, or fire, if you will, that comes from the glory of God’s Holy Spirit.
Illus – When Chuck Smith started reaching the hippies of the 60’s, he knew that if God could work on the inside, then the outside would follow.
Illus – Early one Sunday morning when Pastor Chuck arrived at the church, he saw that someone had posted a sign that read, “No shoes, No service…” One of the elders had made that sign because the hippies were sitting on the new carpet in their bare feet and getting the carpet dirty…
Illus – The external shell of a kernel of popcorn is perfectly capable of holding back what’s on the inside of the kernel.That is, unless what’s on the inside has been heated and expands. In other words, the outside shell gives way when there’s heat in the center. In fact, what was on the inside was much greater than the shell that was holding it back!
C. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God
- How does transformation happen?God puts His Spirit within us to transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ, but how does that happen?
2 Corinthians 3:17, Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
- Transformation is freedom from the lies of the past, from the bondage of worldly addictions.
Galatians 5:1, 16, It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery… I say to you, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
- The Holy Spirit brings transformation, and He uses the Word of God to bring about that transformation.
- In other words, the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to transform us into the image of the Son of God.
- We must have both the Spirit of God and the Word of God for there to be true and lasting transformation.
- Jesus told the Samaritan woman….
John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
- In other words, it’s possible to study the word of God and not be changed at all.
App – The Holy Spirit takes the words of God and lifts them from the page and writes them on your heart so that you experience the truth of those words and experience the One who is the Word of God.
Illus – Someone gave Jordi and me a gift certificate at a nice restaurant.It was busy when we arrived, so we took a menu and sat and waited. We read through the entire menu and got hungrier because of what we read. But after we read through the menu we didn’t get up and leave, we hadn’t eaten anything yet!It wasn’t enough to read the menu, we needed to experience, we needed to taste and see that the food was good!
- You can read about how much God loves you and you can have a pastor tell you how much God loves you, but until you experience the love of God you will not be changed.
II. Let There be No Veil Between You and God
- Moses kept a veil over his face so the sons of Israel would not see God’s glory.They were afraid of the presence of God.
- But when Moses himself was in the presence of God, there was no veil.What a beautiful picture and what great spiritual application.
A.The Word of God is like a mirror
- In Exodus 29 they were instructed to make a laver of bronze in which the priests were to wash their hands before they ministered in the tabernacle.
- They made this bronze basin from the looking-glasses, or the mirrors, from the women.
- The bible speaks about being washed by the Word of God, so how appropriate that the basin would be made from mirrors, because the Word of God is like a mirror.
James 1:22-24, Prove yourselves to be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
- People put a veil over their lives when they don’t want others to see what is really happening in their lives.But that doesn’t really work with God.God sees and God knows what needs to be changed and loves you so much He shows it to you… Proverbs 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”
- He is the Spirit of Truth and will only change us when we willingly desire the truth.
Psalm 51:6, Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being
- May we desire truth in the innermost being also.
B. Look intently at the glory of God
2 Corinthians 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
- “With unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror,” Paul wrote. That word means to look intently at what the glories of God; the word of God, and the presence of God in worship.
- In James 1 when he wrote that we should not be like a man beholding in a mirror, he used a word that means, “a male."
Illus – a man will only glance at a mirror, but a woman will behold in a mirror, to look intently. Women may even have a series of mirrors they use to get started in their day.
- Look intently at the glory of the Lord. Why is this so important? Because we are going from glory to glory. “We are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,” Paul wrote.
- Don’t be satisfied by staying in whatever place you are now, when God says that He has something so much greater for you. Be changed from glory to glory.
- That happens when you behold Jesus and then His glory comes into your life because he is creating a relationship to you.
- Look intently and see the glory of His Son.
Transformed by God’s Glory
March 9-10, 2019
We’re joining Moses. He’s been up on Mount Sinai, you remember the story, and he was receiving the Law of Moses. He was gone a long time. They didn’t know what had become of him, so they went to Aaron and demanded, “Make a god for us.” He took their gold earrings and made a molten calf, which by the way, represented one of the gods of Egypt, the god of fertility, and virility, and strength.
Then it says that they held a feast, and they got up to play, which is to say they had a party, and it got lewd. It got really out of hand. Moses, he comes down from the mountain, and he sees the calf in this terrible place, and he’s angry. He throws down the tablets and he breaks the tablets, and purges the camp. We’ve been reading about that.
Then, sometime later, God said to go back on the mountain, and He’s going to replace these tablets. That’s really where we pick up with Moses in Chapter 34, he’s receiving the law again. What’s interesting, and I’ve been making reference to this, but here in these verses is where we really see it actually spoken of, and that is that when Moses would come down from the mountain, he didn’t realize that there was actually a radiance of glory that people could visibly see on his face.
What’s interesting is, I’m convinced that that actually was the condition of man before the fall. What’s interesting is, of course, they were in the presence of the LORD. Every day, they were walking with God in the cool of the evening and that they were in the presence of the LORD. What’s interesting is that it tells us that it was only after they sinned that they realized that they were naked. See, before that they didn’t know, presumably because the brilliance of God’s glory was such.
It’s also interesting because it tells us in the Book of Revelation, at the end of the age when there’s the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven, it says that there is no need of the sun because God Himself illumines it, and the presence of the LORD is the glory of God revealed. Here’s Moses in the presence of the LORD, and there’s actually a visible brilliance of glory.
What’s interesting is it also tells us that when the people of Israel saw it, they were afraid. They withdrew from Moses. They were afraid of this. It tells us that he put a veil over his face. This is important because this story is not only about the glory of God visible upon Moses and the significance of the presence of God, it’s not only about that, it’s also about this veil.
It tells us that whenever Moses was in the presence of God, whether it was on the mountain or when he would go out to the tent of meeting -- you remember he had set up this tent, quite some distance outside the camp, so that whoever sought the LORD would go out to this tent of meeting.
Whenever Moses would go, it says that the pillar of cloud, which was the clear presence of God among them, that whenever Moses would go out to the tent of meeting -- in other words, to meet with God -- that the pillar of cloud would stand at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and Moses would have a conversation with God, and God and Moses would talk like a man talks to his friend. It’s a beautiful picture.
It tells us, then, that whenever Moses would go out to the tent of meeting, that he would remove the veil from his face; unveiled face. Then when he was with the people, they were afraid of the glory of God on him, so he would put a veil.
Paul makes a spiritual and analogy. In 2 Corinthians 3, he makes a spiritual analogy in regards to this veil. He brings up this glory, he brings up this veil; he gives us both of this picture of when Moses would remove it. He speaks with us with unveiled face; having a relationship to the LORD. You see how he makes the analogy to our lives? With unveiled face, have a relationship to the LORD.
He also talks about a veil as representing what would lie over the hearts of the people. Interestingly, he says, “You know what? There is a veil over their heart today.” He’s speaking of those like in Israel. It’s actually true. They cannot see Christ. They cannot see Jesus. They cannot see the Messiah. In the Scriptures, they cannot see. Actually, Jesus pointed that out that they were blind, a veil lies over their hearts. He brings this analogy.
It’s very important for us to recognize the spiritual significance of all of this. Let’s read it. We’re going to start in verse 27. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words, I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” He was there with the LORD 40 days, 40 nights. This is the second time. He did not eat bread or drink water. You cannot survive.
I’ll just say right now. You cannot survive for 40 days without water. There is this aspect then of the miraculous nature of God sustaining him also. He says, He wrote down on the tablets the words of the Covenant, the 10 Commandments. “It came about,” verse 29, “That when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony, they were in his hand. As he was coming down the mountain, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shown because of his speaking with Him, with God.
When Aaron and the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold the skin of his face shone, they were afraid to come near to him. Moses called to them like, “Hey. Come here, to me.” Aaron and the rulers in the congregation, they returned to him and Moses spoke to them, but afterward, all the sons of Israel came near, and he commanded them to do everything that the LORD has spoken to him on Mount Sinai. He’s giving them. He’s speaking to them. Again, repeating the words of this covenant.
They had never had this law like this, and so it was new to them. When Moses had finished speaking, he put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would take off that veil until he came out. Then whenever he came out and he spoke to the sons of Israel about what he had been commanded, the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses and the skin of Moses’ face shone, so Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him again.
I. God’s Glory is a Transforming Power
This is a very, very interesting part of the story. We really want to see the spiritual significance, because Paul makes an analogy. Paul applies it, and so, therefore, we really need to see the significance for our lives, understanding that God’s glory is a very important part of our relationship to God, and we start with recognizing that God’s glory is a transforming power.
See, Moses was in the presence of God. I tell you this is such an important thing for us to grasp in our own lives, because God wants us to have a relationship that’s near, that’s personal, that’s devotional, that’s spiritual. We need those tents of meeting encounters with God. It is in that presence of the LORD that we are transformed, because God’s glory transforms us, also.
A. Into the image of God’s Son
Maybe the good question to ask would be, “Well, into what is He transforming us?” Transforming means to change. It means to change. Into what is He transforming us? Answer, into the image of God’s Son. That is what He wants to do. It is the intent. It is the very intention of God to change us from what we were, the mess that we had made into the image of His Son. It’s to our good. It’s the work of God that He does.
2 Corinthians 3:7-8, “If the ministry of death.” What is the ministry of death? That’s actually the Law of Moses. That’s what he calls it, the ministry of condemnation, because they couldn’t live by it without the spirit that we have. If the ministry of death, which was in letters engraved on stones, if that came with glory, Moses’ glory, so that the sons of Israel cannot look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of this face, fading
as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?
That’s us. He’s talking about us, the ministry. When he says the ministry of the Spirit, he means what the Spirit is doing in us. The Spirit is on the move. The Spirit is doing something. It’s the very presence of God moving to transform us, and it’s His intent to transform us into the image of His Son. It’s to our good.
One of the things that when we were raising our kids, I had many conversations with them, where I would try to show them why I was doing what I was doing. As a parent, my job was to help my kids to be transformed. I mean that’s my job. As a parent, I want them to grow up from a child to be transformed into an adult. Not just any adult, I want them to be able to be godly, to make godly decisions, to have a godly life. You know why that’s important? Because this is the blessed life. It’s the best possible life they could live. Is this not true?
I want them to have that. Oftentimes, I would give them a picture of what that look like, and I wanted them to have this in their minds, because sometimes they struggled. They didn’t like the rules. Can you imagine, teenagers not liking the rules?
At one time, we had five teenagers in our house at one time, five. Count them, five. At one time. Talk about chaos. Actually, you know what? I loved it. When we became empty nesters, I missed it. Any parents who understand what I’m saying? I miss. I love the kids. I loved all of them. I loved it. I love the fact there were five teenagers at once. I loved it. I wanted them to see why I was having these rules. They didn’t like the law, did they? Why?
I would give them a picture. I would show them. I would say, “Listen, do you want to be married someday?” “Yes”. “Okay. Do you want to be happy? You want to have a good marriage?” “Yes.” “Great. That’s what I’m doing. I’m preparing you to have the kind of character and heart that you’re going to need, that you can be a good husband or a good wife, so you can be blessed. You want to have kids? “Yes, I would like to have kids.” “Do you want to be good parents?” “Yes, we’d like.” “That’s my job. I’m helping you learn. I’m transforming you so that you can have the ability to transform your kids. I’m preparing you for that. This what I want life to look like.”
“Do you want to have a job?” “Yes.” “I’m showing you how to have responsibility, and respect, and honor, and character, so that when you get out in that life, you-- and, of course, we’re talking about the character qualities that God would have for all of us. These are the things that I want to build in their lives.
God has an intent. He wants to transform us into the image of His Son, and it’s for our good. Hey, we need to leave what we once were and to be transformed into what He would have us to be. We all love Romans 8:28. It’s one of the great verses of the Bible, but it only makes sense when you see it in the context of the next verse. Let me give you both.
Romans 8:28. “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,” there’s where we love to quote it, “To those who are called according to His purpose.”
B. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence
God has a purpose. God has meaning, and purpose, and an intent. God is doing something, and He’s doing something for a reason. “For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to become conformed,” That’s change, “To the image of His Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brethren.” Notice this, “And those whom He justified, He also glorified.”
See, that word glorified means something different when you recognize it in the context of God’s glory as we see in Moses, and in the glory that is in the heart of the believer.
If you have been in the presence of the LORD, if you have been in the presence of the LORD, you have been gloried -- actually, a better word, you have been glorified. That’s the right word. God is doing a work of transforming us in glory.
In fact, when we get to heaven, we’re going to have glorified bodies, which is awesome because we’re going to leave these old things behind. The older you get, the more you appreciate that.
Is this not true?
He’s doing something. Here’s what we got to see. The Holy Spirit is given to the believer, and the Holy Spirit is, in fact, the presence of God. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence. It’s His intent to transform us into the character, the attitude, the heart, and the actions of Christ. He does that through His Holy Spirit.
It tells us that Moses’ glory was fading. When he was away from the presence of the LORD, it would be fading. Then when he would go back into the tent of meeting or up the mountain, then the radiance of glory would be back on his face.
It’s interesting because it says in 2 Corinthians 3:11, where there’s this connection, “If that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains.” He’s speaking of us. “The glory that God brings into the life of the believer,” and he’s talking about in the soul, in the heart, right? We don’t have a radiance of glory physically seen on our face.
If you have a brilliance of glory on your face, you’re spending way too much time in front of the computer.
That’s actually what that is. No, he’s talking about the transformation of the soul, for Holy Spirit is that which remains is in glory. What he’s showing us is, “Listen, you don’t have to go up to the mountain. Moses had to go up to the mountain, or it Moses had to go out to the tent of meeting. You don’t have to do that.” It says the tent to meeting was a long distance from the camp. You don’t have to go there.
The only time that Moses his face would take on the brilliance of God’s glory is when he went out there or when he went up to the mountain. You don’t have to do that. You have the very presence of the Living God. Here’s the thing. You don’t have to go up the mountain, you don’t have to go to the tent, but we still must take the opportunity to draw near to God in your hearts. We have the presence of God among us, but we still must take the opportunity to draw near.
I was trying to think of an analogy. Bear with me on this analogy illustration. Marriage has a lot of benefits, a lot of advantages. Do you understand what I’m trying to say here? I’m trying to be tactful. Marriage has a lot of advantages. Does anybody understand what I’m saying, or do I need to be more clear?
Here’s my analogy. It’s like waiting and waiting to get married, but then not taking advantage of the fact that you’re married. Why would you do it? Wait a minute. You’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and now you’re not going to take advantage of the fact that you’re married? Anybody who’s married, you’re going to say, “That doesn’t make sense.” Can I have an amen?
We still must take the opportunity to draw near to the LORD. You don’t have to go up to the mountain, you don’t have to go out to the tent; God has made a way. God has a way, that we have the freedom to have a relationship to God. Hebrews 10:19-22, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the Holy place by the blood of Jesus.” That word, confidence, is an amazing thing on its own.
We have confidence to enter in, by a new and living way, by the blood of Jesus. Therefore, he says, “Therefore, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” Like take the opportunity. If you have asked Jesus Christ into your heart, then the Holy Spirit of the Living God has taken residence in your soul, and God has made the way possible for you to enter into a near relationship, take the opportunity to draw near because God’s glory is the transforming power, and the Holy Spirit is an eternal well of life springing up in the soul.
John 4:14, “Whoever drinks of this water,” Jesus said, “The water that I give to him, will never thirst, and the water that I give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” That’s the life. “I’ve come that you have life and have it to the full.” Where does it come from? It comes from God. Draw near, see the external changes. God wants to change us. Those changes come when there’s an internal glory, an internal fire, if you will. God wants to have a fire in the soul. That’s the glory of God.
I was reminded of when, during the ‘60s, in the Jesus movement, the Calvary Chapel was an integral part of the Jesus movement of the ‘60s. It was the birth of hippies. If you remember your history, the ‘60s was the counterculture revolution of the hippie movement. Chuck Smith felt the Holy Spirit saying, “Reach out to the hippies.” You know the story. Now all these hippies are coming into the church. It was nothing short of revival. They were like baptizing 500 people a week. Yes, that’s revival. That’s just plain, old revival right there.
The thing is, some people started to complain, “These hippies coming into church, and they’ve got their stringy hair, and they don’t always shower when they should and they come in with their dirty feet, and they like to sit on the carpet. Then, one day, so Pastor Chuck comes to church and he gets there early on Sunday, and someone had put up a sign on the door, “No shoes, no service.”
He got a little of the heat of the Holy Spirit inside, and he took that sign down and he put it in his office, and later called a meeting of the elders, like, “Who did this?” One of the elders said, “Well, I did that.” “But why would you do such a thing?” “Because these hippies, they come in with their dirty feet. We’ve got this brand new carpet, and then there’s like dirt on the carpet.”
Chuck Smith said, “Take out the carpet. If anybody has a problem with these chairs, take them out, too, we’ll put in steel benches. I don’t want anything to stand in front of what Jesus is doing, because Jesus is doing something amazing.” Here’s what he said, “Listen, don’t worry about the outside, we need revival on the inside. Once there’s revival on the inside, it’s going to start to change the outside.”
Do you know what happens with a lot of religiousness? Religiousness is the outward look of the thing. It’s the outward conformity to the thing, but there’s no reality in the heart. That’s religion. Because there’s no reality in the heart and it’s just the outward conformity of the thing, it’s nothing, it’s just religion.
God doesn’t want religion, God wants there something real; He’s, “I want the inside. I want the inside to be glorious. I want the inside.” That’s where God is at work. “I want the inside to be alive. The outside will come. It will be changed.” We know this is true. Eventually, the hippies got shoes.
I was thinking of an illustration. It’s like a kernel of popcorn. The external shell of a kernel of popcorn is perfectly capable of holding back what’s on the inside of that kernel. The external shell of a kernel of popcorn is perfectly capable of holding back what’s inside that kernel. That is, until the inside gets hot, and when the inside gets hot, the outward shell can’t even stop. It cannot stop what’s going on, because what’s going on in the inside is going to explode, and it’s going to bring a glory that’s far greater than that kernel of popcorn ever had.
C. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God
I know that’s kind of a battery application, but the point is, God wants to do. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit, and he does it inside the heart. That’s the reality of what God wants. I want God to do that in this church. I want God to do that in this church. Anybody else want that?
The reality of the Holy Spirit moving. I don’t want this church to put on outward heirs and just put on the look of the religious thing. That’s very distasteful to God, it’s very distasteful to me, and it should be distasteful to all of us. God wants the reality. Where does that come from? That comes from the work of the Holy Spirit because we have made a decision that we want the presence of God in our lives.
What it shows us also, we need to see is that the Spirit of God uses the Word of God. See, both are very important. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God. That’s how transformation happens.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” We know the Spirit is ministry and is transforming and bringing freedom to people’s lives. Transformation is, in fact, freedom from the lies that had held people in their grip.
Many people have been held by lies for years. Freedom from those lies. Freedom from the bondage of worldly addictions. Many people, they think, “Oh, I’m free. I’m free to do what I want.” That’s not actual freedom, because it makes you a slave of that thing that you thought you wanted. You became a slave to it. God wants you free from it, so that you then are free in Christ, to love him freely.
Galatians 5:1, we are at verse 16. “It was for freedom that Christ set you free. Therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. He set you free. Don’t be going back to that.” I say to you, “Walk by the Spirit.” I say to you, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” He’s given us freedom and power because the glory of God is a transforming power. The Holy Spirit brings it, but He uses the Word of God.
See, in other words, the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to transform us into the image of the Son of God. We must have both, the Spirit of God and the Word of God, for true and lasting transformation. This is what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman. John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” In other words, it’s possible to study the Word of God and not be changed by it. It is. It’s possible to study the Word of God and not be changed by it.
The Spirit of God takes the Word of God and lifts them from the page, and writes them on your heart, so that you experience the truth of those words, and that you experience the one who is the Word.
The Word of God is living. It’s alive. It’s living, it’s active, it’s sharper than any two-edged sword. The Word of God is alive. The Word of God is a person, his name is Jesus Christ. You see the Holy Spirit takes the Word of God, lifts them from the page, and writes them on the heart, so that you experience the truth.
I was thinking of an illustration, sometime ago someone gave Jodie and me a gift certificate at a nice restaurant. We would never have gone there without it, and we appreciated it, so we went to this nice restaurant. It was busy when we arrived, and so we asked for a menu and took a seat waiting our turn.
We’re sitting there reading the menu, and the descriptions of these food things, it was a nice restaurant, and they give you all these descriptions, and we’re thinking, “Wow. This is a really great place.” Just reading through the menu made you hungry. We read through the menu and we thought, “Man, that was good.” That was good. That was a good read.
Gave him back the menu and said, “Thank you very much,” and walked out the door. No, no, no. We’re not leaving. We are not leaving until we have some food. In other words, it wasn’t enough, was it, to read the menu, we need to experience the food that it describes. We needed to taste and see that the food was good. There’s a verse like that. “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” It’s not enough just to read it. Have the words be lifted from the page. Let them be written.
II. Let There be No Veil Between You and God
This is being in the presence of the LORD. You are being in the presence of the LORD. What was Moses doing when he was in the presence of the LORD? He was hearing the words of God. That’s what he was doing. He was hearing the words of God. When you are in the Word, but the Holy Spirit is using the Word and writing it on your heart, you are experiencing what Moses experienced. He was hearing the words of God.
You can be sure that the presence of God was delighting, that Moses wanted to hear it. Therefore, then we add this, let there be no veil between you and God. There are to be no veil. Moses kept a veil over his face that the sons of Israel would not see God’s glory. They were afraid. They were afraid of God’s presence. They were afraid of God’s glory. When Moses was in the presence of the LORD, there was no veil. There was no veil. What a beautiful picture. What a beautiful application.
A. The Word of God is like a mirror
Sometimes in weddings, the bride will wear a veil. Why? What is the purpose of a bride wearing a veil? The reason a bride will wear a veil is to hold back the glory until the moment that the bridegroom lifts the veil. He lifts the veil, and then he goes, “Ah.”
Such glory. That’s a beautiful picture, isn’t it? She’s been transformed. She’s been working on it for hours.
It also pictures something else. The removing of the veil, we’re married now, that there be nothing between us. It’s a beautiful picture, isn’t it?
When Moses was in the presence of the LORD, no veil. Veils are for hiding, aren’t they? They’re for hiding. Some people want to hide from God. They don’t want God to see. The thing is, when you truly know how much He loves you, and that His love for you will never fail, that He will see even the weaknesses, even the things that are wrong, and broken, and shamed, and all the things that need-- He doesn’t cast you off. He says, “You’re my bride, and I love you. Now we’re going to transform those things. I am at work. I will do it work,” and so He gives us this beautiful picture.
I want to add something else that we get from the Book of Exodus, and that is this, that the Word of God is like a mirror. Here’s what I mean by that. In Exodus 29, God instructed them to make this lever a basin, wash basin out of bronze, so that the priests would wash their hands before they minister to the LORD. It’s a picture, of course, of what God does; the cleansing, the washing of the Word. It’s a picture of that.
It’s also interesting because it says that they made it the bronze mirrors that the women had, because the women had mirrors. Now, they didn’t have glass mirrors like we do, that was not invented; what they had was a brass, highly polished brass that you could see your reflection. The women donated, willingly gave their brass mirrors.
It’s also at this picture. The wash basin was made of these mirrors. It’s interesting because of this analogy, the Bible speaks of being washed by the Word, and the Bible speaks about the Word of God being like a mirror.
For example, James 1:22-24, “Prove yourselves to be doers of the word, not merely hearers who delude themselves. For anyone who is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, for once he’s looked at himself and gone away, he’s immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” He makes this analogy.
People put this veil over their lives when they don’t want others to see what’s really happening in their lives. That doesn’t really work with God very well; God sees, God knows, and He knows what needs to be changed. He loves you so much that He will show it to you like in a mirror. He will show it to you.
Look at this. What does it say in Proverbs 27:6? “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Let me show this to you. He’s the Spirit of truth. He changes us that we would willingly want the truth. That’s what a mirror does. That’s why you look in a mirror. The mirror shows you the truth so that you can do something about it.
When you look in the mirror, why do you look in the mirror after a meal? To see if there’s anything in your teeth, because you don’t want people to see the stuff on your teeth, so you go look in the mirror because you want the truth.
B.Look intently at the glory of God
Sometimes, let’s say you don’t have a mirror and then a friend says to you, “Hey. Hey. Psss, Psss. Right there. There is something right there on your teeth.” Do you say, “I’m offended that you would say such a thing.” No, you don’t say that. You say, “Thank you. Thank you for showing that to me.” That’s what a friend does. A friend’s not embarrassed. A friend is not embarrassed to tell me the truth, isn’t that true?
God says, “I’m not embarrassed. I’ll tell you the truth, and I’ll tell you the truth in love.” Then what He says is very interesting. Look at the glory. This is another dimension you might say, aspect of it. “Look intently at the glory of God.” This is that spiritual analogy that Paul has been making at 2 Corinthians 3. Notice verse 18, “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the LORD, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory as from the LORD to Spirit.”
What does it mean, “We with unveiled face,” we know what that means, “Beholding as in a mirror,” what does that mean? It means that when a person looks into a mirror, they look intently in that mirror. They’re looking at it intently. “Beholding as in a mirror.”
It’s interesting because I was referring to James 1, about that, “Don’t be like a man looking in a mirror.” The word there is actually man, as in male. Don’t be like a male who looks in the mirror, because men oftentimes just glance at a mirror, they don’t really look that much. I’m not being sexist. This is reality. Right? A man looks in the mirror just like, “Okay, whatever,” and moves
on, but a woman understands beholding. A woman will be holding the mirror.
Women will even have a whole series of mirrors. You got the mirror when you first wake up in the morning, you got the mirror to assess the damage from the night before, then you have the mirror, the makeup mirror, that you’re really good into the details of the thing, and then you got another full-length mirror to make sure the whole ensemble is right. Then you go out to your car, and just to make sure you’ve got a mirror on the visor.
Throughout the day, I bet you anything, almost all women in this room right now have a mirror in your purse. I’m not asking you to show it, I’m just saying. I’m thinking, why? Because women understand something. Women understand the point; mirrors have a reason. Mirrors have a purpose. You look at them.
He says, “Like you know how you would look at a mirror,” he says, “Now, once you to see the analogy, behold the glory of God. Look intently. Look intently at what God would do in your life. Look intently and desire what God is doing beholding the glory. We are being transformed from glory to glory.” God is doing a work, and that work is on the inside. If God is not moving on the inside-- Hey, can I be both here?
If God’s not working on the inside, you’re just faking it. God doesn’t want me, or you, or anyone else to fake it. Is that not true?
I want God to do a real work of revival in this church. I want a work of sincere, genuine. Let it begin with me, LORD. Let it begin with me. Let us all seek after in genuine desire. Behold, I want to see. That’s why when Moses said, show me Your glory, it meant something. We should have the desire to be authentic. I want revival here. I want something real. I don’t want to be a fake Christian. I want to be a real, authentic, genuine follower of Jesus Christ. Anybody else?
Father, thank you for your work. Thank you for taking hold of our lives. Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit so we don’t have to climb some mountain or go out far outside the camp. You are in this very room moving on hearts at this very moment. Your Holy Spirit transforms lives, and I pray for everyone in this room tonight, God, that we would say with boldness of heart, “I want to be real. I don’t want to be a fake Christian.” I’m asking, I want the reality of the work of God to be in my heart. Let it begin with me. Let it begin in me. Bring Your revival to me.
Church, that your prayer? Would you say that to the Lord, tonight, “Let it begin with me, I want a work of God in my heart, my soul. I want revival in me. I don’t want to be a fake Christian. I want the reality of Christ in me”?
If that’s you, I’m going to ask that you would just raise your hand. I was thinking in my heart a moment ago of asking you to stand, but I don’t want you to stand because I don’t want you to stand because of the pressure of other people standing. I want you to decide that you want it because you want it. You really want it. I want a genuine, real work of God. I mean it. Would you just raise your hands to the Lord?
All eyes closed, just you and God. I want. Touch me, Lord. Touch me, Lord. Let the work of God be real and genuine. Let it be deep. Let it be genuine, I’m asking. I’m asking because I know that you say, yes, when I ask, in Jesus’ name, and everyone said, can we give the Lord praise, and glory, and honor? Amen.