- 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.
I. God’s Glory is a Transforming Power
- 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.
Exodus 34:27-35 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
27 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write [a]down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And [b]he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten [c]Commandments.
Moses’ Face Shines
29 It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers in the congregation returned to him; and Moses spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the sons of Israel came near, and he commanded them to do everything that the Lord had spoken [d]to him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take off the veil until he came out; and whenever he came out and spoke to the sons of Israel what he had been commanded, 35 the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone. So Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him.