Accepting His Deity
In Jesus' high priestly prayer in John 17, He says: "And now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (v. 5). Here Jesus alludes to a position He held before creation. It is a tacit claim to His participation in the eternal glory of God.
In the fourth century, the church faced a serious crisis with respect to the deity of Christ. The Arian heretics denied the deity of Christ, claiming that Jesus was a creature who was adopted into a special relationship with God. In their controversy with orthodox Christians, they used ribald and derogatory songs as a method of propaganda.
In response to the Arian attacks, the orthodox Christians composed their own songs, one of which was the Gloria Patri. Note the words of this well-known song:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, amen.
In its inception, the Gloria Patri functioned as a type of fight song, a rallying cry for orthodox Christianity. That original function has been lost through the passing of time so that it is now used as a liturgical response. We no longer sense the extraordinary significance of ascribing glory to Christ.
Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God
Try using the Gloria Patri in this reading as a spiritual warfare song. Quote or sing it out loud.
For Further Study
John 17:5: "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
John 17:22: "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one."
John 17:24: "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."
The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more information, please visit www.ligonier.org or call them at 800-435-4343.
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