JESUS CHRIST–HIS MORAL GLORY
by Wayne S. Walker
The writer of Hebrews said of Christ Jesus, "For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house" (Hebrews 1:3-3). Concerning this glory, W. G. Morehead wrote, "The moral glory of Jesus Christ as set forth in the four Gospels cannot be the product of the unaided human intellect, that only the Spirit of God is competent to execute this matchless portrait of the Son of Man" (The Fundamentals, Vol. III, p. 42). It will be beneficial to study some of the relationships of Christ which reveal His glorious perfections.
In His relationship to mankind, Jesus was fully man, a human being. The favorite title that Jesus used for Himself was apparently "Son of man" (Matthew 16:13). He "became flesh" and was "born of a woman" (John 1:14, Galatians 4:4). This reveals His humanity, the fact that He partook completely of the nature of man. In fact, we read in Hebrews 2:14-17, "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself shared in the same….Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren…." This does not deny the fact that Jesus was God, a divine being, but it does affirm that He came to earth as a human being.
A relationship to mankind demands a relationship to sin of which mankind is guilty. Sin is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). And the Bible teaches that all responsible human beings have sinned because they have chosen to yield to temptation (Romans 3:23, James 1:14-15). Het Jesus, even though He came in the flesh, did no sin (Hebrews 4:15). This fact qualifies Him to be both that spotless Lamb of God who would be sacrificed for our sins and also our perfect example to show us how to overcome sin in the flesh (1 Peter 1:18-19, 2:21-22).
A relationship to sin suggests a relationship to the law of which sin is the violation. Although Jesus never violated the law, He claimed that as the Son of God, He was superior to the law (Matthew 17:24-27). God’s law that was in effect when Jesus was alive on earth was the Old Testament law that God had given to Israel through Moses at Mt. Sinai. Jesus said that He came to fulfil that law perfectly (Matthew 5:17-18). Then He took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross, and gave us His New Testament law (Colossians 2:14, Hebrews 8:6-13). Thus, He is the lawgiver (James 4:12).
A relationship to the law necessitates a relationship to the kingdom in which the law operates. Jesus Christ promised during His earthly ministry that His kingdom was at hand, meaning that it was soon to be established (Matthew 4:17). He also taught about the nature of His kingdom. It would not come with earthly pomp and circumstance but would be the reign of God within the hearts of men (Luke 17:20-21). And it would not involve fighting because it is not of this world (John 18:36). This kingdom is identified throughout the New Testament as being identical with the church which Christ built (Colossians 1;13, Revelation 1:9). Jesus Christ is "King of kings" (Revelation 19:16).
From a relationship to the kingdom we conclude a relationship to the events of history and the forces of providence which were used to bring about the establishment and growth of His kingdom. The very coming of Christ and the fulfilment of God’s scheme of redemption were "in the dispensation of the fullness of the times" (Ephesians 1:10). Furthermore, as He sent out His disciples to preach the gospel and spread the kingdom, He promised to be with them and work through them (Mark 16:15-21, Acts 1:8). Indeed, the entire history of this earth relates in one way or another to "His story" in preparing for the advent of the Messiah and then bringing about the accomplishment of His plans.
Back of His relationship to history and providence is His relationship to the forces of nature which interact with them. Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16). The Creator has power over His creation. And He demonstrated His power over nature by suspending the very natural laws which He Himself had ordained to operate in the universe, thus acting outside them in miraculous ways (cf. Matthew 8:23-27).
Finally, His relationship to nature assumes His relationship to the God who created nature. He claimed perfect knowledge of the Father because He had been with Him and had come from Him (Matthew 11:27). Indeed, even at the age of twelve He was conscious of His mission from the Father (Luke 2:48-49). And He said that He had unity or complete oneness with the Father (John 17:20-21). Thus, He was not only the Son of man, as He often called Himself, but He was also the Son of God, as the apostle Peter, based on the evidence presented to him, confessed (Matthew 16:16).
Again, we quote from Morehead (op. cit., p. 55), who wrote, "How did the evangelists solve this mighty problem of humanity with such perfect originality and precision? Only two answers are rationally possible: 1. They had before them the personal and historical Christ. 2. They wrote by inspiration of the Spirit of God. It cannot be otherwise." We close by asking, what is Jesus Christ’s relationship to you? Is He your Lord, King, and Savior? This can be so only if you obey Him who is truly worthy of all glory. (—taken from With All Boldness; Sept., 2000; Vol. 10, No. 9; p. 10)