Spotlight 1/2017: Working on ourselves
Giving glory to God is not everything, we also have to work on ourselves. But what looks like extra work is actually the solution to how we can put the 2017 motto into practice. District Apostle Bernd Koberstein (Germany) explains how this can be done.
The Chief Apostle said at the beginning of the year 2017: Our programme for the year is to glorify God, our Father. But how can we do this? I would like to summarise the valuable advice and thoughts our Chief Apostle gave us and direct our focus on Jesus Christ. It was also His mission to glorify the Father. During His transfiguration on the mount (Matthew 17: 1–9 and Mark 9: 2–8) the power and glory of God were revealed in the Son.
In His intercessory prayer Jesus said to His Father: “I have glorified You on the earth.” And then He asked His Father: “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17: 4–5). This glory is the fellowship of the three divine Persons, the communion in God and in His nature. It is the glory of the unity between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the triune God, whom Christians profess (Catechism 3.2.4).
After man’s fall into sin, it was the Son of God’s mission to restore man’s fellowship with God. For this Jesus came to earth and, as true God, became true Man and sacrificed His innocent life for mankind. It is on this foundation that He is building now and continuing His work through the Holy Spirit to lead human beings into fellowship with God. The abundance of spiritual gifts, which are based on His sacrifice, He laid into the Apostle ministry. We respond to the love of the Lord by faithfully accepting these divine gifts. The Lord Himself once described this process: “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one” (John 17: 22).
The oneness between God and His Son is distinguished by an identical nature. Through His spiritual gifts Christ gives us glory and the possibility to grow into His nature. On the day of the Lord, when God bestows His final grace on the bride, she will exhibit His nature and have access to the glory of God. Apostle Paul describes man’s participation in God’s glory as follows: “… that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15: 28). When God is all in all our nature will correspond with His nature.
How can we then glorify the Lord? By demonstrating more and more of His nature—which is perfect love—and showing more and more of His gentleness, humbleness, compassion, and peaceableness. This is the best way to honour and praise the Lord.
Foto: Apostle Wolfgang Schug and District Apostle Bernd Koberstein (Marcel Felde)