On the Meaning of Glory


2 Corinthians 3:17–18 (ESV)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.


No matter how much or how long I gather around this text, I still can’t get over it. If there were a banner verse (and there could be many) for what we call the second half of the gospel, it would be 2 Corinthians 3:18. 

I am not a Greek scholar, and when it comes to the work of translation I am a bit of a hacker. I don’t let that stop me though. I want to offer you what I’m calling the J. D. Walt Super Amplified version of 2 Corinthians 3:18. 

And we, who with unveiled faces, all beholding the glory of the Lord—as in a mirror—are being transformed into his image, essence, and likeness; with ever-increasing, all-surpassing glory, indeed from one degree of glory to the next. And this is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

How do you like them apples?! Yes, it is pure second half of the gospel. In fact, we see the essence of the first half of the gospel just earlier in v.16:

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:16)

The first half of the gospel is turning to the Lord. It is believing and beginning. This is the process and crisis of coming face-to-face with Jesus, receiving grace, and entering into relationship with Jesus. The second half of the gospel is beholding and becoming. This is the crisis and process of living in face-to-face fellowship with Jesus in the community of his friends, receiving grace, and being transformed into his image, essence, and likeness. 

The Bible has a word for all of this grace-infused crisis and process, (cue the Braveheart soundtrack): Freedom. Salvation. Life everlasting. 

I know—that’s three words. 

So bringing it down to one word: doxa.

English translation: glory. 

We were made for glory. He has made us a little lower than the angels and crowned us with glory and honor. (see Psalm 8:5)

It’s time to board the buses. We’ve got a day’s drive ahead of us. If we are going to grasp the significance of this now super-amplified text we must set our hearts on pilgrimage. First stop: Mt. Sinai. 

This is the way of glory—from glory to glory. 


Abba Father, freedom, salvation, life everlasting, yes glory. We will not pray show us your glory, for he now appears in full form—our risen and ascended Lord, Jesus Christ. We pray with the psalmist, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage” (Ps. 84:5). I set my heart now on pilgrimage. And we sing with the hymn writer, “Lead on O King eternal; we follow, not with fears, for gladness breaks like morning wherever your face appears. Your cross is lifted over us, we journey in its light; the crown awaits the conquest; lead on, O God of might.” Praying (and singing now) in Jesus’ name, amen. 


What does the word “glory” evoke in you? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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Comments and Discussion

5 Responses

  1. Christ-followers are called to glory today. We don’t have to wait until Heaven.

    True glory is the presence of God. God’s splendor, majesty, might, brightness, awesomeness, perfection, and holiness so infinitely transcend human comprehension and belief that when we glimpse them (even faintly), we stand undone in amazement and call it His glory.

    Hearts that are tender, meek, and poor in spirit can sense God’s glory everywhere. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” “Christ in you” is “the hope of glory.” Life was never intended to be lived unaware of and apart from God’s glory. However, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

    The death of Jesus ripped the veil in the temple. When people turn to the risen Lord His blood tears the veil in our heart so that we can behold the Lamb of God. Then we can grow daily in our awareness and experience of God’s glorious presence as we learn to be directly and inwardly led by the Spirit.

    “The ministry of the Spirit” is even more glorious than the glory that was on Moses’ face after He encountered the presence of God. The glory on Moses faded, yet even that fading glory was too much for unredeemed people to behold, so the Israelites demanded that Moses cover his face with a veil. That veil still remains in fallen human hearts but is taken away when we turn to the Lord. Then begins the calling to and the anointing for the lifetime journey and process of salvation and sanctification–being continually transformed from within (not reformed by rules or human effort) into the image of God from glory to glory.

    The living resurrected Jesus is “the way” (“the narrow path”) to that journey. To surrender your will to Him and to actively follow and obey Him daily is the key to being “led by the Spirit” and to living in the “surpassing glory” of “the ministry of the Spirit.” Take “the keys of the kingdom” and unlock your heart and life to be enthralled by and possessed by the glory of God and the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ.

  2. Just loving this, JD.

    This thought keeps echoing:
    And yet, Jesus Messiah has chosen not to return yet. Therefore, like him while he dwelled on earth in human flesh, we walk in meekness putting more value on others than on ourselves.

    Right now, the desire your words uncovered in my heart to “share the love which sustains me that none might be lost” has become my prayer each day I look into a mirror. Let’s go!

    I feel like I’ve let go of the rope although it clearly in sight.

    I haven’t got enough words to thank you, buddy

  3. During my band meeting on Tuesday, I was sharing with my partner a struggle that has been going on in my life and how the mirror exercise of Monday night during the Holy Spirit session just made my soul cry out. During her prayer she prayed how the wounded child in us, who was deeply scared in their childhood, can sometimes be triggered and all the fears and sorrows of that child will come back and overwhelm you.
    I can so relate to the person who shared her testimony in the DT about the abusive home she grew up in, I too grew up in an abusive home. I suffered both verbal and sexual abuse. But the contradiction of treatment from my parents and the abuser made it even more difficult for me. You see, my parents told me they loved me, they showed me in many ways that they loved me. But oh, when they were upset with you, then the abuse would come flying out. I can’t tell you how many times my mother would call me a lazy-no-good sob. Or how frighten I would be when my father would start yelling at me. Neither one was physically abusive, but man, their words hurt deep. The sexual abuser was an older brother who I looked up to and admired and I was led to believe that I was helping him. So, I never thought of myself being abused. I only shared this because this planted the seed of unworthiness in my life. I truly believed that no one could love me and when I was unsuccessful in trying to kill myself, I convinced myself that even God didn’t want me.
    I have never gone through counseling, but through the grace of God, I have been able to overcome the abuse of my childhood. One way I was able to work through was when God sent to me my future husband. His is a true mirror of God and lives his life in the Divine nature. Even knowing my story, his love for me never wavered. And whenever I struggled, he would just shower God’s grace on me and loved me unconditionally. It was through Brian’s unconditional love, that gave me the ability to understand and accept God’s unconditional love.
    All this being said, when we did the mirror exercise on Monday night, my soul did a deep dive, and that child of my youth came crying out. When Dan read through the Fruits of the Spirit and asked which one spoke to me, I thought, well none of them did. As I was working through that, JD comes along and says, do you see Jesus? Do you behold Him. Well, I looked, and I looked, and I looked, but I never could see Jesus. All the fears and feelings of being left out and being unworthy came crashing into me and I began to cry. But oh, I didn’t want to cry, I didn’t want my husband who was sitting next to me to see me cry. I didn’t want to cry! I worked hard to hold it back, you see I didn’t want to go back and be the one who was looking in from the outside trying to get in. I didn’t want to be that lost child again.
    Some of you may know that I jog. It’s a time of prayer, rememborizing and reflection. During my jog the next morning I was ruminating on my experience of Monday night. Talking it through with God. Asking God why I felt so left out and asking for help with these feelings I was going through. Then I remembered, as I was looking in my mirror, I was distracted by the ceiling light behind me, it seemed brighter than usual. And it hit me, that was the light of Jesus! But wait, before I could rejoice in that, the evil one said to me, see you are so unworthy, you didn’t even recognize Jesus when you saw him, you are a loser. The lost child in me started to cry, my soul was devastated. But, thanks to Dan, I now realize that before that thought could take root, the work of the Holy Spirit crashed through me. I found myself saying, get behind me satan, and the Word of the God came to me reminding me in all the ways that God loves me. We talked together and God reminded me that I can sit with Him at His right hand, that I walk with Jesus, who is in me and redeeming me. I stand with His Holy Spirit, overcoming the lies of the evil one. Truthfully, it still bothers me that I didn’t experience Jesus in the mirror, and the wounded child is still wounded; but, the person who God created in me is holding fast to the right hand of God, who will never forsake me or reject me.
    I am thankful, for Seedbed, JD Walt, Dan Wilt and for DailyText and how you are brining the light of God’s Word into our lives. I am thankful how you help us see the Work of our counselor, Holy Spirit. And I am especially glad that you are awakening us to Jesus Christ, who through Him we have life and live it abundantly, even when our inner wounded child cries out and satan tries to destroy that life. I am also thankful for my band partner, Marsha, who I can share my struggles, my soul with. God’s Word is eternal, useful and will thoroughly equip us, may God’s Work begin it’s work in you.

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