The glory of God is in the Holy Spirit: “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Pet. 4:14). His name is the Spirit of glory because in him reside goodness, mercy, charity, and the love of God. The grace and providence of God are in the Spirit. In him are the knowledge and attributes of God. This is why God is Spirit, according to the words of the apostle John, who says: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
Jesus Christ, before he received the Holy Spirit, remained anonymous for thirty years. When he reached this time in his life, he came down from Galilee to John, by the Jordan, to be baptized by him (Matt. 3:13). “Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’” (Matt. 3:16-17). The apostle Peter explains what happened at this time: “For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (2 Pet. 1:17). It is obvious that the glory of God clothed Jesus when the Holy Spirit came upon him. From this time on Jesus was not anonymous any longer and gave start to his glorious ministry, healings, deliverances and prodigies. We read in the book of Acts of the Apostles: “You yourselves know what happened, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:37-38). Therefore, if someone declares that he has the Holy Spirit, but the glory of God is not apparent in his life, this one is a liar. The truth is that the world has suffered scandals by many that, declaring themselves to be Christians, are carnal and worldly, walking according to their own lusts: adulterers, mercenary and lacking love for the sheep of Jesus. There is a huge pack of wolves that manage to pass for shepherds, and devour the sheep. Paul refers to these with the following words: “But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also. For some of these are people who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:1-7).
But the truth is that Jesus declares that he gives to the Christians the glory that he received from the Father: “The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:22). What kind of unity this is? It is unity in the righteous and pure life, in the life of love and piety, in the life of humbleness and renounce, in the life of holiness and permanent testimony.
Peter, who taught that Christians full of the Holy Spirit were full of the glory of God, seeing many carnal and worldly people in the Church, so refers to them: “For what glory is it if, when you sin, you patiently endure beating?” (1 Pet. 2:20). For a Christian full of the Holy Spirit, to be beaten publicly is the worst humiliation there is.
Jesus declared that he has given us the glory of God because he baptizes us with the Holy Spirit, and in this manner he fills us with the glory of God, and this glory cannot be held back and hidden. Paul says: “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). And if the glory of the Holy Spirit is in us:
1. When there is unity, there will be perfect peace. Therefore Paul said: “Being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). But the glory of the Holy Spirit is so great that it is possible to have peace with all men (Rom. 12:18). And the glory shines in the heavens when we love the enemies, speak well of those who speak evil of us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who mistreat and persecute us (Matt. 5:44).
2. If the glory of the Holy Spirit is upon us, we have wisdom and revelation of God, for the eyes of our understanding are filled with light, so that we may know what is the hope of our calling, and what are the riches of the glory of the inheritance of God in the saints (Eph. 1:17-18). When God reveals his wisdom, hidden in mystery, and when he reveals the things which the eyes have not seen, and the ears have not heard, that have not come up to the heart of men, that is, the depths of God, we can see in amazement the glory of the Holy Spirit coming upon the head of this Christian (1 Cor. 2:7-10).
3. When the glory of the Holy Spirit comes upon us, the gifts will be abundant: “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages. But the one and the same Spirit works all of these, distributing to each one separately as he desires” (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
4. When we see the love and fellowship reigning among the brethren of a church, we see the glory of God there, for love is shed abroad by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
I met a Christian so filled with virtue and charity, so willing and useful to everyone in his neighborhood, that one day he gave to them the news that a change of city was inevitable because of work. In the eve of the move all the people of that street gathered in front of the house of the servant of God. Some were Catholics, some Atheists, and some yet Spiritists and followers of the Candomblé. The women cried, saying: Doctor, you are going away. What will our fate be, now? That Christian cared for all of them: some in need, others in sicknesses and afflictions, and others in accidents. Jesus has very well said: “Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira