"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of
the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as
by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18
The Bible teaches that we become like what we
worship. That important insight is found in today's text. Let's break
it down this way:
But we all - that is, all true believers; with
open or unveiled face - sin causes a veil between our faces and the
Lord. When we confess and forsake the sin, we have an open or unveiled
face; beholding as in a glass - the glass or mirror is the Word of God,
in which we behold the glory of the Lord - meaning His moral
excellence. In the Bible we gaze upon the perfection of His character,
the beauty of all His works and ways; are changed into the same image -
we become like Him. We are changed by beholding. The more we are
occupied with Him, the more like Him we become.
This change is from glory to glory - from one
degree of glory to another. The change does not take place all at once.
It is a process that continues as long as we behold Him. The
transformation of our character is effected even as by the Spirit of
the Lord - the Holy Spirit produces likeness to Christ in all those who
gaze by faith upon the Savior as He is revealed in the Bible.
In The Tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne, it wasn't
Mr. Gathergold or General Blood and Thunder or Old Stony Phiz or the
poet, but Ernest - who, gazing in quiet meditation on the Great Stone
Face, eventually came to resemble it.
I heard once of a man who went daily to a
Buddhist temple and sat with legs akimbo and arms folded, gazing upon
the green statue. It was said that after years of this meditation, he
actually came to resemble the Buddha. Whether that is true, I don't
know, but I do know that reverent occupation with the Son of God
produces moral resemblance to Him.
The way to holiness is through gazing upon the
Lord Jesus. It is not ordinarily possible to think of Christ and of sin
at the same time. During those moments when we are taken up with Him,
we are most free from sin. Our goal then should be to increase the
percentage of our time when we are beholding Him.