- glorious in his throne, which is at “the right hand of the Majesty on high”
- glorious in his commission, which is “all power in heaven and earth”
- glorious in his name, a name above every name—“Lord of lords, and King of kings”
- glorious in his scepter—“a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of his kingdom”
- glorious in his attendants—“his chariots are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels,” among them he rides on the heavens, and sends out the voice of his strength, attended with ten thousand times ten thousand of his holy ones
- glorious in his subjects—all creatures in heaven and in earth, nothing is left that is not put in subjection to him
- glorious in his way of rule, and the administration of his kingdom—full of sweetness, efficacy, power, serenity, holiness, righteousness, and grace, in and toward his elect—of terror, vengeance, and certain destruction toward the rebellious angels and men
- glorious in the issue of his kingdom, when every knee shall bow before him, and all shall stand before his judgment-seat.
We are not justified by the gospel and then sanctified by obedience but the gospel is the way we grow (Gal. 3:1-3) and are renewed (Col 1:6). It is the solution to each problem, the key to each closed door, the power through every barrier (Rom 1:16-17).
It is very common in the church to think as follows: “The gospel is for non-Christians. One needs it to be saved. But once saved, you grow through hard work and obedience.” But Colossians 1:6 shows that this is a mistake. Both confession and “hard work” that is not arising from and “in line” with the gospel will not sanctify you—it will strangle you. All our problems come from a failure to apply the gospel. Thus when Paul left the Ephesians he committed them “to the word of his grace, which can build you up” (Acts 20:32).
The main problem, then, in the Christian life I that we have not thought out the deep implication of the gospel, we have not “used” the gospel in and on all parts of our life. Richard Lovelace says that most people’s problems are just a failure to be oriented to the gospel—a failure to grasp and believe it through and through. Luther says (on Gal. 2:14), “The truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine… Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.” The gospel is not easily comprehended. Paul says that the gospel only does its renewing work in us as we understand it in all its truth. All of us, to some degree live around the truth of the gospel but do not “get” it. So the key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel. A stage of renewal is always the discovery of a new implication or application of the gospel—seeing more of its truth. This is true for either an individual or a church.