The words fame, majesty, beauty, boast, deserving of praise and adoration also help to clarify the word glory.
God’s glory is the sum total of His eternal character qualities, including His mercy, grace, love, faithfulness, power, and sovereignty.
We are not to take to ourselves, the glory due to Him
evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit (Jn 14:15; Gal 5:22,23; Phil 1:11). In fact, when anything in creation fulfils its God-given purpose, it brings glory to God. “To Him be the glory forever” (Ps 29:1; Rom 11:36). Failing to give God the glory due Him by choosing instead to give the heart’s attention and allegiance to idols and even creation results in serious consequences (Rom 1:21-25).
Jesus gave to His disciples the glory that God gave Him, and this is the divine plan – that we also are glorified. This is the process of becoming like Christ, reflecting Him (Jn 17:22-24; Rom 8:29,30; 1 Jn 3:2). This divinely imputed glory is to be handled correctly and not misdirected or it will lead to pride; Paul said, “May I only glory in the cross of Christ” (Jn 7:18; Rom 1:21; 1 Cor 1:29,31; 2 Cor 10:17; Gal 6:14). Let him who boasts, only glory in the Lord and not and his own efforts, acknowledging it is His doing, mindful God won’t share His glory with another for this act is idolatry (Ex 20:3-5; Deut 8:17,18; 1 Chr 16:28,29; Dan 4:30,37; Isa 42:8, 48:11; Act 12:21-23; 2 Cor 10:17, 11:30). God shared Jesus with us and allows us to utilize His resources but will not divide or share His glory with us, for what do we have that did not come from His generous heart?
Jesus prayed, Father glorify me that I may glorify you – I have honoured you by doing your will (Jn 17:1,4). Then He laid this splendour aside, submitting Himself to the death we deserved, and enabling us to share His glory and reflect it to the world (Jn 12:23-28, 17:5; 2 Cor 3:18; Heb 2:9). He is now crowned again with glory and honour “at the right hand of God”(Acts 2:33; Col 3:1). The ministry of the Holy Spirit that brings such lasting righteousness is much more glorious than anything in the OT era (2 Cor 3:7-11). We were brought with an incredible price so we should glorify God in our bodies which are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19,20).
Give to God the glory due to His name – 1 Chronicles 16:29
Him (Rev 4:11, 5:13). Whoever offers praise brings or gives glory to God for “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power…” (Ps 50:23; Rev 4:11).
Although the glory of the Lord fills the earth as revealed in nature, it is more evident when multitudes of people live in right relationship with God. “Having seen His glory”, as outworked in the gospel, allow it to radiate out and touch others so they too come into a right relationship with Christ (Num 14:21; Ps 19:1; Hab 2:14; Jn 1:14; 2 Cor 4:4-7). We can be an expression of God’s glory on earth by living in close relationship with Him and bearing much fruit (Jn 15:8). We bring Him glory by becoming Christians (getting back on the right path), growing in our devotion and spiritual life, dealing with all the bondages and issues of the past, experiencing increasing victory over the old life and becoming useful in expanding His kingdom. We are encouraged to praise Him in all situations as this acknowledges He is in control and has the true and complete perspective, even though we consider it hopeless and can’t see how God can be honoured – such as with the death of Lazarus (Jn 11:4,40; 1 Thes 5:18).
Any suffering we experience now – for being Christians – can’t be compared to the future glory we will share (Rom 8:18; 2 Cor 4:17; 1 Pet 1:6,7). Jesus was taken up into glory (heaven), the exalted state with God the Father, where the full manifestation of His qualities are revealed, and where forever the redeemed will live, changed and glorified, free from sin and all its effects (Ps 73:24; Rom 8:30; 1 Cor 15:43; Phil 3:20,21; 2 Thes 1:10; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 2:10).
On a human level, glory describes people’s reputation or honour – such as “The glory of young men is their strength”, or winning a race (Prov 20:29; 1 Cor 9:24). God’s glory is man made in His image, and man’s glory is the woman, while her long hair, especially in the culture of NT times, was her glory (Isa 43:7; 1 Cor 11:7,15).