The first outline in the sermon series King of Glory
King of Glory – 1
I. Who is this King of Glory? (Psalm 24 NIV)
- I want you to imagine with me the scene described in Psalm 24. The city of Jerusalem glows with golden sunlight on a crisp Spring morning. The gates of the city remained closed to protect against intruders as guards stand at the top of the city walls overlooking the valley below.
- Approaching the city is a procession ascending towards the closed gates. Loud trumpets announce that this is a royal procession – a king is about to enter into the city.
- However, this is no ordinary King that’s coming. He is not like the kings that rule on the earth. In fact, this king owns the earth, he owns everything on the earth and everyone who lives upon it belongs to Him. As far as kings go, He is the King of kings.
- He has founded the earth upon the seas. He is the one who separated the waters making dry land appear. This king has also made the city of Jerusalem as the place where he will establish his throne. He rules the world from the ancient city. So the psalmist asks who then, may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who is able to walk through the city gates?
- Who may stand in his holy place? Who is holy enough? I think of the prophet Isaiah who found himself standing before the throne of this very same king.
Isa 6:1-5 – In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
- Isaiah’s vision we are told took place the year that King Uzziah died. The King died because he had become proud. He burned unauthorized fire upon the altar of the Lord, a job for the priest only. His absolute power had corrupted him absolutely to quote Lord Acton. That happens often to fallen men given worldly power.
- So God struck king Uzziah with leprosy, he had become impure, forced to leave his throne and placed outside the city. So when Isaiah tells us its the year that king Uzziah died we think of the failure of earthly kings.
- With that in mind, Isaiah now stands before the King of kings whose throne is marked by holiness and righteousness as the angels declare. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty. Isaiah falls on his face before the throne of this holy king because he knows that he is no better than King Uzziah – he too is a man of unclean lips living among an unclean people.
- Isaiah knows he can’t stand before this holy king and live and cries out I am ruined.
- Who may stand in this holy place? David answers in Psa 24 – The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. The Hebrew word actually means grip. What you grip on to determines if your hands are clean or not. What are you trying to grab hold of right now?
Isa 59:3 – For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things.
- Only those whose grip is on God and whose heart is undivided and unstained by sin will receive blessings and vindication from God.
- Only the pure and faithful will be able to enter the holy city and stand before this holy king who will bless and vindicate them. Everyone else are as lepers who must stand outside, impure, defiled, not fit to engage with holiness.
- Is there anyone then who can ascend the mountain of the Lord and stand in his holy presence?
Rom 3:10-12 & 23 – None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
- Here is what man does with his free will – he walks away from God. No one is worthy but one – one holy and worthy king who is approaching the city gates.
- So the processional heralds shout out to the gatekeepers – “fling open the gates that the King of Glory may come in” To which they shout back – Who is this king of Glory?
- It’s a stunning scene! The King of kings is standing outside the city walls with the gates closed and the gatekeepers are asking who is this king of Glory?
- I think the same thing is true of many churches today. Jesus has been dethroned. His throne occupied by someone or something else. When the rightful king demands the gates be flung open so that he may come in – they ask – who is this king of glory?
- It’s true of individuals as well – their mind and heart are like closed gates to the king. He has every right to sit upon the throne of their lives. But they say who is this king of glory? Sine the throne of my heart is occupied by something or someone else I don’t recognize the true king who has the right to my heart.
- For years in evangelical circles this was a running debate called The Lordship controversy. Some saying you can make Jesus your savior and not your Lord and the other side saying he is Lord of all or nothing at all.
- To me they created a false dichotomy – Jesus is Lord does not take away from grace but makes it even more valuable and stunning.
Phil 3:20 – But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- What does it mean to declare Jesus is Lord? To say Jesus is Lord is the same as saying he is the king, or the emperor or the president. On ancient Roman coins the words Caesar is Lord are written. It means you are declaring allegiance to Jesus as your Lord and thus no one else. You are a citizen of a different kingdom where you live according to the laws and authority of that kingdom. The law of the spirit of life. It is to submit yourself under his reign of grace.
Augustine – Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all.
- When you are saved by grace through faith you become a citizen of the kingdom of God. In that kingdom Jesus is the King. You don’t make Jesus Lord, he is Lord. The question is, as a citizen of Jesus’ kingdom, are you going to submit to the King’s gracious and loving authority over all of your life?
- But the majority of the world does not want Jesus as their king. They are like those Jesus described in his parable of ten minas in Luke 19 where a nobleman went away to a far country to receive a kingdom and then return as the king. But the response to his reign was met with opposition.
Luke 19:14 – But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ (NIV – we don’t want this man to be our king)
- That doesn’t mean they don’t want someone to reign over them. No one wants the throne unoccupied. We all long for order and authority. We know that without it there would be chaos and anarchy. We were essentially made to be led. It just that we don’t want it to be Jesus who leads us.
Transition: We see this tragedy of rejection unfold in the history of Israel in 1 Sam 8.
II. We Demand a King
A. Excuses, Excuses (read 1 Sam 8:1-5)
- God had established Samuel over his people to lead them. Samuel served as judge and prophet as well as served in priestly roles for the people. He was a forerunner of one who would be prophet, priest and king.
- People always use excuses to defend sinful actions or to clear their fault.
- I love this illustration on excuse making: The commanding officer was furious when nine GIs who had been out on passes failed to show up for morning roll call. Not until 7 p.m. did the first man straggle in. “I’m sorry, sir,” the soldier explained, “but I had a date and lost track of time, and I missed the bus back. Being determined to get in on time, I hired a cab. Halfway here, the cab broke down. I went to a farmhouse and persuaded the farmer to sell me a horse. I was riding to camp when the animal fell over dead. I walked the last ten miles, and just got here.”
- Though skeptical, the colonel let the young man off with a reprimand. However, after him, seven other stragglers in a row came in with the same story—had a date, missed the bus, hired a cab, bought a horse, etc.
- By the time the ninth man reported in, the colonel had grown weary of it. “Okay,” he growled, “now what happened to you?” Sir, I had this date and missed the bus back, so I hired a cab .” “Wait!” the colonel screeched at him. “don’t tell me the cab broke down.” “No, sir,” replied the soldier. “The cab didn’t break down. It was just that there were so many dead horses in the road, we had trouble getting through.”
- The first excuse they gave was, “Samuel, you are old”. Look Samuel, you’re like ancient. You can’t lead well and you won’t be leading for long because you are probably about to kick the bucket.
- Which leads to the second excuse – and if you kick the bucket we are left with your corrupt sons. Which is true, his sons were greedy and dishonest. But underlying this is a trust in circumstances instead of trusting in God.
- But then the real reason comes to the surface – we want a king like all the other nations have. We don’t want to be odd, we want to look like everyone else.
- We do the same thing today – human wisdom, business strategies to run the church, we want to be like the rest of the world. Besides the kingdom is so different from the world, it makes us, well odd. And we don’t want to be odd we want to be like everyone else.
- Samuel takes their requests to the Lord and the Lord says, “it is not you Samuel who they have rejected, it is me – they have rejected me as their king”.
- It wasn’t that they had no king and so they wanted one. God was their king! They just wanted a different king. We don’t want god to rule over us.
- You better be careful what you ask for. God says, OK, if they want a leader like the other nations, that’s what I will give them. Just tell them what life under tis leader is going to look like.
- Samuel goes back and say God will give you a leader but he is going to take your sons and use them to promote his own glory! He will make them run before his chariot and make weapons for his wars. And then make you fight his wars.
- He is going to take your daughters and make them serve his courts. Then, He is going to take your farms and orchards and give them to his insiders. He is going to take your cattle and make steaks for himself.
- And yet, the people refuse to listen and they say No, we still want a king like the rest of the nations have. The rest of the nations had kings just like the one he described.
- What Samuel describes is a self-serving, power hunger leader who uses and exploits the people for his own glory.
- God had brought them out of Egypt, released them from slavery and now they basically want to return to the same kind of bondage. They have reject a king who has served them and have exchanged him for a king who they will have to serve.
- The irony is that they want a king who will fight their battles for them and so they reject the king who has already fought their battles for them for one who is going to make them fight his battles for him. They have exchanged grace for works.
- And so God says, OK, give them a king. May I ask you who is sitting on the throne in your heart right now? Have you rejected King Jesus and put another ruler in his place? Who or what rules you? Money, sex, power, entertainment, sports, friends, family, social media, drugs, alcohol, fear, people pleasing, anxiety, legalism.
- Have they established their reign in your life? Is this new ruler making you his slave? Do you find that you must obey its commands? Did you think it would fight your battles for you only to discover that it is your battle?
- Whatever you have let be your king is what is ruling you. And it will be a cruel king who will use you and destroy you. Money, sex, drugs, alcohol, fear, applause, pornography, greed, anger, gossip – all make terrible kings.
Transition: Let’s return to the scene on the city walls in Jerusalem in Psalm 24. Look at v.8
III. Lift Up Your Gates!
- The gatekeeper yells down from atop the wall, “who is this king of glory?” The herald shouts back – The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Notice that “king” and “Lord” are synonyms.
- The king of glory is the Lord, strong and mighty, mighty in battle. He will fight your battles on your behalf. He is strong and mighty, none can overcome him. None can make him tremble.
- Remember when the Lord’s people were trapped between the Red Sea and Pharoah’s chariots?
Exodus 14:14 – The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
- Remember Jericho. The people marched in worship around the city for six days with no weapons only trumpets.
Joshua 6:16 – Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!
- Remember when a great coalition of armies had come to attack Jehosophat and the people of God?
2 Chron 20:20-23 – – Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
ILL. Atlas vs. Jesus
- In New York city there are two statues across the street from one another on 5th In front of the RCA building there is a statues of Atlas holding the world on his soldiers, well chiseled in solid muscle yet still straining under the weight of the world. He represents human power and achievement. Man’s success and that the world depends upon the Atlases of the world to hold it up, yet the strain, even for someone like Atlas is unrelenting.
- Ironically, right across the street from the Atlas statue is the location of St. Patrick’s cathedral where Atlas is facing it as if in defiance.
- Inside the cathedral behind the altar there stands another much smaller statue. It of Jesus as a small boy and in his hand is the world. He holds it easily.
- Now the contrast is amazing but it speaks to all of us. We can either try to carry the crushing weight of the world on our shoulders ourselves, or we can surrender everything to Jesus and let him carry it.
Matt 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- We too have an enemy coalition waging war against us, sin, self, and Satan have joined forces to ruin and destroy us.
- Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
- If that’s the standard of who can enter the holy city, the city that represents heaven and God’s dwelling place, then we all fall short of the glory of God. No one has clean hands and a pure heart. There are none who are righteous, none who have not bowed their heart to an idol, who have not allowed another to sit on the none of their lives.
- None but Christ Jesus. He has fought our battle for us. We are helpless against our enemies of sin, self and Satan. We are defeated unto death. And yet God in his mercy sent Jesus to fight our battle for us. All we have to do is watch and worship. He won by losing. He gave us life by dying.
- This king left his throne and became a servant and died on a cross for us. He has given us pure hands and a clean heart and freedom from our idols who rule us. Because of him we can ascend the mountain to the Lord and stand in his holy place. He has done it!
- And because Jesus became obedient to death on a cross..
Phil 2:9-11 – God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
- This king is not like the kings that enslave us, this king sets us free. This king bore our guilt and died in our place. This king exchanged our dirty hands and impure heart and gave us his clean hands and a pure heart that we might ascend the holy mountain and stand in the holy place.
- What is this holy place – it’s the new Jerusalem, the heavenly, eternal, celestial city that occupies the new heaven and new earth. Who is worthy to enter – those made clean by this king of glory.
- Who is this King of Glory? – He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore let us fling open the gate of hearts to him so that he may come in.
- Let us kick out anything or anyone that we have allowed to sit on the throne in our hearts that belong exclusively to Him. Let us declare with our words and our attitudes and our actions that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Listen to sermon audio: