Christ’s Radiance and Representation

Last Sunday, Ryan Heard closed our series: “1 Thessalonians: Model of Discipleship,” and encouraged us from 1 Thessalonians 5:23-28 that God will sanctify and keep us blameless to the end.

Read: John 1:6-13

This Sunday, Pastor Jason Finley will begin our Christmas series: “Joy to the World,” with a sermon from John 1:6-13. We will consider the glorious truth that Jesus Christ is the true light in our spiritually dark world. As you prepare for our Sunday gathering, let this devotion from John McArthur lead you to glory in Jesus Christ, the radiance of God’s glory and exact representation of his nature. 

Reflect: “Christ’s Radiance and Representation”

“He is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb. 1:3).


Jesus is both God manifest and God in substance.

Just as the rays of the sun give light, warmth, life, and growth to the earth, so Jesus Christ is the glorious light of God shining into the hearts of men and women. As “the radiance of God’s glory,” Jesus expresses God to us. No one can see God in His full glory; no one ever will. The radiance of that glory that reaches us from God appears in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Just as the sun was never without and can never be separated from its brightness, so God was never without and cannot be separated from the glory of Christ. Never was God without Him or He without God, and never in any way can He be separated from God. Yet the brightness of the sun is not the sun, and neither is Jesus’ incarnation glory exactly the same as God in that sense. He is fully and absolutely God, and yet a distinct Person within the Triune Godhead.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). As the radiance of God’s glory, Christ can transmit that light into your life and mine, so we can radiate the glory of God to a dark world.

In using the term “exact representation” to describe Christ’s relationship to God’s nature, the writer employs terminology usually associated with an impression reproduced on a seal by a die or a stamp. Jesus Christ is the reproduction of God—the perfect, personal imprint of God in time and space.

How wonderful to realize that Jesus Christ, who is both the full expression of God and the exact reproduction of God’s nature in human history, can come into our lives and give us light to see and to know God! His light is the source of our spiritual life. And His light gives us purpose, meaning, happiness, peace, joy, fellowship, everything—for all eternity.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God that He determined to become a man so we could know what He is like.

“Christ’s Radiance and Representation,” December 8th Devotional, in Drawing Near, by John MacArthur.

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy),” by Chris Tomlin
2. “Angels From the Realms of Glory / Emmanuel,” Arr. Paul Baloche
3. “Joy Has Dawned,” by Keith & Kristyn Getty
4. “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” Arr. Shane & Shane