“The children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him” (Exodus 34:35). A person’s countenance is the outward expression of what is in his heart. When the revelation of God’s glory was made real to Moses, it changed his very look!
Paul testified, “It pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him” (Galatians 1:15-16).
Paul was saying, “I have within me much more than some doctrine somebody thought up, more than just a head knowledge of Christ. I have a revelation of who Christ is—a revelation of His grace, mercy and love. And this revelation has become the very source of all I am and do. It’s the very essence of my life!”
The revelation of God’s glory is indeed wondrous. Yet many have turned that very revelation into a license to sin. Jude describes people “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).
According to Paul, such people sin “that grace may abound” (Romans 6:1). They are saying, in essence, “If God loves to express Himself through mercy and forgiveness, then I’m going to give Him every opportunity. I’m going to sin and let Him keep loving me, so that grace will flow. What a testimony to the world that will be. I’ll be an object of all that love coming down from heaven.”
Such people are easy to spot. Their countenance gives them away. Isaiah spoke of Israelites who “provoke the eyes of his glory. The [look] of their countenance doth witness against them” (Isaiah 3:8-9). The prophet was saying, “Your sin witnesses against you in your very look. Whatever is in your heart is going to reveal itself in your countenance.”
On the other hand, even the rankest of sinners can tell when you have “been with Jesus.” How can they tell? You look like no one else to them! They say, “You’re different. You carry yourself with a humble assurance and nothing about you seems hidden. You’ve got no secretiveness and you don’t seem to carry any grudges or bitterness. If you did, I’d know it. Your life is an open book!”
Sin, however, wears a certain look. No smile can cover it up and its voice has the sound of emptiness—the echo of a sounding brass, a tinkling cymbal.
Those who have appropriated the glory of God are being changed every day. Their countenance is becoming more and more like that of Jesus!