of the One True God
Creating instructional resources to help Christians more clearly see the luminous glory of God… revealed in the face of Christ…through the words of the Bible.
What the headline means
Focusing believers’ attention on seeing God’s glory
Growing in our faith and maturing as Christians often seems like a journey down a very foggy road. There are times when the journey towards spiritual maturity can feel confusing, or scary, or overwhelming. (And anyone who tries to tell you differently is not someone to be trusted.) In these time, we should always stand firm on the clear promises from God in His Word which describe His intentions for leading His children into maturity.
In Ephesians 3, Paul’s prayer for that church is that the Holy Spirit would strengthen those people so that they would fully grasp the immeasurable love of God for them in Christ. God, our Father, loves us with an infinite love. In Romans 8, Paul assures us that God has predestined those people He’s chosen to become His children to be conformed to the image of Jesus. And then in Philippians 2, Paul encourages true believers that the work that God began in our lives in making us His children, He’ll absolutely complete.
We should never forget that it’s the infinite love, and the sovereign work of God—through the ministry of the Holy Spirit—that develops us into mature Christians.
For almost 10 years now, God has been working in my life to focus my attention on two elements in the process of spiritual maturity. The first is standing firm on the truth revealed in God’s Word. The second is always looking to see the “glory of God in the face of Christ” in every passage of the Bible that we read.
Abiding in God’s Word, for the specific purpose of more accurately understanding and more completely seeing our God and His true glory, is—in my understanding—the surest path to spiritual maturity and to becoming “complete in Christ.”
As we gaze into the glory of God revealed in the Bible, we more fully appreciate the nature, character, purposes, plans and works of God on our behalf. As we continue to abide in His Word, intentionally searching for greater and greater visions of Who God is, the more awesome and wonderful He becomes to us, the more deeply we appreciate His love, the more we naturally fall in love with Him, and the more surely we’re transformed into the image of Jesus.
The purpose of this website
Blessing others in their spiritual journey as Christians
Ephesians 1:3 tells me that God has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. The most significant of those blessings are then listed out in the following verses. Even though I’m certain that I’ll never fully grasp the true value of all those blessings in this life, what I have grasped very frequently brings me to tears of joy.
Without any question, the greatest of His blessings has been bringing me into an eternal, intimate relationship with Him—by grace through faith in the saving work of Jesus. The second most significant blessing has been Him continuing to “shine” into my heart, giving me ongoing glimpses of the “Light of the knowledge of the glory of God” as I perceive “the face of Christ” through His Word.
Through this website, I hope to share with others the blessings of spiritual understanding that God has lavished on me. This website is a humble attempt for me to be an “earthen vessel”—with a small candle inside—that God uses as a light to bless other Christians, as He reveals His omnipotent power, His blinding glory and His great goodness to them.
2 Corinthians 4:6–7
6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.
The people I hope to bless
Targeting Christians who are serious about their faith
I have a very specific target audience in mind for this site: serious Christians who are committed to growing in their faith as disciples of Jesus, especially ones like those Paul encouraged Timothy to pour his life into—those who would be faithful to bless others with the blessings that they receive.
2 Timothy 2:2
2The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
My prayer is that God will direct Christians to this site who are looking for help in growing in their faith, and who also desire to be used by God to bless others. As I’ve been living in Bali Indonesia since 2007, I have a particular focus on trying to help Indonesian Christians grow in their relationship with God, as disciples and also as disciple makers.
How I hope to be a blessing
Promoting a Proper Understanding of God and His Word
Having an accurate perspective of the God of the Bible—in knowledge about Him as well as in relationship with Him—is the most fundamental necessity for all Christians. Who we perceive God to be impacts every aspect of our lives. The more accurate and intimate our knowledge of God is, the more peace, joy and meaning we experience in life.
The sad reality, however, is that many people who claim to be Christians have very incomplete and inaccurate understandings of God.
The Christian faith isn’t a faith based on a disjointed set of facts or beliefs. It’s very much a rational, systematic and orderly faith. The Christian concept of discipleship isn’t a random process. It’s not something that will effectively happen with “shotgun blasts” of teachings in a “soup of the day” fashion, which—unfortunately—is a common way that many pastors teach.
It brings me great sadness as I’ve witnessed so many examples of churches treating God’s truth as though it were a buffet banquet. Great harm has been done to the lives of many Christians by “teachers” who poorly understand God, poorly understand the role they’re supposed to play, and who—because of their poor understanding—think that they can pick and choose which parts of the Bible they believe and which Biblical “truths” they focus on in their teaching.
The result of this type of teaching is that the fundamental truth of God’s Word is greatly distorted. Christians exposed to this type of random and error-prone teaching are prevented from maturing in their faith and relationship with God.
The true Christian faith is a belief system—where all the individual truths are inherently related to one another and where there’s a cohesive consistency among all those truths.
I know God doesn’t need anyone to “defend” Him. He’s perfectly capable of doing that for Himself. And yet, as Paul instructed Timothy, there’s absolutely a need for people to defend the truth of God’s Word and to diligently “reprove, rebuke and exhort” those who promote wrong doctrine. I desire to be such a person.
It’s my intention to faithfully present an accurate and complete portrayal of God’s nature, character, purposes, plans and works as revealed in His Word. It’s also my intention to be as faithful—and as accurate—as possible in representing the systematic doctrinal truth of the Bible in the instructional materials I create.
The blessing I hope to give
Helping people more intimately know and love God
During my time in Bali, the Holy Spirit has consistently worked to help me more completely understand the true nature, character, purposes, plans and works of God. I honestly can’t adequately express in words the truly “life-changing” impact this greatly expanded understanding of God has had on me.
But, I’m now convinced that the best way I can love others is by helping them more completely and accurately know God so that they can more completely experience and appreciate the depths of God’s love for them.
Now that I’ve been a Christian for almost 50 years, I’ve come to clearly recognize a number of spiritual progressions* that the Holy Spirit tries to lead us through, as He matures us as Christians. (The most important progression can be found in the callout quote above.)
There’s a critical need for true believers to understand these progressions so that their expectations about the Christian life are realistic, and so that they also understand where to focus their attention if they’re serious about wanting to grow in their faith.
Another critical need is for Christians to fully comprehend the complete, systematic truth of God’s Word. Having a comprehensive understanding of the interconnectedness of all the truths of the Bible provides the solid foundation that’s necessary for serious believers to truly mature in their faith—and to become more effective in being used by the Holy Spirit to bless others.
A final, critical need is for Christians to look for—and continually perceive—the glory of the person of God, and the love He continually expresses for them as portrayed throughout the pages of scripture, so that they’re naturally motivated to love God and love others.
It’s my intention that this author-oriented website (RickCarmichael.com) and the publication-oriented website (LuminousGlory.com) become the tools for addressing these critical needs.
*NOTE: A progression is an orderly process of related events. The initial event in the progression starts this process and leads to the next, related event, which in turn leads in an orderly sequence through all the other related events. Each event—or, step in the progression—prepares the way for the next event in the sequence.