The first of hopefully several excerpts from the PRC paperback of the month, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ by John Bunyan (emphasis mine):
“Oh! the heart-attracting glory that is in Jesus Christ, when he is discovered, to draw those to him that are given to him of the Father; therefore those that come of old, rendered this as the cause of their coming to him: ‘And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father’ (John 1:14). And the reason why others come not, but perish in their sins, is for want of a sight of his glory. ‘If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them’ (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
There is therefore heart-pulling glory in Jesus Christ which, when discovered, draws the man to him; therefore, by ‘shall come to me’, Christ may mean, when his glory is discovered, then they must come, then they shall come to me.
[ . . .] Indeed, the carnal man says, at least in his heart, ‘There is no form or comeliness in Christ; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him’ (Isaiah 53:2); but he lies. This he speaks, as having never seen him. But they that stand in his house, and look upon him through the glass of his Word, by the help of his Holy Spirit, they will tell you other things. ‘But we all,’ say they, ‘with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory’ (2 Cor. 3:18). They see glory in his person, glory in his undertakings, glory in the merit of his blood, and glory in the perfection of his righteousness; yes, heart-affecting, heart-sweetening, and heart-changing glory!”
– John Bunyan, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2004), 73-75.
If the Scriptures explain our sinful state as “falling short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and that the gospel is the “glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4), then surely our gospel proclamation must not be on the worthiness of man but the excellencies and glory of Jesus Christ. If hearts are going to be pulled, affected, sweetened or changed, it will not be by making much of the sinner but by making much of Jesus Christ. He who is altogether lovely loves the unlovable, and such love is glorious indeed. May we preach thus and so exult in the God-man who is the radiance of God’s glory (Heb. 1:3).