SOLI DEO GLORIA?

In this trying time that has come upon the world due to the Coronavirus, I want to give a reminder (both to anyone reading, and to myself) of why we do the things we do in this world. What should guide our actions as we walk through this life? One of the 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation was Soli Deo Gloria, which is a Latin phrase that literally means Glory to God Alone. The idea is that, ultimately, glory goes to God for everything, and man cannot take some of that glory for himself. I’d like to walk through some relevant verses to demonstrate this point, and make application to our daily lives. All scripture references will be from the New King James version of the Bible® (Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson).

The first question of course we’d have to ask ourselves is what makes God worthy of any glory at all, let alone exclusively worthy of glory? Let’s see what David said:

Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. (Psalm 145:3)

God is so great that His greatness is unsearchable. You will never know the fullness of His greatness, it is impossible for man to know it. Our brains cannot even remember all the things we’ve done or seen in this life. How can they know everything God has done, or even comprehend why and how He has done all these things? But now lets get a little more specific and look at one thing He has done, namely that He has created us:

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11) For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7)

Here we see the true underlying reason why man cannot boast. As the first verse shows, God is due glory because He created everything. Everything good in this we must give thanks to God for, because He made it, and lets us use it. Even if you make something (whether you build a house, or make computer software, or whatever), you are using things made out materials that God made, and therefore owns. This leads into the second verse. Everything we have and are, we owe to God who gave it to us. Even if we think we got it because of our own work or intelligence, so the glory should go to us and not God, we are wrong. Are you prideful, because you think that you are smart? Where did that intelligence come from? It is a gift of God. He gave it to you, and He did not have to. Thus it is foolish for people to think they are more intelligent than God, who is their creator and knows everything about them. Are you strong? Your strength is a gift from God. So whatever great thing one does in their life that they think is worthy of the praise of men, ultimately it comes from their creator who gave them the ability to do such things, when He didn’t have too, and could have created someone else who could have just as easily done it.

Now before ending this article I must make an application of this idea that makes a lot of people (even believing Christians) uncomfortable. I’ve had one friend say that this makes God sound selfish, but it is true. For those that are saved, you were not saved for your own sake alone, but you were indeed saved for God’s glory.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6)

Why did God save us? Why did he bless us with every spiritual blessing, choose us to be holy and blameless, and predestine us to be adopted as sons? To the praise of the glory of His grace. Praise His wonderful name. This idea does not make God selfish. He was under no obligation to save us, so how can we complain if He saves us for His praise? This also does not negate the idea that God saved us because He set His love upon us. God did save us because He loved us (John 3:16). He saved us both because He loved us, and to the praise of His glory.

Dear reader, if you are saved, you were saved to the praise of God’s good glory. God is worthy of everything. He has saved us from an eternal torment we justly deserve. As you navigate the hard times ahead, remember your Maker and seek to honor Him in all you do. For my readers that have not been reconciled to God and their sins are still held against them, I implore you, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (Acts 16:31). Repent and trust in Him, and you will find Him to be the perfect Savior, to the praise of His glory.

Published by Sean Cheetham

There is nothing better in this life than to know God. There is nothing better to do in this life than to serve Him.

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