Soli Deo Gloria

            Soli Deo Gloria! To God alone be the glory! This was the cry of the reformation, may it be our cry today. This cry is a declaration that God’s glory is the chief end of everything in the universe. To believe and affirm Soli Deo Gloria is to admit and delight in the fact that the universe is not centered around man. Contrary to popular Evangelical belief, God did not create humans so that he could have fellowship with them. The Scriptures are replete with texts that teach us the doctrine of the all-sufficiency of God. God enjoys perfect harmony within the trinity. He did not need us to fill a void in His being; He did not make man because he was lonely. To think otherwise is blasphemous.

God will not be served by human hands. God will not be counseled. God will not be patronized. God will not be mocked. God is completely and utterly sovereign over the affairs of man. God is sovereign over weather. God is sovereign over diseases. God is sovereign over religious authority. God is sovereign over governments. God is sovereign over demonic powers. God is sovereign over natural disasters. God is sovereign over wars. God is sovereign over science. God is sovereign over planets. God is sovereign over every plant and animal. God is sovereign over every man, woman, and child who ever lived, is living, or will live. God is sovereign over Satan. God is sovereign over death itself, even the death of his Son, Jesus. The death of Jesus did not take God by surprise because He planned it. (Acts 2:23) In short, the universe exists by the good pleasure of God. It is upheld by God’s sheer desire that it be so. (Job 34:14-15)

The Scriptures are clear that God is the center of all things. God acts for one reason: namely, the glory of His name. This shocks the heart of American Christianity because we are used to being the center of our universe. We are used to democracy. Let it be understood clearly, we have no rights! God has rights! (see David Platt’s message on the Sovereignty of God and global mission) The Bible is not our “roadmap to life.” It is not a trite book of sayings to turn to when we need wisdom. It does give wisdom, but it is so much more. It is first and foremost a book about God. When we open its pages we ought to tremble before the self-revelation of God. When we read its words we should be asking the Spirit to guide us into a right knowledge of God in Christ. Then, in accord with what we are shown about God we ought to respond humbly and obediently. When the truth of the supremacy of Christ and the God-centeredness of God take root in our hearts so that we begin to glory in them we will find the pleasures of sin growing ever dim. Let us find rest here. Let us glory in the beauty, majesty, and supremacy of God. Then our hearts will cry, “Soli Deo Gloria”

In order to help us see the God-centeredness of God I have compiled just a handful of the most explicit texts that put God’s glory on display as both root and result of all that God does.

God’s plan is to fill the earth with the knowledge of His glory:

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the

sea. Habakkuk 2:14

God is passionate about His own glory.

For my names sakes I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I praise it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. Isaiah 48:9-11

God created us for His own glory:

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. Isaiah 43:6-7

God called Israel for His glory:

You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified. Isaiah 49:3

I made the whole house of Israel and whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. Jeremiah 13:11

God defeated Pharaoh at the Red Sea to show his glory:

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord…And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen. Exodus 14:4; 17,18

God raised Pharaoh up to show His own power and glorify His own name:

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Romans 9:17

God spared Israel in the wilderness for the glory of his name:

But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Ezekiel 20:14

God restored Israel from exile for the glory of His name:

Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for

the sake of my holy name….And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name…and the nations

will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 36:22-23, 32

Jesus said that he answers prayer so that God would be glorified:

Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13

Jesus endured his final hours of suffering for God’s glory:

 Now is my soul troubled, And what shall I say? Father save me from this hour? No for this purpose I have

come to this hour. Father glorify Thy name. The a voice came from heaven, I have glorified it, and I will

glorify it again. John 12:27,28

God forgives our sins for His sake:

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your

sins. Isaiah 43:25

For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Psalm 25:11

God instructs us to do everything for his glory:

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Cor 10:31

All are under judgment for dishonoring God’s glory:

They became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images. Romans 1:23

For all have fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

Herod is struck dead because he did not give glory to God:

Immediately an angel of the Lord smote him because he did not give glory to God. Acts 12:23

Even in wrath God’s aim is to make known the wealth of his glory:

 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much

patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his

glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—Romans 9:22-23

Jesus’ ultimate aim for us is that we see and enjoy His glory:

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my

glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John

17:24

Everything that happens will redound to God’s glory:

From him, to him and through him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen

Romans 11:36