Soli Deo Gloria – Glory to God Alone
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
– Romans 11:36
The reality and goal of this universe is the glory of God. One’s fleshly pride will resist this notion, but this inward wickedness will never have the power to blot out this ultimate reality. The goal of God is His glory being displayed and enjoyed rightly. Apart from this truth being grasped, one will find that he or she is totally incapable of understanding the Scriptures. Considering the strength of one’s pride, which seeks to exalt self, and considering the direct teachings of Scripture, the reformers felt it necessary to finish the pillars of faith (Solas) by ascribing everything to and for the glory of God.
God’s goal being His glory is a two-sided, two staged relationship: it is the combination of (a) the revelation of God whereby he shows his majesty and glory in generosity with (b) open adoration on the part of humans whereby they give glory out of gratitude for all that He has showed and given them. More simply put, men and women rightly interact with the glory of God by seeing it and savoring it, and then giving it. Let’s deal with (a) and (b) separately and specifically.
The revelation of God includes, but is not limited to, creation and all of it’s beauty, the giving of the Scriptures, and the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Revelation carries the concept that something existed and now is being made known/unveiled. God displays and makes known His glory via these things; these things are not creating glory for God, but instead displaying the glory of God. When one speaks of this revealed glory, he or she must understand glory likened to beauty. God has revealed His glory and beauty in the world, which He has made, the Scriptures, which he has authored, and the Lord and Savior, who he has sent and sacrificed. While we do not deserve to see and savor the beauty of God in these things, God has made is so.
Secondly, due to the great grace of God in Salvation, the redeemed are called to, in response, give glory to God. By saying that the redeemed are to “give glory to God” it is meant that the redeemed are provided opportunity and given the command to praise God for what God has done. Therefore, let the redeemed give glory to God by praising His holy name! For the redeemed to refuse such praising would to ignore their ultimate purpose and by doing so to forsake their joy. For no greater joy can be had in the believer’s heart than what he or she has when his or her praise for God is full and ferocious. John Calvin wrote, “Every man, therefore, who hides this glory by refusing to praise, is endeavoring to overturn the everlasting purpose of God.” May it never be said that you lived in .