Knowing God: The Glory of God, Part 3!

“Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah!” (Psalm 24:7-10)

Let me ask you a question. Who, or what, is at the center of your life? For what, or for whom, do you live and derive the greatest delight, joy and satisfaction?

For the biblical Christian, it is God. God calls us to be Theocentric. That is to say, God calls believer’s in Christ to continually have Him at the center of their lives. The primary interest then for the biblical believer in Christ is the Triune God. We are to be dominated by the idea of God.

The Westminster Larger, and Shorter, Catechism puts it this way: Q. “What is the chief of man?” A. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” The question which follows answers how we glorify God. Q. “What rule hath God give to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?” A. “The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.” We, therefore, glorify God by being obedient to His Word.

Dr. Joel Beeke says, “The universe is ruled not by chance or fate, but by the complete, sovereign rule of God. We exist for one purpose: to give Him glory. We have only duties to God, no rights. Any attempt to challenge this truth is doomed. Romans 9:20b asks, ‘Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus?’ God enacts His laws for every part of our lives and demands unconditional obedience. We are called to serve Him with body and soul, in worship and daily work, every second of every day.”

God is in absolute and total control of everything which occurs in life. God’s sovereignty brings Him glory. Therefore, we are to glorify and praise Him for His sovereignty.

However, we sinful creatures seek to take control, and receive the glory, which rightfully belongs only to God. We do so in two major ways. First, by denying that God even exists and placing ourselves at the center of our existence. We become our own gods. Second, while not denying God’s existence, we deny His authority to save and rule us according to the good pleasure of His will. Many would rather save and rule their own lives by the good pleasure of their own will.

One pastor writes, “The achievements of modern life – medicinal, technological, and otherwise – have given us an ever-increasing sense of control. Actually, more than a sense. We really do enjoy more control over more aspects of life than ever before in history. We’re so accustomed to a convenient, custom-designed, there’s-an-app-for-that quality of life that we’re more shocked when things are hard than when they’re easy. Addicted to what we can control, we extend the borders of our kingdom into realms we can’t control. We try to control circumstances, but trials rudely show up uninvited. We try to control people, but they don’t stick to our wonderful plan for their lives. We try to control our future, but He who sits in the heavens always seems to laugh (Psalm 2:4).

God calls us to live Corem Deo, which is to view all of life before the face of God. We are to see God in nature, in history and in His grace. In everything we are to see God in His mighty power, to feel His mighty power and to sense His mighty purpose. We are to see God behind all the things which happen to us and to others and understand that He is working out His will. We are to come to God in submissive and humble prayer depending upon His grace alone and rejecting the notion that we had anything to do with His complete work of salvation.

When we begin to live in such a way, we begin to get a taste of what it means to glorify God. How may you glorify God today?

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing God: The Glory of God, Part 2!

“I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” (Isaiah 42:8)

While there are many truths concerning God’s purpose in salvation (justification; redemption; reconciliation; adoption; propitiation; predestination) ultimately God’s purpose in the saving of sinners is so He will be glorified. His chief goal in saving sinners is His glory. This He will not share with another.

What exactly is meant by glory? God’s glory is often literally depicted as a brilliant light (Exodus 34:29-35). Biblically, brilliant light symbolizes truth, righteousness, purity and holiness. See Revelation 21:23; Psalm 43:3; Hosea 6:1-5; John 12:41. This is what the shepherds seen and heard on that first Christmas night (Luke 2:8-14). This is what the Apostle John meant when he wrote, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4) and “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). Therefore, to say God is glorious is to say that God’s character is truthful, righteous, pure and holy.

The word glory comes from the Hebrew word kabod which has as a root meaning “weight” or “heaviness.” It means that God is substantive. It means that God is not a lightweight. It means that God is important, distinct and honorable. The Greek word for glory is doxa. We derive our English word doxology from doxa. Its meanings parallel the Hebrew.

Often, an object’s value is measured or evaluated by its weight. For example, fresh produce, meat or a precious metal’s value is determined by its literal weight. This is the case when you buy lunchmeat at the deli counter. The price you pay for what you have ordered is directly proportionate to the amount or weight you requested.

God’s glory represents the truth that He is of infinite worth and value. God’s glory surpasses the glory of anything else which exists. Mankind continually seeks to glorify human beings by ascribing to them, be they politicians, actors, celebrities or athletes, a worth or value which is above other human beings and perhaps even comparable to God Himself. What foolishness!

Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “When we are ascribing glory to God, we are ascribing worth to Him. We are telling others of His value and unsurpassed worth. This, in turn, should shape what we do in and for Him. Our worship should evidence great beauty and reverence, for the most worthy being deserves that kind of worship. The Lord’s perfections should be regularly on our lips, for if we truly value something, we will not fail to tell others about it. If God has infinite worth and value, we should speak of His marvelous character.”

I Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Seeking to glorify God in all we do should impact the way we work, study, and treat other people. We glorify God by doing things well and treating people in a proper way.

Resolve today to do all for the glory and praise of God because He is worthy of glory.

Soli deo Gloria!