Gospel of Grace Alone 47

Galatians 1:6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

The Gospel of grace alone in Christ alone is the means or vehicle of how God glorifies Himself on earth and in the heavenlies as well. The purpose or reason for the Church is to proclaim and defend this Gospel of grace alone in Christ alone. The purpose for each human being is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever, but when God glorifies Himself through Christ and by the Gospel of grace alone this teaches us that human beings glorify God when they are converted by hearing the Gospel and by living in accordance with it. When people distort the Gospel of grace alone, they are distorting the truths about creation, humanity, and God Himself.

God calls sinners to Himself by the grace of Christ, so when a person changes the Gospel of grace alone to something else (though it may appear to be small), that person is cutting off the calling of God (in this sense) and is distorting the nature of God and of Christ. The Scriptures also teach us very clearly and in multiple places that the Gospel is the Gospel of the glory of God. The true Gospel is not about the worth and glory of man, but it is the display of the beauty and majesty of the glory of God. The Gospel is by grace alone so that it may be to the glory of God alone. When the Gospel is distorted, it is the glory of God that is attacked and distorted.

One of the five points of the Reformation (so to speak) was Soli Deo Gloria, which means to God alone be the glory. This is precisely what the Gospel of grace alone does. It is all to the glory of God because it is the Gospel of grace alone by Christ alone. God has created the whole universe in order to manifest His inter-trinitarian glory or His love for Himself within Hmself. He created the planet earth to display His glory, yes, but He created it to sustain life and be a means of the manifestation of His grace in Christ by saving sinners to the glory of His grace. How dare any person devise a way of salvation or a way of living that is not aimed primarily at the glory of God in all things and in all ways. How dare a worm of the earth try to distort the true Gospel and make it a way for puny man who has no ability to contribute to his own salvation! That is an attack upon the very being of God, the attributes of God, and the decrees of God.

The great and glorious fact that God saves sinners for His own glory is great news to sinners who have reached the point of realizing that God does all things for His own glory and that they are dead in sin and have no ability to save themselves in whole or in the smallest part. God saves sinner according to His power, His wisdom, His self-sufficiency; which are all ways of focused on manifesting His grace to the glory of His name. When sinners try to focus on their own power, own wisdom, own sufficiency; they are then focused on the glory and ability of man rather than the glory of God despite their words.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism simply nails the point when it tells us that the man’s primary (chief) purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. What it does not say, however, is whether this is God’s purpose for man, the purpose God gave man, or whether it is both. It also does not say that man has no ability to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, but instead both of those thing (glorify God and enjoyment of Him) must come by grace alone. Man must not seek to glorify God in his own strength and enjoy God in his own way, for that is doing things in the strength and wisdom of man rather than doing them by grace which glorifies God.

The Gospel of grace alone delivers man from having any part of salvation and leaves all the work up to God. In that God is glorified. Man must realize that if his sanctification, which can be looked at as a being saved from sin and the world in a sense, is from himself then he has the power to overcome sin in his own power. But the Reformation principle (Soli Deo Gloria) and the Westminster Shorter Catechism (glorify and enjoy God as man’s primary purpose) teach us that all things must be done by grace so that it is to the glory of God. If we distort the Gospel of grace alone, we will end up with a distorted gospel and a distorted way of sanctification as well that distorts God’s purpose of glorifying Himself in and through man. God justifies man by grace alone to His glory and He sanctifies man by grace alone to His glory as well.

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