Gospel of Grace Alone 48

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 is distorted and adjusted far from its original purpose when it is taken from the God-centered and God-focused origin and plan of it to make it focus on man. Soli Deo Gloria is a grand truth that is set forth in Scripture and has echoed in the pages of the writers of great theologies for all history. As the Gospel of grace alone was not discovered at the time of the Reformation, so Soli Deo Gloria was not discovered at that time either. These were great truths that were recovered from the Bible and history by the Reformers and it is no accident that these great truths were rediscovered at the same time. It will also be no accident if the Gospel of the glory of God is ever trumpeted again in our nation or any other nation, but instead it will come from the living and true God who works all things for His own glory and He will make His Gospel and His purpose of His glory known. The two things (Grace alone and His Glory alone) cannot be separated in reality. Wherever the true Gospel of grace alone is proclaimed the truth of His glory alone will be proclaimed as well. It cannot be otherwise.

In one sense the Gospel of grace alone protects and preserves the glorious teaching of Soli Deo Gloria, but in another sense Soli Deo Gloria protects and preserves the Gospel of grace alone. When one teaching is distorted or the focus of it is changed, the other is changed as well. I am not sure how it can be denied that the focus of grace in our day has been placed on man and what it does for man rather than its real intent which is to preserve the fact that God does all for His own glory. Oh how this simple matter of the intent and focus of God in the Gospel is so vital as to change that to make man His focus is to change the Gospel itself. The Gospel is only and can only be by grace alone if God saves sinner for His own glory alone. If at any point and in any way the focus of God is on man and He does this for any cause or reason that can be found in man, the Gospel is no longer of grace alone.

Once again, God is triune and within this one God there is three Divine Persons. The one God consists of three Divine Persons. When God is said to do all for Himself, it tells us that the three Persons do what they do out of love for each other and as a way to manifest the glory of the thrice holy God. If God loved human beings enough to save them based on themselves, then this destroys the holiness of God in that He would love human beings more than Himself. This is to say that it would have the Father loving human beings more than the Son and the Son loving human beings more than the Father. This simply cannot be as one Person in the Trinity loving a human being more than another Person in the Trinity would be idolatrous. When the Son comes to die for sinners out of a primary love for the Father and His glory as He was sent by the Father who also loved and sent the Son out of a love for the son, we have a Gospel that is all to the glory of God and a Gospel that is all of grace.

The Gospel of grace alone is primarily the good news of how God loves Himself as triune and out of love for Himself as triune (and nothing but demerit and sin in the human) He can be moved to save sinners and bring them to share in His love for Himself. In all of this the very glory that God is filled with is manifested to sinners, in sinners, and then through sinners. When God acts out of love for Himself He is being perfectly holy in that there is no one else worthy of being love but Himself. When God is said to love a human being, what we can understand by that is that the unworthy human being is changed and viewed as in Christ and as such brought to share in the love of God for Himself. This is great news. God is then said to love sinners when He sets His love on them and works repentance from their self-love and gives and works in them a love for Himself which has to come from Himself. Sinners are truly saved by grace alone and they are truly saved in a way which is to the glory of His name both now and for all eternity. So the Gospel of grace alone and Soli Deo Gloria were not invented at the Reformation, but instead both reveal eternal truths of God as triune and His holiness.

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