Glorifying God 7

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’

“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4).

God does not seek His own glory because it makes Him happy, to be honored and highly thought of, but because He loves to see Himself, His own excellencies and glories appearing in His works. He loves to see Himself communicated and it was His intention to communicate Himself that was a prime motive of His creating the world. His own glory was the ultimate motive. He Himself was His end, that is, Himself communicated. The very phrase “the glory” seems naturally to signify this. Glory is a shining forth, an effulgence. So the glory of God is the shining forth or effulgence of His perfections, as effulgence is the communication of light. For this reason, that brightness whereby God was wont to manifest Himself in the wilderness, and in the tabernacle and temple, was called God’s glory. As the brightness of the sun, moon, and stars is called their glory, so the glory of God is the shining forth of His perfections. The world was created that they [His perfections] might shine forth, that is, that they [His perfections] might be communicated.             Jonathan Edwards

The idea or doctrine of glorifying God is really at the heart of Christianity, though perhaps it is not recognized as such. There is nothing regarding the Gospel or of holiness that is not touched by this teaching. How God glorifies Himself in salvation and in sanctification is a vital teaching. When the Scriptures tell us that we are to glorify God in all we do, we should take some time and effort and prayer in seeking the Lord to teach us how we are to glorify Him. It is that important.

It might also be helpful to note that one of the Bible’s definitions of sin is that we have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If it is sin to fall short of the glory of God, and yet it is holy to do all we do to the glory of God, then wisdom compels us to find out what it means to live to His glory. Glorifying God is not an option that is given to us, but it is part and parcel of what it means to live as a Christian. God saves sinners to the praise of His glory and sinners are to live for His glory after they are saved.

This means it is something worthy of our time, study, prayer, and seeking the Lord for a broken and humble heart. This should be a priority with us. It is, after all, a priority with God. It was God’s own primary motive in creating and it is still His primary motive in all He does. God created for His own glory, that is, to manifest His glory for His own pleasure. It is for the pleasure of God that we are to seek to glorify Him. It is not just some command that we must carry out (like the Pharisees thought of commands), but this is what we are to do out of love for Him. When people have a true love for each other, they want to see the other do what is best for them and they have joy in the pleasure and true good of the other person. As such we should be moved to joy at the pleasure of God in beholding His own glory that is manifested.

When God decides to glorify Himself, it is His own glory that He shines out from Himself. The King of Kings has chosen to glorify Himself through His people which means that He must communicate His glory to His people in order for that glory to shine through His people and then He can behold it. This, once again, is a vital point and needs to be stressed over and over. No human being can glorify God in his or her own strength and can do nothing to glorify God unless that human being has received the communication of the glory of God from God. It is God’s glory that must shine out from God and it is His glory that must be communicated to the person who has Christ and it is His glory that must shine through the person in order for Him to be glorified. We can do nothing unless we receive it. Since that is true, God Himself must communicate His glory to us if we are to glorify Him. Oh the beauty and glory of this great truth. We cannot glorify God unless He gives it to us and He only does it by grace alone. We don’t deserve to glorify Him, but it is by His grace that He communicates His glory to us that we can glorify Him.

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