Edwards on the God Centeredness of God 15


That if God himself be, in any respect, properly capable of being his own end in the creation of the world, then it is reasonable to suppose that he had respect to himself, as his last and highest end, in this work; because he is worthy in himself to be so, being infinitely the greatest and best of beings. All things else, with regard to worthiness, importance, and excellence, are perfectly as nothing in comparison of him. And therefore, if God has respect to things according to their nature and proportions, he must necessarily have the greatest respect to himself. It would be against the perfection of his nature, his wisdom, holiness, and perfect rectitude, whereby he is disposed to do everything that is fit to be done, to suppose otherwise. (Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World)

This idea/concept/eternal truth also teaches us something vital and important in terms of the way we glorify God and the purposes for which we are to glorify God. It appears to be the common thought that we live to glorify God as if that is something we can do in our own strength. It also appears to be the common thought that we glorify God as if it is one of the higher commandments and we do it because we are commanded to do so. However, in order to glorify God we must receive all from Him as we can do nothing to glorify Him in our own strength.

We are to glorify God out of love for Him and glorify Him that He may behold His own glory in and through us. This should be repeated. We are to glorify God because we love Him and we want Him to behold His own glory in and through us. Doing all to the glory of God is not just a duty we perform, but instead it is a humbled and broken heart that has Christ dwelling in that soul and Christ manifesting Himself and the Father in and through that soul. Glorifying God is the work of God in and through the human soul. Glorifying God is not something we can do, it is only something God can do. We should seek Him to humble us and grant that He would glorify Himself in and through us.

The command to glorify God presupposes that He lives in us and through us. It is Christ Himself who is the very shining forth of the glory of God (Heb 1:3) and as such we must have Christ shine in and out of our hearts and lives if we are to glorify God. The command to glorify God is not given because we have the ability to do so, but in order that we would seek Him to work this in and through us. It may be that there is no other command that would show us our inability so clearly if we had eyes to see what it means to glorify Him.

It should also be made clear that when we glorify God this is to share in the Divine life (II Peter 1:3-5). This is to made partakers and sharers of His holiness (Heb 12:10). The God who loves Himself as triune and delights to behold His own glory manifested delights to pour out the love of Himself in the hearts of His children that they may share in His love for Himself and share in that Divine life of love in glorifying Him. Christianity is not just doctrine and morality, it is life. Not only is it life, but that life is to share in His life and that is eternal life which refers both to how long it is and the quality of what it is.

It goes without saying, though it should never go without saying, that sharing in this life of God is by free-grace alone. There is nothing that we can possibly do to move God to give Himself and share His life with us. There is nothing we can do to merit the slightest aspect of God working Himself and His glory in and through us. The life of God in the soul of man can only be explained by God’s desire to glorify Himself and nothing that man has done or can do. How beautiful to behold free-grace as one tastes and sees that the Lord is good by having this life in the soul.

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