Friday, August 16, 2013

God's Glory (Part 4)

Dr. John Piper, is the former minister of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn. and the author of the book "Desiring God", among others.  This is the book for which the para-church organization and conference are named. He along with the elders of the church founded the organization and his most well known phrase is this, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."

I can think of no better way to express in non-scriptural terms the importance and functionality of the glory of God.  I want to give credit to Dr. Piper for helping to instill this passion for God's glory in me and for doing some of the leg work for this post.  Some of the scriptures referenced here were used in a sermon by Dr. Piper entitled "Is God for Us or for Himself?"  If you have never checked out the site, read the book, or heard Dr. Piper's sermons on this subject I encourage you to.  His theology is biblically sound and his passion for God's glory is infectious.

God Is His Own Biggest Fan
So, at the center of the statement above is the fact that God is God-centered, not man-centered.  If this bothers you, ask yourself the question, "Who else would you have Him be centered on?"  If God is centered on anything other than himself or desires all glory and honor to be centered around anything other than himself, He then ceases to be the God of the bible. He is the creator of all things.  There is nothing else that makes the world go round but Him. 

Now, what does the bible say about God's desire for His glory to be made known or in defense of the glory of His name.  I quoted for you Ezekiel 36:22-23 in the post entitled "Christs Goals, Our Purpose, God's Glory".  In this scripture God makes it clear that He has saved us to begin with "for the glory of His name".  In Isaiah 48:11 God states through His prophet, "For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned?  My glory I will not give to another."   In Ephesians 1:6, 12, & 14, every line of scripture states that what is being done is "for/to the praise of His glory".

What An Egomaniac!
Again you might ask, isn't this incredibly egotistical and self-centered.  The answer is YES.  But, that is only a problem for sinful, vain, self-centered, egotistical human beings.  This is because when those characteristics are placed on flawed humans, it steals glory from God...the only one who deserves it.

God Does Not Need Us
The fact of the matter is that God is all sufficient.  He needs nothing.(Romans 11:36)  In his book, Knowledge of the Holy, preacher and theologian A.W. Tozer states this,

"To admit the existence of a need in God is to admit incompleteness in the divine being.  Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator.  God has a voluntary relationship to everything He has made; but He has no necessary relationship to anything outside of Himself. His interest in His creatures arises from His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply, nor from any completeness that those creatures can bring to Him who is Himself complete." 
Therefore it is in fact, in our best interest, that God is God-centered.

He did not make us or send Christ to die for us because he needed us, but because we needed Him. Ephesians  2:18 says that, "through Christ we both have access in one Spirit to the Father".  1 Peter 3:18 says, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God". The Psalms are loaded with praise and adoration for the glory of God.  Specifically in Psalms 16:11 the psalmist says, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore".  We benefit greatly from the fact that everything about our existence is originally designed to glorify God, if in fact we are surrendered to Him. 

God the Father Desires the Glory of His Son
I began in Philippians and I will end there.  Again, as the second person of the Trinity, God desires that Jesus's name be lifted up because of the humility he bore in taking human form and obeying His Heavenly Father to the point of death on a cross for the sins of the world.  

Philippians 2:9-10 proclaims this, "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

So to wrap this up, working out our salvation is something we must do with a Christ-like humility and with the heart of a servant that is like that of Jesus.  Last, but certainly not least, we must work with the glory of God in view.  We must do this not only to demonstrate the fruit of a real and active salvation at work in our hearts, but also to demonstrate the glory of God to those that do not know Him.  Jesus said, "let your light so shine that men would see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven"(Matthew 5:16).

Make no mistake, the end will come.  Bowing the knee to Christ's Lordship is not optional.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  The question is, will it happen this side of eternity?  If you submit yourself to Christ's Lordship then you get to do it now and forever.  This is an awesome privilege.  When we are most concerned about God's glory in our lives then, by His grace, we are striving to live according to His word.  This in turn will create the most satisfaction because everything that we do centers on Him and we realize that all we need is Him.  

If however, you do not surrender to Christ's Lordship in this life, then you too will bow your knee and confess that He is Lord but, it will be too late to do any good.  At that point His Lordship must be demonstrated by the eternal pouring out of His wrath on all those guilty sinners whom rejected God during life on earth.  It will be an eternity of conscious torment where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

My prayer is that your heart has been opened to the awesome privilege that it is to be a follower of Christ and that you desire to surrender to him today if you have not already.  This is NOT fire insurance.  It is Lordship.  It is glorifying God with all that you are everyday.  It is a decision that you make by God's grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone and, it is a decision that you will never regret.

All Glory to God!


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