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Tag: glorifying God (page 1 of 7)

Just so no one accuses me again of forbidding good works, let me say that one should with all seriousness be contrite and remorseful, confess and do good works. … After [the grace of God] we can do a lot of good [works]—to the glory of God alone and to the benefit of our fellow-men, and not in order that we might depend upon that as sufficient to pay for our sin. For God gives us his grace freely and without cost; so we should also serve him freely and without cost.

—Martin Luther
“Word and Sacrament I” in LW, 35:17.

It is the antithesis of all false preachers, as they are described in Galatians (Gal. 6:13): “They desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.” So all false teachers seek their own glory, although they give lip service to the glory of God. … Yet the Gospel proclaims the glory of God alone. “The heavens are telling the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1), not their own glory. The glory of God is that God alone is wise, righteous, and the Redeemer. It follows that we are foolish and lost sinners, because the glory of God is not set forth unless we ourselves are confounded. The papists do not want this confounding, yea, they ascribe a part of righteousness to their own glory, and therefore it cannot bear the Gospel. The Holy Spirit convicts the whole world of sin (John 16:8) and proclaims the righteous Christ and His glory alone. It is the office of an evangelical preacher to proclaim the glory of God alone.

—Martin Luther
“Lectures on Isaiah: Chapters 40-66” in LW, 17:172–173.

Happiness is the end of the creation, as appears by this, because the creation had as good not be, as not rejoice in its being. For certainly it was the goodness of the Creator that moved Him to create; and how can we conceive of another end proposed by goodness, than that He might delight in seeing the creatures He made rejoice in that being that He has given them?

It appears also by this, because the end of the creation is that the creation might glorify Him. Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory He has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for He had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of the creation be the declaring God’s glory to others; for the declaring God’s glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise joy in ourselves and others at what is declared.

Wherefore, seeing happiness is the highest end of the creation of the universe, and intelligent beings are that consciousness of the creation that is to be the immediate subject of this happiness, how happy may we conclude will be those intelligent beings that are to be made eternally happy!

—Jonathan Edwards
“Miscellanies”, WJE (Yale University Press, 1994), 199–200.

How many good duties are lost and spoiled by sinful indulgence to our bodies? Alas! we are generally more solicitous to live long, than to live usefully. How many saints have active, vigorous bodies, yet God hath little service from them. If your bodies were animated by some other souls that love God more than you do, and burn with holy zeal to his service, more work would be done for God by your bodies in a day, than is now done in a month. To have an able, healthy body, and not use it for God, for fear of hurting it, is as if one should give you a strong and stately horse, upon condition you must not work or ride him. Wherein is the mercy of having a body, exeept it be employed for God? Will not its reward at the resurrection be sufficient for all the pains you now put it to in his service?

—John Flavel
The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel, 1:497–498.

That the glory of God is the highest and last end of the work of redemption is confirmed by the song of the angels at Christ’s birth. Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will towards men.” It must be supposed that they knew what was God’s last end in sending Christ into the world: and that in their rejoicing on the occasion of his incarnation, their minds would be most taken up with, and would most rejoice in that which was most valuable and glorious in it; which must consist in its relation to that which was its chief and ultimate end. And we may further suppose that the thing which chiefly engaged their minds, as what was most glorious and joyful in the affair, is what would be first expressed in that song which was to express the sentiments of their minds, and exultation of their hearts.

The glory of the Father and the Son is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Philippians 2:6–11, very much in the same manner as in John 12:23, John 12:28, John 13:31–32, and John 17:1, John 12:4–5. “Who being in the form of God…  made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, etc… that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess, that Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” So God’s glory, or the praise of his glory, is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Ephesians 1:3 ff., “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him… Having predestinated us to the adoption of children… to the praise of the glory of his grace.” And in the continuance of the same discourse concerning the redemption of Christ, in what follows in the same chapter, God’s glory is once and again mentioned as the great end of all. Several things belonging to that great redemption are mentioned in the following verses: such as God’s great wisdom in it (Ephesians 1:8). The clearness of light granted through Christ (Ephesians 1:9). God’s gathering together in one all things in heaven and earth in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). God’s giving the Christians that were first converted to the Christian faith from among the Jews, an interest in this great redemption (Ephesians 1:11). Then the great end is added, “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:12). And then is mentioned the bestowing of the same great salvation on the Gentiles, in its beginning or first fruits in the world, and in the completing it in another world, in the two next verses. And then the same great end is added again, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13–14). The same thing is expressed much in the same manner, in 2 Corinthians 4:14–15,  “He which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundance of grace might through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God.”

—Jonathan Edwards
“Concerning the End for which God Created the World,” The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 486–488.

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