LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Soli Deo Gloria

I am not a student of Latin (though I should like to pick it up in the next decade or two?). Notwithstanding, I do like this particular Latin phrase, "Soli Deo Gloria" which literally translates into something like "By itself God's Glory". I like it because the more I mature in the Lord the more poignant and real this phrase becomes - the more abundant my spiritual life becomes the clearer my vision of what these words capture: a truth so profound and nourishing that we rightly tremble before what they reveal.

We would probably translate the phrase (so that it flowed nicely in English) as "God's glory alone" and typically we would use the phrase to describe that theological opinion that only God and God alone is worthy of glory, and bound up in that same thought would be that God is not only the only one worthy of glory, but that He is -all- worthy of it.

No one can seriously meditate upon their own sinful state and the magnificent deliverance that God has wrought for the sinner without touching upon how this glorifies God - I stagger beneath the magnitude of it, my little words can't cast themselves out far enough to paint it. God is so entirely worthy of glory that it is the darkest sin to rob Him, however minutely, of glory.

I am convinced that it is utterly impossible to love God and stand aloof from a profound and jealous love of God's glory. One may well have affection for God if they paint God out to be some kind cosmic grandfather, but as one begins to fellowship with God Almighty in the Spirit through study of scripture, through living obedience, and all the drawing near that that entails - one is struck not only by God's glory, but by the "rightness" and beauty of that glory.

Christ said, if you love me you will keep my commandments. I think no truer words have ever been spoken. I find that as I draw near to the Lord by setting my mind, heart, and soul fully upon Him; by surrendering myself in every circumstance, and being "judgment-day honest" about all my sin - and perhaps especially as I genuinely trust Him with my whole life and each moment in it - I find that I am drawn into a profound (though veiled) awareness of His matchless, infinite worth.

It is one thing to be intellectually persuaded that God not only deserves all glory, but that the greatest crime in creation would be to fail to give God that glory - I mean sure, what conservative Christian wouldn't assent to that? But it is altogether a different thing when this is not some truth that we defend from our head, but rather something deep in our soul that resonates with a sense of utter "rightness" when anything reflects God's glory so that it is magnified, as it rightly ought to be.

When zeal for God becomes more than our persuasion, more than our present argument, more than the methodology we follow, more than the opinion of those whom we admire, more than an idea we understand - and instead becomes zeal for God Himself - such that we see our insignificance, and his infinite worth in the same glance, and we explode in joy at the rightness of that, wishing we might could be less than nothing in order to magnify God's glory. The greatest crime against creation is that on account of sin it no longer reflects (clearly) the glory of God.

If creation could speak it would weep over this loss.

Loving God is not merely some "action" we do - it is the inevitable result of drawing near to God. There are a whole lotta young reformers out their who like to sign their email SDG, or Soli Deo Gloria, who have a "head full" and that's good, but who have yet to get a "heart full" because their religion is still more of a pursuit of knowledge than a pursuit of God.

When a person begins to draw near, they begin to burn for God's glory. If you burn for God's glory, you will do a far better job of obeying Him, than if you simply assent to God's glory.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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Blogger jazzycat said...

In spite of the creation being corrupted at the fall, the beauty and majesty of the creation is awesome to behold. Every photo I take points to our creator and his work even if it is something man built because everything leads back to Him.

October 18, 2007 9:28 AM

Blogger Daniel said...

Creation bespeaks the creator. We ourselves are made in our Master's image, but His reflection is us is marred by sin, even as the curse mars creation. A new heavens and new earth are coming, and they will reflect God's glory without compromise. If this creation can contain such beauty, and that beauty can only be observed through corrupt eyes - what will uncompromising beauty through uncorrupted eyes look like? All of creation still points to God, but man o' man - I can hardly wait for what is coming! Good thoughts Wayne.

October 18, 2007 10:21 AM

Blogger Daniel said...

I am just adding another comment to make it seem as though people really liked the post and can't stop talking about it.

October 18, 2007 12:53 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

I like it, I like it, already...

October 18, 2007 12:56 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

I'm home alone, though, so that means there is nobody to talk to about it...

October 18, 2007 12:57 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

The post, that is...

October 18, 2007 12:58 PM

Blogger Daniel said...

Mark, I posted on the word faith garbage over at my blog - that might kill a few minutes.

October 18, 2007 12:59 PM

Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Amen and Amen!

October 18, 2007 10:27 PM

Blogger Carla Rolfe said...


I liked it at your blog and I'm liking here too. :-) Good words brother.

October 18, 2007 11:00 PM

Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Amen daniel.

When a person begins to draw near, they begin to burn for God's glory. If you burn for God's glory, you will do a far better job of obeying Him, than if you simply assent to God's glory.
..this is really, really good.


October 19, 2007 9:11 AM


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