Get this… nail it down… accept it as total and complete life truth:
Everything is about God and glorifying Him.
The most important thing God has in mind is bringing Himself glory. That is why He created everything… why He causes all He causes… why He does what He does… and why He allows what He allows. There is not one single thing any person can name that is not ultimately about God’s glory.
Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Pslam 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Everything we do is to glorify God. When young people go on dates… it is to glorify God. When choosing a career… it is to glorify God. Filling out tax returns… talking on the phone… shopping… working… managing employees… every and all things we do are to glorify God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Everything that happens in life is designed by God to bring Himself glory. This includes what we call good and what we call bad… what we call blessings and what we call tragedy… what we call pleasant and what we call hurtful.
When glorifying God is the single passion in life, THEN the believer is filled with joy IN God because He is their life. As Jonathan Edwards wrote…
Because [God] infinitely values his own glory, consisting in the knowledge of himself, love to himself… joy in himself; he therefore valued the image, communication or participation of these, in the creature. And it is because he values himself, that he delights in the knowledge, and love, and joy of the creature; as being himself the object of this knowledge, love and complacence… [Thus] God’s respect to the creature’s good, and his respect to himself, is not a divided respect; but both are united in one, as the happiness of the creature aimed at, is happiness in union with himself.
It is sin of the most despicable kind to live life for our own glory or to satisfy ourselves with no thought of God.
So true. Thank you for the quote from Edwards. Where does it originate from? I have been conversing with quite a few people who attend the same church that I do that teaches the doctrines of grace, about a subject that is right in line with this. Would you please take the time to write your thoughts on how this truth plays into “free will”? With what God has taught me through His word, I believe there is no free will whatsoever because of God’s will and His jealously over His glory. If we had any measure of will, we would have the ability to rob God of some of His glory, which is impossible. His story, His plan is set in stone and was designed to bring Him the maximum amount of Glory this it can’t be thwarted. I listened to Piper’s sermon on Romans 11:36; “All Things Are From God, and To God and Through God.” It explains how evil and sin come from God but not from His nature. Chapter IX of the Westminster Confession is titled “Of Free Will”, which explains “free will”, not in an armenian sense, but that we now have the will after salvation to choose good, just as Adam did. I do not believe this because of the truth of the total sovereignty of God. I have even read that Edwards believed in natural ability and moral ability, outlined in his book “Freedom of the Will;” which I haven’t read, just a summary of it. How can it be that one can believe in God’s total sovereignty because of His jealously toward His glory, and then believe in any kind of man’s “free will”? I have done quite a bit of research through scripture and have a ways to go still, but would like your thoughts. Thanks -Josh
Thanks for your comment… but I’m not sure I can answer your question or request in short form. I will say this, Scripture teaches that man is able to choose according to his nature. Scripture is just as clear that God is sovereign over all things. God does not ever coerce or force man to do anything… including the salvation event. Therefore I believe that every decision is within man’s responsibility, yet God is not held hostage to the will or decisions of man. At the same time there is nothing that man does that is contrary to the ultimate will of God.
How do I reconcile all those seeming contradictions? I don’t… because they aren’t reconciled in Scripture. They are left as they are. As when Jesus said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem… how many times would I have gathered you under my wings as a hen gathers her chicks but you would not!”
In my theology, man is free to the degree that his nature dictates. For example, think of lions and rabbits. Lions primarily eat meat while rabbits eat vegetables. Put both lettuce and hamburger in front of the lion, and it will eat the meat. Put lettuce and hamburger in front of a rabbit, and it will eat the lettuce. Why? Because of their nature.
As it is written in1 Cor 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:16… “But we have the mind of Christ.” Man’s default nature is spiritual death (Eph 2:1). But once a person is born again (John 3), they are made alive in Christ (Eph 2:5) which results in being freed from our sin nature to serve God.
The point of the post you commented on is simply this… the purpose and reason for everything is to bring glory to God.