Monday, September 29, 2014

The 5 Sola’s of the Reformation: Sola Deo Gloria!

The final “Sola” of the Reformation is Sola Deo Gloria which means, “Glory to God alone!” In the Roman Catholic Church salvation was achieved (as mentioned previously) not by grace through faith alone, but Christ/faith + works. You needed to do x or y, pray this prayer, take this pilgrimage, pay this tithe or indulgence, etc. or you could have no hope of salvation. As a result, if and when one did attain salvation, who really got the credit? Man did.

The more shocking thing about this, is that there are many protestants who would like to give themselves more credit than is due. After all, we did something didn’t we? We choose to believe, choose to follow Christ right? And we continue to choose to obey Him, to do what’s right, so we deserve some credit, some reward right?

No. You and I do not “deserve” anything. Remember our discussion on grace? It’s ALL grace, and it’s nothing that we do. Thus how can we dare presume that we deserve anything? God promises to reward us yes, but He rewards us based on His grace and mercy, not because of what we do.

According to Scripture, God’s main passion is for His own glory.There are some who have actually argued that that is “selfish,” but umm He is God you know… For God to pursue His own glory is NOT selfishness, in fact, it's the highest virtue! If He’s not concerned and jealous about His own glory then He’s not really the Supreme One. Someone has to be in charge - the problem is that we usually want it to be us. In doing so, or even by taking some credit for ourselves, we rob God of glory; we steal from the Divine One the honor due His name. But in this we find joy, because giving glory to God is what we were meant to do! Jonathan Edwards wrote, "God's purpose for my life was that I have a passion for God's glory and that I have a passion for my joy in that glory, and that these two are one passion."

Who ALONE gets the glory? “Well, yes, God” is usually the reply. But do you really live as though that were true? Does how you live your life and use your words line up with this truth? Or do you see your salvation as being mostly God and a little bit of me?  How about your sanctification, is it something God starts but you have to finish? Now, I’m not saying we don’t have responsibility, we clearly do, but my questions are probing to find out who really gets all the credit for all of this. Jesus counseled his disciples, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” (Luke 17:10) We have merely done our duty, and even that ability was given to us by His grace. Do you realize that there's nothing you can do to make God love you more and there's nothing you can do to cause God to love you less? Our salvation is based on His grace in Christ - it's not our work, it's no credit to ourselves. Paul writes, "But 'he who glories, let him glory in the Lord' " (2 Cor 10:17). He is our "boast" as other translations put it, He is our glory and our praise. To God be the glory - great things He has done! 

For more about this I'd encourage you to watch this short clip from Louie Giglio:

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