The Glory of God is the Goal of God9 min read
God is Light
When we open our Bibles and look for the topic of the glory of God as being the goal of God, we could find several individual verses that support this concept. Yet perhaps more so we find it as an overarching theme throughout the whole of Scripture – a theme that takes a broad overview of God’s sovereign work throughout the ages.
God is invisible, which means He cannot be known except He reveal Himself. This is where we begin in Genesis: “In the beginning God created…” This is the first revelation God gave; it was the first moment in which the invisible God could be perceived by something that is visible. Romans 1 shows that “His eternal power and Divinity” are shown in creation. But this, of course, was only the beginning. God had further dealings in which He was going to reveal Himself, and this is seen throughout the Old Testament. Hebrews 1 tells us that God “at various times and in various manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” Yet this revelation was only to very specific people. It was also fragmented and progressive in nature. Still, it was far more than the heathen had, who could only perceive something of God through His creation. But history reached a climax when the invisible God took on human flesh: “Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh.” What was fragmented and progressive in the Old Testament was now fully revealed in a Person, the one Whom all the types and prophecies surrounded. Were God’s purposes in revealing Himself finished yet? No, because the Lord Himself promised that the Spirit would descend and lead the apostles into all truth. Christ in His Person is the fullest revelation of the Father, but we must know more of His Person to know more of the Father. That is where the New Testament comes in, bringing to completion “the faith once for all delivered unto the saints,” the saints being the Church which is Christ’s Bride. Yet revelation goes further, not necessarily in depth, but in manifestation; for after the Church is raptured and the Tribulation brings Israel to restoration, the Millenium will initiated – a time when “the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” After this, God will consummate His sovereign dealings with the various people groups of earth and bring in the Eternal State. This will be the summation of His revelation and dispensational dealings as His sovereignty is fully and universally recognized. God will be all in all. Righteousness will pervade eternally. The Tabernacle of God will be with men. And His unfathomable grace with His infinite holiness will be remembered forever. One day the declaration “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” will be on the lips of each Person, for God’s revelation of Himself will have been completed as He ordained. Will that be the end of what we know of God? Certainly not, since Ephesians 2:7 says we will eternally learn of the “exceeding riches of His grace.” But as to His purposes in revealing Himself, they will have been complete.
What does this have to do with God’s glory? Well, we have to understand something: revelation is inseparably tied with God’s glory. Why? Because God is Light, and wherever more of His Being is manifested, there will greater glory be. This leads us to a definition of glory: The glory of God is the outward display of His intrinsically holy Being, expressed in His character/attributes, His works, and visible radiance, always by means of revelation in some way. This means if God’s obvious purpose in time and eternity is to reveal Who He is, surely His own glory must be His motivation. Wherever God’s holiness is recognized and displayed, there is He glorified. This leads us to ask the question “Why is this God’s supreme goal?”
God MUST Be Glorified
God is quite willing to glorify Himself in various ways. In John 12, the Lord Jesus says “Father, glorify Thy name,” and His reply was this: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” While the context must be taken into consideration, the general principle that we find is this: God is passionate toward manifesting His glory. In Isaiah 42 we read “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.” Combining the message of these two verses, we find that God pursues His glory, because it by nature belongs only to Him. So then, why must God be glorified, as if there were no other alternative? There are at least two reasons, among others.
- God cannot but be glorified, since anything He does shows forth His holiness and thus His character. When God’s holiness is displayed, so is His glory. For God not to be glorified, He would have to cease working.
- It is only right for God to be glorified. If God is in Himself the standard of truth and righteousness, and if His glory is the display of such characteristics, to not glorify Himself would be to not uphold what is true and right. Thus He would contradict Himself.
God’s Glory is Seen in EVERYTHING
If God’s glory is really His ultimate goal, we should expect to see that throughout everything He does and everything we find in Scripture. Of course, the fullest and primary revelation of God’s glory in in His Son, since He is “the radiance of His glory and the exact image of His Person.” But notice what Scripture has to say about other major themes:
- God’s glory is seen in the existence of sin: Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.” While sin is not God’s delightful means of glorifying Himself, it still manifests His glory by providing a contrast to His unattainable holiness.
- God’s glory is seen in the cross: John 13:31-32 – “Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him [the Son]. If God be glorified in him [the Son], God shall also glorify him [the Son] in himself, and shall immediately glorify him [the Son].”
- God’s glory is seen in dispensational dealings: Romans 11:36 – “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
- God’s glory is seen in the Church: Ephesians 3:21 – “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
- God’s glory is seen in His revelation of Himself: Deuteronomy 5:24 – “Behold, the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.”
- God’s glory is seen in creation: Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God.”
- God’s glory is seen in salvation: Romans 15:7 – “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”
The list, of course, goes on and on, but what we have should make the point quite boldly: God’s glory is seen in everything. When all is said and done, there will be nothing that God could have done better to make known Who He is. The question remains, then, for us: “What part do I have in God’s vast purposes of glorifying Himself? What will my response be?”
Sold Out for the Glory of God
Our response to these things should be an absolute concentration on living unconditionally for the glory of God. Being a Christian is not a facet of life. It is our life. Whatever we do, we do as Christians seeking the glory of God. If a believer is a plumber, he is a Christian plumber to the glory of God. If a believer is a factory worker, he is a Christian factory worker to the glory of God. If a believer sleeps in order to rest, he is a Christian who is sleeping to the glory of God. Notice how comprehensive this mentality is to the believer.
We find first of all that we are to glorify God at every moment of life, including death. John 21:19 makes this clear when the Lord told Peter “by what death he should glorify God.” Truly, if the extremest moments of our lives are to glorify God, every moment must be to glorify God.
Secondly, we find that we are to glorify God in every component of life. In 1 Corinthians 6 we read, “For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Let us never think that we only live to the glory of God when we read and pray. We live to glorify God in how we dress, in how we conduct ourselves, in our demeanor, in our style, in our purity, etc. God has claimed every single part of us as His own. That is why we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Can we really love Him with all our heart with the emotional commitments we are making to temporal things? Can we really love Him with all our mind with the media we feed it? Can we really love Him with all our strength with the amount of effort we invest into earthly things?
Lastly, we find that we are to glorify God in every action of life, even the menial ones: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31). Evidently, as believers we can turn things not spiritual by nature into that which will glorify God, even things like eating and drinking – the bare necessities of life. Is this our level of commitment? Only being fully sold out unto God’s glory is fitting for a believer. Christianity cannot be a mere compartment of life: it is life itself. Christ is our life. That begs the question, what are we investing in that doesn’t fully agree with that fact? Perhaps its time we cut out that thing.