Monday, October 29, 2007

Reformation Day: soli Deo Gloria

This morning I had coffee at Kim's Donut Shop in Fate with a reporter from the Royce City Herald-Banner. During our conversation I made a comment that I had not made before so I spent and little more time this morning thinking about. My comment reflected accurately what I've thought for a while; I had just had never worded that way. I said to Leslie, "God is justifiably self-serving. When he pleases himself, everyone benefits." I had known for some time that God's redemptive action through the work of Jesus Christ brought him glory, but I had never articulated the way I suspected that we are beneficiaries of Christ's agenda to bring glory to the Father. I had developed an unease over the years with apparently "man-centered" approaches to the Gospel, but it took describing my view to a reporter for my true thoughts to come out: that we are beneficiaries of God's agenda to glorify himself. For this reason, my salvation (and yours) is not accomplished by Christ because of any need of God to feel appreciated by redeemed people. Instead the work of Christ is accomplished to glorify the Father by revealing the mission of God to see himself represented in all the world.

The Reformation message of soli Deo gloria ("for the glory of God alone") reminds us that God is not in need of us. Instead we are in need of him. He does not save us to so that we can gain power, position of prestige. We are not saved to become successful and popular. We are not saved to grow pompous with delusions of grandeur in thinking that God picks the best and brightest for his team like some sort of playground ballgame. On the contrary, his glory is reflected most in how he redeems and uses the un-pick-able people for this mission. It is for God's glory alone that I'm am redeemed by Christ's sacrifice, brought into his family and inhabited by his Spirit and progressively conformed to his image.

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