A Close Look at “Soli Deo Gloria” (Part5)

March 5, 2006 | Speaker: Bro Jurem Ramos

Review:

We will continue to look at the practical side of our study of Soli Deo Gloria. We are looking at some of the specific ways we may glorify God in the ministry. Let me just review our previous study.  
  1. We glorify God alone by setting Him in our hearts as supreme above all things and as our greatest good.
  2. We glorify God in ministry when we consciously aim for God’s glory.
  3. We glorify God in ministry when we submit all aspects of it to the standard of God’s Word.
  4. We glorify God in ministry when it is continually being reformed by God’s word.
  5. We glorify God in ministry when we humbly depend upon God for its initiation, direction and success.
  6. We glorify God in ministry when we return all the glory to God for whatever success it may achieve.
  7. We glorify God in ministry when we evaluate its success in terms of what the Bible considers as success and not on the basis of what the world thinks.
 

8.   We glorify God in ministry when our involvement in ministry comes from a love for the church as Christ loved her.

  Some love their families or their country so much that they could easily say, “I am taking double jobs for my family. I love my family so much I am willing to sacrifice for them.” Or, as champion boxer, Manny Pacquaio would say, “I am offering this fight, first, for my country.” Now think for a moment. Have you ever said that for the church? Have you ever said, I love the church so much that I am willing to sacrifice for her. I love the church so much that I am willing to die for her. It may sound incredible but this is the kind of love Jesus has for the church. Read the New Testament carefully. You will discover the love of the apostles for the church.   Christ loves the church is seen in Ephesians 5:25-27: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Christ’s love for the church is seen in the way He identifies Himself with her.
  • Ac 9:1-5 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"  | 5 Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.  ¦ "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.
  Note that when Jesus confronted Saul, note that He did not say, “Why do you persecute my people?” No. He said, “Why do you persecute Me?” What Saul did to the church, he did to Jesus. This is shows how Christ identifies Himself with the church.   Some people say that they love Christ but they cannot say the same thing for the church. If we really love Jesus, the head, we are going to love the church, His body also. Christ’s love for the church is manifested in the analogies used to identify his relationship with her.
  • Jesus is the vine, the church His branches (Jn 15:5)
  • Christ the head, the church His body (Eph 1:22-23)
  • Christ the Shepherd, the church His sheep (Jn 21:15,16)
  • Christ the bridegroom, the church His bride (Rev 19:7-8)
  See Paul’s love for the church.
  • 2Co 11:2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
  • Col 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
  • Col 1:24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
  If Christ loves the church so much, if Paul loved the church that much, so should we believers. If we want to glorify God in the ministry, we should do it with love for the church as Christ loved her.  

9.   We glorify God in ministry when we serve in a ministry using our spiritual gifts.

1Pe 4:10,11 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.   Donald Whitney, Simplify Your Spiritual Life, p. 186-187:   “… if you aren’t sure which spiritual gift you have, concentrate the bulk of your ministry time in areas where you think your heart and abilities best belong. Theologian J.I. Packer reminds us, ‘the most significant gifts in the church’s life in every era are ordinary natural abilities sanctified.’”  

10.       We glorify God in ministry by giving our best and serving excellently.

 
  • Mal 1:6-8 A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.
¦ "But you ask, 'How have we shown contempt for your name?' 7 You place defiled food on my altar. ¦ "But you ask, 'How have we defiled you?' ¦ "By saying that the LORD's table is contemptible. 8 When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?" says the LORD Almighty.  
  • 2Co 8:1-7 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
 

11.       We glorify God in ministry when we do ministry with an attitude of love, humility and unity.

  • 1Co 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
  Don’t use what happened between Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15:39 as your model in dealing with conflicts in the church: “They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.” This is not a good example. The phrase “sharp disagreement” comes from the Greek word, “paroxusmos” where we get the English word, “paroxysm.” This means irritation, provocation, quarrel, severe argument based on intense difference of opinion. This is what is described in this passage. Paul and Barnabas had such a sharp disagreement. They were provoked and they had such a severe argument that they parted ways. This is not the Christian attitude that the Lord wants manifested between His workers. Paul knew that. In fact you will find this to be his consistent exhortation to believers. Read the following passages:
  • Phil 4:2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.
  • Phil 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
  • Eph 4:29-32 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
  • Eph 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
  • 1Co 6:1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? . . . 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
  • 1Co 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
 

12.       We glorify God in ministry by being contented in that state where He has placed us.

  Paul wrote in Phil 4:11-13 “… I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”   A longer list of Paul’s negative experiences: 2Co 11:23-27… I have…been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have… often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.   Thomas Watson: We give God the glory of his wisdom, when we rest satisfied with what he carves out to us. . . . This is how a good Christian argues: “It is God who has put me in this condition; he could have raised me higher, if he pleased, but that might have been a snare to me: he has done it in wisdom and love; therefore I will sit down satisfied with my condition.” Surely this glorifies God much; God counts himself much honored by such a Christian. Here, says God, is one after mine own heart; let me do what I will with him, I hear no murmuring, he is content.  

13.       We glorify God when we are willing to suffer for God in carrying out our ministry.

  • Jn 21:18-19 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God…
  • Phil 1:20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
  • Ac 5:41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
  • 1Peter 4: 13-16 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.