A Close Look at “Soli Deo Gloria” (Part3)

February 12, 2006 | Speaker: Bro Jurem Ramos


We have seen last week that from beginning to end, from creation to consummation, God’s motive is to be praised for His glory. Because this is so, we should also have the glory of God as the end of all our actions. As Paul said in Ro 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things.   To him be the glory forever! Amen.   We looked into some of the writings of Paul and Peter to see how we can glorify God in practical ways and in different circumstances. We learned from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians how we may glorify God even in eating and drinking. We learned from Paul’s letter to the Colossians how we glorify God in the home and in the work place. We learn from Peter how we may glorify God even in the midst of great wickedness and opposition.   Today, I am going to continue to look at the practical side of soli Deo gloria. To put it differently, how may we glorify God particularly in the ministry.  

1.   We glorify God alone by setting Him in our hearts as supreme above all things and as our greatest good.

  The ministry is not our god. Only God is our God.
  • Ex 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.
  • Dt 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength
  We are willing to lose ministry if it has lost its use or influence or if it is beginning to take the place of other priorities in life. You can be so full of ministry to the point that you have time for God anymore or for your family. We will not say to any ministry, “This is mine. Amin itong church na ito. Akin ito.”   We will not use ministry as an excuse for failing to commune with God and have fellowship with Him.
  • Ps 73:25-26,28, Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. . . . 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
  • Ps 84:1-2,10, How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God… 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere…”

2.   We glorify God when we do ministry, consciously aiming for God’s glory.

1Co 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.   We do not just passively do ministry. We habitually aim for the glory of God by considering His instructions, guidelines, teachings, the usefulness, the effect of the ministry to his honor.  

3.   We glorify God by submitting all aspects of the ministry to the standard of God’s Word.

  We are not going to let tradition, or culture or popularity, or pressure dictate how ministry is going to be handled; only God’s word will guide it. (Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.)   Examples:   When we are into counseling, we do it according to the Bible. We consider the sufficiency of Scripture.
  • 2Ti 3:16,17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
  • Ps 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
  When we want to have leaders in the church, we use the qualifications of Scripture (E.g., 1Ti 3:1-13; Tit 1:6-9).   When we sing to the Lord we will do it in a way that brings praise to God (Heb 13:15, Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name.) and give instruction to God’s people (Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.)   When we give, it is not to manipulate God but because we love God and His work. 2Co 8:1-5 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.   When we evangelize we will preach the biblical gospel and the method of Scripture. That is why we do not have an altar call. That is why it is not personal testimony that we emphasize. We do not let pragmatism to guide our ministry.   We take seriously church discipline (Mt 18:15-17; 1Co 5:12,13) I heard a radio commentator talking about what will a member do when he cannot stand the pastor. When you don’t like then leave. And then he supported this with illustrations from Abraham and Lot or Paul and Barnabas when these men separated ways from one another. I don’t know where he was coming from but if it was used without considering Mt 18, then it would be wrong. Some people will leave the church at the drop of a hat.   Take holiness seriously. We are told that our standard is too high.
  • 1Co 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord--a curse be on him…
  • Col 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
  • 2Co 13:11 Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection…
  • Eph 5:1-7 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. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
  • Heb 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
  The Lord, willing, we will continue next week…