A Close Look at “Soli Deo Gloria” (Part2)

February 5, 2006 | Speaker: Bro Jurem Ramos


The first four solas naturally lead to the soli Deo gloria. But at the same time a grasp of the doctrine of soli Deo gloria leads to a good grasp of the first four solas. The most important Biblical passage that has served as the foundation of the doctrine of soli Deo gloria is Romans 11:33-36.   After Paul contemplates the doctrines which he had covered—the doctrines of condemnation (1:18–3:20), of justification by faith alone (3:21–4:25), addressing the objections against the doctrine of justification (chaps. 6–7), assurance and security of the justified sinner (ch. 8), of sovereign election (chap. 9), and of the vindication of God’s action towards the Jews and the Gentiles (chap. 10,11)—after all those grand doctrines, Paul ends with a doxology in Ro 11:33-36:   Here, Paul pours forth his praise as he marvels at…  
  1. God’s unfathomable character and ways (v. 33).
Oh, the depth of the riches [and] the wisdom and [the] knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  
  1. God’s absolute independence (vv. 34, 35)
34 Who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been his counselor?" 35 Who has ever given to God,   that God should repay him?"  
  1. God’s all-encompassing sovereignty (v. 36a)
For from him and through him and to him are all things.  
  1. In Creation
  2. In the Gospel
  1. God’s eternal due (v. 36b)
To him be the glory forever! Amen.   When we survey the history of redemption we will discover that from beginning to end, from creation to consummation, God’s motive is to be praised for His glory. His unwavering purpose in all he does is to exalt the honor of his name and to be marveled at for his grace and power.  
  1. Why did God create us?
  • Isaiah 43:6-7, "Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth (says the Lord), everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."
  • Re 4:11 You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,  for you created all things,   and by your will they were created   and have their being."
  1. Why did God choose Israel to be his possession?
GW: Jer 13:11  As a belt clings to a person's waist, so I have made the entire nation of Israel and the entire nation of Judah cling to me," declares the LORD. "I did this so that they would be my people and bring fame, praise, and honor to me. However, they wouldn't listen.  
  1. Why did God rescue Israel from bondage in Egypt?
GW: Psa 106:7,8  When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles. They did not remember your numerous acts of mercy, so they rebelled at the sea, the Red Sea. 8 He saved them because of his reputation so that he could make his mighty power known.  
  1. Why did God give them the land of Canaan?
GW: 2Sa 7:23  Who is like your people Israel? It is the one nation on earth that God came to free in order to make its people his own, to make his name known, and to do great and wonderful things for them. You forced nations and their gods out of the way of your people, whom you freed from Egypt to be your own.  
  1. Why did God answer prayer directed towards Solomon’s temple?
1Ki 8:42-43 …when he comes and prays toward this temple, 43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.  
  1. Why did God restore His people from exile after punishing them?
Eze 36:21-23 I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. 22 Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.  
  1. Why did Jesus complete the work God appointed for Him?
Jn 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  
  1. Why did God bless us with every spiritual blessing in Christ?
NIVSB note in Eph 1:3-14: All one sentence in Greek, this section is often called a "doxology" because it recites what God has done and is an expression of worship to honor him. Paul speaks first of the blessings we have through the Father (v. 3), then of those that come through the Son (vv. 4-13a) and finally of those through the Holy Spirit (1:13b-14).
  • Eph 1:6 …to the praise of His glorious grace.
  • Eph 1:12 … for the praise of his glory.
  • Eph 1:14 … to the praise of His glory.
  1. Why does God sanctify us?
Phil 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.  
  1. Why does God want us to use 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.  
  1. Why will Jesus come again in the great day of consummation?
2Th 1:9-10: "Those who do not obey the gospel will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at in all who have believed... "  
  1. If the history of redemption from creation to consummation shows us that God’s motive for His wonderful deeds is His glory, what then can we expect to see in heaven?
Re 5:13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:  "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!"     Gill: God's glory is the end of all his works and actions; in creation, providence, and grace; in election, in the covenant, in the blessings and promises of it, in redemption, in the effectual calling, and in bringing many sons to glory. The same is the end of all Christ's actions, as man and Mediator, of his doctrines and miracles, of his obedience, sufferings, and death in this world, and of his interceding life in the other; who, as he lives to make intercession for us, lives unto God, to the glory of God; and therefore the glory of God should be the end of all our actions: besides, without this no action can be truly called a good one; if a man seeks his own glory, and popular applause, or has any evil and selfish end in view in what he does, it cannot be said, nor will it be accounted by God to be a good action.   How do we glorify God?

Applications from Paul


From 1 Corinthians

  Guiding principle: 1Co 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”   Context: In the context of 1 Corinthians chapters 8-10, this principle has to do with the question of eating food offered to idols. Paul addressed three issues here.
  • First, Paul addresses their wrong philosophy. It seems that conduct of the Corinthians was governed by this philosophy: as long as your actions are based on correct doctrine, you are free to exercise personal freedom. (8:1-9).
  • Second, Paul addressed the question of Christians being involved in idolatry. Some of the Corinthians thought that idolatry was not a sin and so they were eating in an idol’s temple (8:10). Paul explains that idolatry is sin and it provokes God’s anger in 9:24-10:22.
  • Third, Paul addressed the issue of Christians eating food offered to idols, food that was bought from the meat market, or offered to them by their unbelieving friends. (8:1). Paul’s answer shows that it is ok but cautions that one’s action should consider the conscience and the good of others. (See 10:23-11:1).
  • We live to the glory of God when we are careful that the application of our knowledge or the exercise of our freedom does not become a stumbling block to others (1Co 8:1-13; 10:32).
  • We live to the glory of God when we deprive ourselves of certain privileges and rights in order to bring others to Christ (1Co 9:19-23).
  • We live to God’s glory when we maintain reverential fear of the Lord and do not abuse His grace. This is what we learn from the section where Paul addresses the issue of idolatry (9:24-10:22. See especially 10:22).
  • We live to the glory of God when we so live as to lead those around us to have excellent views of God’s goodness, and mercy and holiness. In the case found in 1Co 10:27-30, others may think that when the believer eats food offered to idols that the Christian worships both God and idols. AS a consequence others may come to the conclusion that God is not concerned with His holiness, or that there are many gods.
  • We live for the glory of God when the exercise of our personal freedom is governed by whether it will bring glory to God, whether it will build up the church of God and whether it will encourage the unsaved to receive Christ as Savior and Lord (Read 10:31-33).

From Colossians

  Guiding Principle: Col 3:17 : “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” - Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus – In all that you do, begin with him and end with him; call on Him, and pray for his direction and support, in all that you do. Do it all because he requires and commands it, and with a desire to honor him; Let Christ’s glory be the aim of all our actions and words.   “giving thanks to God” This means, [according to Gill], thanking God for things temporal, for our beings, and the preservation of them, and for all the mercies of life; for things spiritual, for Christ, and for all spiritual blessings in him; for electing, redeeming, sanctifying, adopting, pardoning, and justifying grace; for a meetness for heaven, and for eternal life itself; for the Gospel, promises, truths, ordinances, and ministry; and this is to be done always, at all times, in times of adversity, desertion, temptation, affliction, and persecution, as well as in prosperity. Barnes: [When we get to] heaven, we shall see occasion to bless God for all his dealings with us. We shall see that we have not suffered one pang too much, or been required to perform one duty too severe. We shall see that all our afflictions, as well as our mercies were designed for our good, and were needful for us. Why then should we not bless God in the furnace as well as in the palace; on a bed of pain as well as on a bed of comfort; in want as well as when sitting down at the splendid banquet? God knows what is best for us; and the way in which he leads us, mysterious though it seem to be now, will yet be seen to have been full of goodness and mercy.   Thanks are to be given especially to God the Father because He is the great Author of all mercies, and the source of all blessings. Thanksgiving must be done through him [i.e., Christ] because we receive all good things through his mediation. Just as John 1:3 says, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made,” so also Jn 1:16 says, “From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another.” In other words all blessings from God come to us only through Christ. No blessing comes to us apart from Him. But not only do we come to God the Father through Christ because all blessings from God come to us through Him, but also, because we are able to approach God only through His mediation. And it is only due to his merits that even the gratitude of beings so sinful as we are can be accepted. Christ said in John 14:6, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”   Application:
  • Col 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord (Col 3:18).
  • Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
  • Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
  • Col 3:21 Fathers should not embitter their children.
  • Col 3:22-25 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Application from Peter

  Guiding Principle: 1Pe 2:9,10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.   Application:
  • 1Pe 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
  • 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
  • Towards civil authorities – 1Pe 2:13-15
  • Towards oppressive masters 1Pe 2:18-21
  • Towards persecutors 1Pe 2:21-23
  • Towards an unbelieving spouse 1Pe 3:1-6
  • Towards all 1Pe 3:8-12
  • Towards those who harm us 1Pe 3:12-16