Sunday, October 29, 2017

2017-10-29 [Month of Mission 2017] Soli Deo Gloria

Soli Deo Gloria

For the past 4 Sundays we have looked at 4 of the 5 keys to Martin Luther's Reformation teaching:
1) Sola Gratia (Salvation by Grace)
2) Solus Christus (Salvation through Christ alone)
3) Sola Fide (Justification by Faith)
4) Sola Scriptura (Only through the Word in Scripture)

And now today
5) Soli Deo Gloria (Only to God be Glory)

Our text is that glorious doxology in Romans 11: 

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
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?"
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.      (Romans11:33-36)

The Old Testament is filled with the GLORY of God. The word for glory in Hebrew literally means "Heavy". The New Testament, too, is saturated with the GLORY of God.

Over the years I have become increasingly amazed at the way John, in both his Gospel and First Letter again and again speaks of the GLORY of God interchanged with the GLORY of Jesus Christ, His Son.

This GLORY in all its wonder, height and depth is shown most triumphantly -- most gloriously and most surprisingly, in the SACRIFICE of Jesus on the Cross -- the ultimate act of Sacrificial LOVE is the ultimate GLORY of Christ and, therefore, also of the Father.

John 3:16 God so loved the World that He GAVE His only begotten Son ..."

Because of the Love and Obedience of the Son to the Father and their combined LOVE for the World, they are glorified and Jesus prays that as He has been glorified, this GLORY may be passed on to His followers (Disciples) -- those present at that time and all who come after them. He prays and urges His followers to pass on this ultimate GLORY of God by loving one another as He has loved them, and that no greater Love has anyone than that he/she lays down their life for their friends.

Indeed as Paul's Doxology in Romans 11 proclaims:

"O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments"

When I was a young man I read a book by JB Phillips entitled Your God is too small.

Again and again we need to realise how GREAT God is - beyond our finite understanding. This is the God who loves each one of us, enough to suffer and die for us on the cruellest Roman gallows, and who asks us not only to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength but to LOVE ONE ANOTHER as He loves us.
Glen Craig is a retired Minister with an Ecumenical heart, still happily ministering virtually full-time. He is married to Jeanette and they live at Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape.

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