God’s Glory, Our Purpose part 2

INTRO: We discovered 2 things last week: First, that God’s glory is our Purpose, and secondly, that pursuing this purpose brings true security and joy in our lives. Remember how the Westminster Confession summarized the very all of our being:

What is the Chief End of Man?

The Chief End of Man is to Glorify God and Enjoy Him forever.

 

We can live lives in such a way that is living, by any normal sense of the definition, BUT, it is NOT LIVING BY DESIGN & PURPOSE.

EXAMPLE: Take a key for instance. A key can be used as a screwdriver, a can opener, a tool to jimmy open a door even (which is close to its original intent), BUT A KEY IS MADE TO OPEN A LOCK by inserting and turning.

 

If Our Purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then How do we bring our lives into alignment with this goa?

Two small texts from Matthew 5:14–16 and 1 Peter 4:10, 11, contain the answer to how we must live to bring glory to God alone.

How Can We Bring Glory to Our Heavenly Father?

Two observations go a long way to answering our question.

  1. First, Jesus clearly commands that the goal of our lives should be to behave so that God gets the glory.

This is where we ended last Sunday morning. We said that we bring God glory when we (!) Confess the Lordship of Jesus – Phil 2:9-11, (2) Bear fruit in our lives – John 15:8, (3) when we do good works. There are, of course, many other ways we can glorify God in our lives, but these act as the base, the foundation for doing so.

Turn to Matthew 5:16again. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, ““Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NASB95)

We are to live so that men will see our life and give our Father in heaven glory, not glory to us.

So it should be very clear that glorifying God is not merely an act of worship on Sunday.

It is a peculiar kind of living. It is a daily living unto God.

  1. So,First, the goal of our lives should be to behave so that God gets the glory.
  2. Second, for God to get glory from the way we live, we must be engaged in good deeds.

We ended last Sunday on this thought. It is not so much by avoiding gross sins that God’s people display his glory, but rather in the pursuit of good deeds, acts of generosity, works of kindness, ways of love.

Since it is God’s goal to be glorified in his people, and since Jesus says this happens when his people do good deeds, we would expect the Bible to tell us that God’s goal in redeeming a people is that they might do good deeds.And this is exactly what we find, throughout the Scriptures.

Take Ephesians 2:8-10 again.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8–10)

Paul says in Titus 2:14 that Christ “gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:14)Christ died that we might do good deeds and so bring glory to our Father in heaven.

God created us for his glory. We bring him glory through our good deeds, says the Lord Jesus. So we are not surprised when we hear the apostle say, God created us for good deedsEphesians 2:10, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”Created for his glory, and created for good deeds, because it is by our good deeds that God gets glory.
 

One final observation from Matthew 5.

 It is possible to be a kind of do-gooder that brings no glory to God. There are philanthropists and benefactors and others who for one reason or another spend time and money to alleviate suffering, but who may not even believe in God let alone do it all for his glory. So, when Jesus says, Let your light shine that men may see your good deeds and glorify God,the light must include more than the mere action of the good deed. “You are the light of the world!” (5:14)…Not just your bodily motions but your attitude and your motivation also. There is a spirit from which the good deeds must flow if they are to bring God glory and so be pleasing to him.

3. To Glorify God, Serve in the Strength That He Supplies

To answer that question, we turn to 1Peter 4:10-11.  Probably no other New Testament book besides James reflects an acquaintance with the teachings of Jesus as clearly as 1 Peter.

In 2:12, Peter gives a loose quotation of Matthew 5:16, “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:12)

 But in chapter 4, verses 10 and 11, Peter shows more explicitly what it is about the good deeds of Christians that makes them a means to God’s glory.He says:

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so thatin all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10–11)

Here we have one of the clearest answers in the Bible to the question: How do we serve or do good so that God gets the glory? The answer is, in order for God to get the glory we have to do good as one does it who is depending on God’s strength. Not mere good deeds, but good deeds done in a spirit that comes from a joyful dependence on God’s help—this is what glorifies God.

CLOSING: Remember where we started last Sunday:

Psalm16:8-9…“I have set the Lordcontinually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.” (Psalm 16:8–9)

When we live a life that glorifies God, there is the natural twofold result of JOY & SECURITY.

Joythat can only come for the Lord. Joy that fills and overflows in the heart of the Christian no matter the circumstances. Joy is of the Lord.

Security, too, is of the Lord. Dwelling securely is the result of a life that Glorifies God.

Job loss? Count it all as Joy in view of God’s glory, for you are safe in Him.

Health issues? Count it all as Joy in view of God’s glory, for you are safe in Him.

Every one of us owes every ounce of strength we have to God, just as much as that sick man did.
We owe every fiber of intelligence to God, and the slightest resolve to do good is a gift from him.
Apart from him we are all spiritual cripples…and worse.
We would degenerate into devils without his grace.
If we have but a glimpse of His Glory, and see that the totality of our dependence is on God, Oh, how differently we would live and do good.

We would “serve as one who renders service by the strength which God supplies.”
We would not boast in our achievements, nor criticize the speck in our brother’s eye, nor grumble about inconveniences, nor be presumptuous in any way, as if even existence itself could be taken for granted! No, a person who truly owns up to the fact that he exists by the word of God, that all his strength and moral resolve is a gift of God, that person will have a spirit of joy and gratitude and lowliness. And in serving this way God gets the glory.

My friends, in light of God’s Glory, and in light of how much He has done in SAVING US, How can we not LIVE OUR LIVES FOR HIS GLORY????

Turn to Romans 11:33.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Himthat it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33–36,)

Let us pray:

“You are worthy to be glorified today, Lord, but there is in me—that is in my flesh—no good thing. I have no strength, no wisdom, no resolve to do good but what comes undeserved from you, O God. And I love you. It would be to my greatest fulfillment, my highest pleasure, my richest treasure, if at the end of this day I could believe that someone has come to cherish your power and wisdom and love more intensely because of me. God, let it be.”

 

 


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