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. God glorifying God




As a young man I had a problem with the prayers I heard in church when it included the phrase “Glorify yourself in our midst….” My own father prayed it every Sunday. I saw it as our responsibility to uplift God in all His holiness. We are the ones who are created to for the glory of God and to enjoy Him forever. Since then I’ve come under a different conviction and would like to deal with that today.


Today I would like to talk to you about us exalting the supremacy of God by believing that God’s ultimate purpose is to enjoy glorifying Himself. Today, I would like to try to persuade you that the chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself for ever.


Why does this theme sound strange?

The reason this may sound strange is that we tend to be more familiar with our duties than with God's designs. We know why we exist, but why does God exist?


Let me ask you a few questions.

What should God love with all his heart and soul and mind and strength?

Whom should God worship? Or will we deny him that highest of pleasures!

It matters a lot what God's ultimate allegiance is! Sure, we are an important part of God’s creation, but it ought to matter a lot to us what God is committed to with all his heart and soul and mind and strength. What is the impulse that drives the Almighty? What does he pursue in all his plans?


God did not leave us to guess in this affair. He answers the question at every point in redemptive history from creation to consummation. Let's survey some of the high points to see what He says.

Why did God create us? Isaiah 43:6-7 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Why did God choose a people for himself and make Israel his possession? Jeremiah 13:11 For as a belt is bound around a man’s waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me,’ declares the LORD, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honour. But they have not listened.’

Why did God rescue them from bondage in Egypt? Psalm 106:7-8When our fathers were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. 8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known.”


Why did God spare them again and again in the wilderness? Ezekiel 20:14 But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.

Why didn't God cast away his people when they rejected him as king and asked for a king like the nations? 1 Samuel 12:20-22 20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.


Why did God use his sovereign power to bring back his people from exile after punishing four generations of sin? Isaiah 48:9,11 9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off. 11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.


Ezekiel 36:22-23,32 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.

32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!

I don’t know where this leaves you, but I know it excites me tremendously.


Why did the Son of God come to earth and to his final decisive hour? John 17:1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”


And why will Jesus come again in the great day of consummation? 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”


From beginning to end, the driving impulse of God's heart is to be praised for his glory. From creation to consummation his ultimate allegiance is to himself. His unwavering purpose in all he does is to exalt the honour of his name and to be marvelled at for his grace and power. He is infinitely jealous for his reputation. "For my own sake, for my own sake I act, says the Lord. My glory I will not give to another!"

I’ve never been taught that God loves Himself more than me, but it is true, and so generation after generation of evangelicals grow up picturing themselves at the centre of God's universe.


The major objection to this train of thought:

One is that we don't like people who act that way, and the other is that the Bible teaches that we shouldn't act that way.

But, God's commitment to his own glory is immensely relevant for your life.

A) We don’t like this attitude in people because they are unauthentic.
They don't live from the joy that comes through achieving what they value for its own sake.  Instead, they live second-hand from the praise and compliments of others

God is not inauthentic,

In man the seeking of glory is in achieving.

In God the seeking of Glory is in being. There is nobody that He can glorify outside Himself.

There is another reason from experience why we don't like those who seek their own glory.


B) People like this are normally unloving.

They are so concerned for their own image and praise that they do not care much for what happens to other people.  1 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Love seeks not its own." If God is a God of love, he must be for us. The question is then whether God is for himself or is he for us?


I believe that he must be for himself if he is to be for us. If He were to abandon the goal of his own self-exaltation, we would be the losers. His aim to bring praise to himself and his aim to bring pleasure to his people are one aim and stand or fall together. I think we will see this if we ask the following question.


What could God give us to enjoy that would show him most loving?  There is only one possible answer, isn't there? HIMSELF! If God would give us the best, the most satisfying; that is, if he would love us perfectly, he must offer us no less than himself for our contemplation and fellowship and joy.


Psalm 16:11You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

1 Peter 3:18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,”


Man, I’m glad God is committed to Himself, because as I’m drawn to Him, I’m not drawn to second best. There is only one like Him, and His commitment to self is a score for man.


To be supremely loving God must give us what will be best for us and delight us most; he must give us himself.

But what do we do when we are given or shown something excellent, something we enjoy?

  1. We praise it.
  2. We don’t just praise what we enjoy but praise is the climax of the joy itself.
  3. It is not tacked on later; it is part of the pleasure
  4. All enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise.
  5. We exist to exalt His supremacy, because our joy is in Him and He is committed to Himself and His good name.
  6. I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment;
  7. CS Lewis says on the context of the Psalms “delight is incomplete till it is expressed.”
  8. Jonathan Edwards said, "Joy is a great ingredient in praise ... Praise is the most joyful work in the world."


Therefore, if God is truly for us, if he would give us the best and make our joy full, he must make it his aim to win our praise for himself. Not because he needs to shore up some weakness in himself or compensate for some deficiency, but because he loves us and seeks the fullness of our joy that can only be found in knowing and praising him, the most beautiful of all Beings.

'God is the one Being in the entire universe for whom self-centeredness or the pursuit of his own glory, is the ultimately loving act.


For him, self-exaltation is the highest virtue.


When he does all things "for the praise of his glory" he preserves for us and offers to us the only thing in all the world which can satisfy our longings.


God is for us, and therefore has been, is now and always will be, first for himself.

Let’s not resent the centrality of God in his own affections, but let’s experience it as the fountain of our everlasting joy.



Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: 3 March 2019