Sola Deo Gloria

The Five Pillars of the Reformation

7.8.2007 – Week 5 – Sola Deo Gloria

Sola Deo Gloria – “For the Glory of God Alone”

“We reaffirm that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God’s glory and that we must glorify him always. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for his glory alone.  We deny that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self-fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel.”

The Cambridge Declaration, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

What it means:

  • Glorify – “What is the chief end of man? – To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Christians worship a personal and infinite God, the Creator who is both loving and holy. We were made to glorify him.  Glorify means to give honor and praise.  Isaiah 48: 9-13; Romans 11:36
  • Before the face of God – “Coram Deo” – This is not just an act of formal worship, but that all of our actions are meant to be informal acts of worship. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Historical Background – “made in God’s image”

Good resource – Desiring God, by John Piper

The other view:

  • Veneration – Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox assign a level of adoration to the saints and Mary that we reserve for God alone.
  • A man-centered approach to the Christian life focuses more on human feelings, decisions, marketability, interests, etc. and less on directing attention to the true God. This can and often does occur in any church.  This does not mean that human emotions, etc., play no role in worship, but they are not the reason we do things.

Application and Discussion Questions:

  1. Give some examples of what it means to glorify God outside of Sunday morning worship.
  2. Is there such a thing as “secular” vs. “sacred”? Why or why not?
  3. How would you describe a man-centered worship service? What about a God-centered service?
  4. How does our consumer mentality affect the way we think about religion? Has it helped the spread of the Gospel or hindered it?