To the Praise of His Glory
Did you ever wonder why God saved you? Why He sent His son to die on the cross and bring salvation to those who believe? Perhaps you’ve asked, “why did You save ME, God?” I think any honest Christian has asked these questions at some point in their walk, especially as we learn more about just how marvelous and underserved a gift our salvation really is.
In Ephesians 1:13-14, Paul is discussing the seal God gave us as a guarantee of our inheritance in Christ, and ends this sentence with a remarkably simple answer to our question:
…you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Other Scripture uses similar terminology to describe the purpose behind our salvation. In Romans 9, as he rhetorically rebukes those who might dare to question God’s sovereignty, Paul writes about the Lord’s patient endurance with the unsaved: “And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,” (Rom 9:23). He also uses it just a couple verses up in Ephesians 1:11-12 where he says, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.”
Moments before His betrayal, in what is known as the High Priestly prayer, Jesus Himself reiterates to the Father His purpose in coming to earth: “and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” John 17:1-5.
What becomes clear is the simple reason God saved you and me… for His glory. We may be tempted to overthink the primary purpose of our salvation, and even take some credit for it if we become pragmatic in our works and outward religiosity, but as we see here it all boils down to the fact that Christ saved us so that we would bring glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Yes, God saved us because He loved us (John 3:16, 1 John 4:10;16) and Christ died on the cross out of an inconceivable love for the saints. But if you have ever wondered why you are saved, Scripture tells us that was ultimately for God’s glory. And as we contemplate this, many other of life’s bigger questions get answered as well:
What is the meaning of life? To glorify God.
What is my purpose in life? To glorify God.
What is God’s will for my life? To glorify God.
What should I do today? Glorify God.
You get the point!
While our salvation is a gift of immeasurable value and cost (Matt 13:45-46), the core reason that we were given it is to bring glory to our God and Savior. Whereas we are the beneficiaries of an eternal inheritance through Christ’s sacrifice, we must not view it selfishly; when we see our salvation through the lens of having a purpose to bring God glory it certainly changes our perspective on how we go through life. Maybe I’m living just a little too much for myself instead of really living for God? Maybe my priorities are a little more worldly than they should be? Maybe my attitude is too self-righteous and inwardly focused? If so, this would be a great day to flip that around and pursue heavenly things in humility, like loving others more deeply, giving more freely, sharing the Gospel more openly, and worrying less about myself.
Let’s use this day the Lord has given us to bring Him glory and shine a light into this very, very dark and hurting world.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 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 5:14-16