… according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace…
From God’s past eternal decrees in election and predestination to the present display of saving grace among His church, on to the future eternal enjoyment of the inheritance of the saints, God’s ultimate goal and purpose in all He does is single. More than any of His magnificent attributes – above mercy, justice and even love – there is one overriding motive which God reveals as the supreme reason and intent for all He accomplishes in history. Taking off from the answer of the Shorter Catechism’s opening question, “What is the chief end of man?” John Piper turned the answer around suggesting that it is, “God’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever.”
Is this so? Certainly it cannot be questioned that we ought to praise God and that He is worthy of our highest praise. Scripture often calls upon God’s people to praise and glorify His name because of His spectacular benevolence and good will toward us. But have you ever considered the idea that the praise of God’s glory is not merely the result of His action but is in fact the goal and purpose of all of His works. God governs the world in such a manner to the end that He might be admired, marveled at, exalted and praised (2 Thess 1:10) – that His glory be praised, especially the glory of His grace.
Are you uneasy with this premise? Have you become so indoctrinated and enamored with the idol of today’s religion, who seems to do all that he does for the sake of man, that it does not seem right to you that the end of that which God does would be to seek praise for Himself? Be sure that our God’s clear purpose, as revealed in Scripture, is to exalt Himself in the eyes of man.
Piper observers: “God is the one Being in all the universe for whom seeking His own praise is the ultimately loving act. For Him self-exaltation is the highest virtue. When He does all things “for the praise of His glory” as Ephesians 1 says, 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, for Himself.”
If you have a hard time accepting this, perhaps you should renew your mind, proving what is God’s will and intent is in all of his wonderful creative and salvific deeds. Read the cross-references below and permit the Scripture to determine what is on God’s mind in His eternal decrees and acts in time. If your existing notions of God’s motives differ from that which the Scripture reveals, then repent and conform your thinking to what God reveals about Himself.
Cross-References: Ex 9:16; Ps 83:17-18, 106:7-8; Pr 16:4; Is 43:7,21, 48:11, 61:11, 63:12-14; Dan 4:35; Lk 10:21; Rom 9:11-16,22-23; 1 Cor 1:21; Eph 1:9, 2:7, 3:10; Phil 2:13; 2 Th 1:10; 1 Pet 2:9, 4:11, Rev 4:11
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