Why It Matters That God Does Everything for His Own Glory

From John Piper:

Why should we emphasize that God loves, forgives, and saves for his own glory?

Two reasons (among others).

1)  Because the Bible does.

I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)

For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. (Psalm 25:11)

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake! (Psalm 79:9)

Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O Lord, for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. (Jeremiah 14:7)

We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against you. Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne. (Jeremiah 14:20-21)

God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:25-26)

Your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. (1 John 2:12)

2. Because it makes clear that God loves us with the greatest love.

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be  with me  where I am, to see my glory. (John 17:24)

God loves us not in a way that makes us supreme, but makes himself supreme. Heaven will not be a hall of mirrors but an increasing vision of infinite greatness. Getting to heaven and finding that we are supreme would be the ultimate let down.

The greatest love makes sure that God does everything in such a way as to uphold and magnify his own supremacy so that when we get there we have something to increase our joy forever—God’s glory.

The greatest love is God’s giving himself to us for our eternal enjoyment for ever, at the cost of his Son’s life (Romans 8:32).

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

4 thoughts on “Why It Matters That God Does Everything for His Own Glory

  1. Am I writing to Dr. Piper?? It would be great if HE could respond to this but ANY response from ANYBODY (especially one that could tell me what Pipers view on this issue would be) will be GREATLY APPRECIATED:

    I think that it’s wonderful that God does all things for his own glory and how it is ONLY through THIS that he can show the greatest love possible.
    THE PROBLEM that nags me incessantly is this: Angels are “volitional, sentient, and eternal beings” just as humans are. Wouldn’t it be “just as loving or more loving” if instead of doing all things “for the good of humanity and/or God’s elect”, he did it “for the overall good of ‘angels’ AND ‘humans’ equally?? If my assessment ABOVE is true (that God would be able to manifest his perfect attributes JUST AS PERFECTLY through “loving ALL volitional beings equally rather than ‘humans more than angels'”), that would seem to suggest that God “loves some volitional creatures more than others” (e.g. humans > angels) FOR NO REASON and this would bother me.
    IF, on the other hand, it is the case that the way God does WHAT HE DOES NOW (humans being superior to angels; does THEM serving US mean NECESSARILY that they are inferior or is it only that such COULD BE the case?) because ANY OTHER WAY (like the way I mentioned “I” would want it) would NOT yield the highest possible good and/or would NOT DISPLAY GOD’S GLORY as perfectly, I would INSTANTLY change my position and pray, “God, do what will yield the highest possible good even if it does not include ME in salvation or puts more value on humans than angels”.

    • Hi Matthew,
      I suggest you get hold of one of Dr. Piper’s books. A good place to start is with ‘Desiring God’, or ‘God is the Gospel’. Piper clearly shows in these that God’s glory and our good are inextricably wrapped up together. In other words, the most loving thing that God can do for humanity is to give us a sight of his glory; to see and savour him for who he is and what he has done. He has made provision for this in the gospel of Christ, whereby salvation brings us into relationship with himself through faith. Any other good that God can do for humanity is subordinate to this basic privilege and need. If there is anything higher than God himself to satisfy the human soul, God would not be the highest good. To value anything more than God, including humanity, is to be an idolater. Salvation through Christ releases us from this basic human bondage/sin so that we can truly treasure that which is of highest value (the ‘pearl of great price’), namely God himself.

  2. I noticed your name is Cockrell and wanted to know if you are possibly related to my husband who’s name was used with One “l” or both. He is originally from Massac County, Illinois.

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