God’s Glory and Our Holiness

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor   of holiness. Psalm 29:2

 

Question: What is the chief end of man?                                                                                                                         Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Our holiness and God’s glory are entangled with one another. As God calls us to glorify Him, and to enjoy Him, it seems that the second is a benefit of the first. We will enjoy God because we glorify Him.

It can get complicated because we get more concerned for our own appearance of holiness before other people than we do before God and for His glory.

I once suggested to some people who attend church that everything we do should glorify God. The statement was met with a scoffing silence (eyes rolled).  I wonder what they would do if I said we are to be holy?

The complicated part is that the Bible tells us to be holy. Paul and Peter both instruct us to “be holy” (Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:15). Obviously, it is something we need to strive for. Holiness is defined as being “set apart.”

It seems that many Christians have often taken that to mean that we are to be set apart from the world. Not working in it any more than we have to and setting ourselves aside to do the work of the church.

The Bible also says we are to glorify God (Psalm 50:15, 1 Corinthians 6:20). I take these verses to mean that others would witness the glory we give Him.

In his book, “Thy Kingdom Come, Studies in Daniel and Revelation,” R.J. Rushdoony points out that in the days and experience of Daniel, as he was called out and set apart by King Nebuchadnezzar to be a part of his staff, Daniel took a stance and made a request not to defile himself by eating the King’s meat.

He was willing to work for Nebuchadnezzar as long as he could maintain a higher loyalty to God. This unwavering loyalty was evidence of his holiness.

The author explains it like this, “No biblical saint ever sought holiness in and of itself; it was a product of his faith and an aspect of his strength. His purpose was not holiness, per se, but the glory of God and his own enjoyment of life under God, thus never a flight from the world, but a preparation for problems and responsibilities in the world.”

Daniel asked for the king’s meat to be replaced with vegetables and grains that would not have been sacrificed to Babylonian gods. God prospered Daniel and his friends because of their faithfulness to Him.

I was struck by this teaching because I am quick to worry about how I’ll look to others. I say I want to point others to God in my speech and actions. Sometimes, when I am concerned about my own holiness, it’s more about my glory than God’s glory. If God is our highest priority and allegiance, holiness will be a product of our faith and an aspect of our strength.

It’s Christmas. Are you and I concerned for the glory of our Great God in sending His Son or our own holiness?

Are our lives all about “us” or all about “Him”?

 

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