Soli Deo Gloria • West Campus
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a confession of The Church from varying backgrounds that came together to discover and affirm Biblical truths about life and theology. From this Confession came the larger and shorter catechisms, which are a series of questions and answers that package our beliefs in shorter summaries. Both of these catechisms start with the same question, What is the chief end of man? They both answer the same question as well with the answer, Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever?" Even still, we often wonder why we exist and what our purpose in life is.
- What are some ways that are widely accepted and celebrated as a purpose for life?
- We defined glory as the public display of the infinite beauty and worth of God. Then we looked at several key points regarding the glory of God. We said that God's glory is established in Himself. This was the truth that God is eternal and self existent. He doesn't have a beginning or end, he has always and will always exist, and His existence isn't dependent on anything or anyone else. Often times we think that God exists for us, and for our pleasure but God ultimately exists for Himself and He has Chosen to make His glory the goal of everything.
- In what ways do we believe or live as if we are the center of the universe and not God? How have we operated in a way that reflects that God exists for us and not the other way around?
- In what ways does our understanding of God's glory being established in Himself lead us to seek obscurity as we seek to know Him and make Him known?
- The next point we talked through was that God's glory is exercised in His work. God as the creator created all things for His Glory. He created the Heavens and they declare the Glory of God. He created man in His image to reflect His glory. His greatest work of Glory is the redemption of His people. This is why Soli Deo Gloria is such an important sola. As the authority of Scripture and the work of Christ in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone were being contested by the reformers. If salvation came by an merit of the believer than man would ultimately be glorified in redemption and not God. All Glory belongs to God and God alone, but we are glory thieves by nature and rob God of His glory when we glorify ourselves and worship idols. We have narcissistic tendency's that heap up vainglory for ourselves from people instead of reflecting God's glory to people.
- What are some of the ways that we seek vainglory from people? Do we do this through comfort, approval, control, or other ways? In what ways has our pursuit of vainglory from people caused us to rob God of the glory that is rightfully His?
- For the most part we worship what we enjoy. What are the things that we enjoy more than we enjoy God? Why do we enjoy those things more than we enjoy God?
- The last two points we talked about was that God's glory is experienced in His son, and His glory is expressed in His creation. We get to experience the glory of God because Jesus veiled His glory in the humiliation of the cross, so that we could experience the glory of His resurrection. In our union with Christ we have been made glorious and thus made free from the bondage of needing to seek our own glory. In christ we are empowered throughout the Holy Spirit to give all glory to God and reflect all of the glory of God to the world around us. As God's people we express God's glory through spirit-filled worship, through humble and obscure obedience, and through our declaration of Jesus.
- In what ways are we enjoying God? What about Him has captured our awe and wonder? What are some ways that we can begin enjoying God, resting in His redemption, and celebrating the richness of His mercy as a community?
- In regards to obedience, How have we been obedient in a way that is for our benefit and not the glory of God? Why do we find it so difficult to serve without the recognition we feel we are deserved?
- How are we bring glory to God and giving glory to our community by presenting Jesus to them? What are some of the selfish emotions, and fears that keep us from being a people who boldly declare Jesus to the unbelieving around us?