Posted by: fatherof11 | May 4, 2008

What does it mean to glorify God

It is God’s intention for the creation to return glory back to him.  When our lives image the attributes of God, others see the glory of God’s presence in us as his temple.  So we bring God’s glorious reputation to the eyes of others.  Thus we ourselves are part of the light that goes forth from God over the earth.

In this ethical sense, Scripture calls on us to glorify God. In one sense of course, we cannot increase God’s glory.  But when we speak truly of him and obey his Word, we enhance his reputation on earth (and among the angels [Eph 3:10]), and we ourselves become part of the created light by which people come to know God’s presence.  So Jesus says that his disciples are “the light of the world” (Matt 5:14), as he is (John 8:12; cf Matt. 4:14-16).

We can also understand glorifying God as giving praise to him.  Doxa is sometimes translated “glory” and sometimes “praise.” The two ideas are closely related.  Our words and our lives bring praise to God, which shows his glory-light to the world.  To glorify God, then, is simply to obey him, and therefore to proclaim his greatness by our words and deeds.

John Frame, The Doctrine of God, p 594


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