[We remember our Reformation heritage with this final instalment of an article entitled the “Five Solas”. To God alone be the glory.]
By Dr. Keith Mathison, Reformation Bible College
Soli Deo Gloria
Soli Deo gloria is not precisely parallel to the other four solas because in one sense, it is both the beginning and the end of the other four. The Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures to the glory of God alone. Christ humbled Himself to the point of death and was raised and exalted to the right hand of the Father to the glory of God alone. Grace and mercy are offered to rebellious sinners to the glory of God alone. Justification is by faith alone to the glory of God alone. Soli Deo gloria, therefore, is central.
It is important to understand that when we talk about God’s glory, we are talking first and foremost about an attribute of God. As the Westminster Confession of Faith explains: “God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself.” He is the God of glory (Acts 7:2). He also manifests His glory in the works of creation and redemption, most significantly in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8).
God also glorifies Himself in and through the church. We as believers are called to do whatever we do to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). We are to use our gifts to serve one another “in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 4:10–11). The Psalms are filled from beginning to end with ascriptions of praise to the glory of God, and this demonstrates where the focus of the church’s worship should be. Worship does not exist for our entertainment. Worship exists for the glory of God alone.
A rediscovery of the five solas of the Reformation is an important part of getting back on the right path.