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Soli Deo Gloria
Soli Deo Gloria is a Latin expression for Glory to God alone. The Latin word soli means “alone” and the phrase Deo Gloria means “the glory of God.” As a doctrine, it means that everything is done for God’s glory to the exclusion of humans’ self-glorification and pride. Therefore, Christians are to be moved and inspired by God’s glory and not their own. Together with sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura and solus Christus, the phrase Soli Deo Gloria has become part of what is known as the Five Solae, a summary statement of basic beliefs of the Protestant Reformation.
Soli Deo Gloria refers to man’s salvation through the grace of God alone. The Bible declares, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). It is grace on God’s part and faith on man’s part. Faith receives the gift of God. And it is through the act of believing in Him that we are saved, not that faith is the means of our salvation, but simply the channel (Romans 4:3).
Only when in all humility a person is ready to acknowledge that he is without the glory of God and that he has nothing in himself that would make him acceptable to God, is he enabled by faith to accept justification as a free gift.
Soli Deo gloria has been used by artists like Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Christoph Graupner as a sign that the composition was done for the sake of glorifying God.
Salvation – A Gift of God
Salvation is a free gift, without money or price (Isaiah 55:1; John 4:14; 2 Corinthians 9:15; 1 John 5:11). No man will ever be able to boast of himself, “I have earned salvation.” One purpose of the plan of salvation is to show through the ages of eternity the riches of God’s grace (Romans 1:7). Thus, there is to be no place for any boasting by a human. Soli Deo Gloria!
Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). It is impossible for man in his own power to flee from the clutches of sin and bring forth fruits unto holiness. Wherever men hold to the belief that they can save themselves by their own works they have no victory over sin. Works are not a cause but an effect of salvation. A saved man will not break God’s law. Paul wrote, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31).
The secret of a successful Christian life lies in man’s abiding in Christ through daily study of His Word and prayer (John 15:6). Thus, the delusion, “once in grace always in grace,” is denied by this condition. It is possible for those who have been in Christ to cut their connection with Him and be lost (Hebrews 6:4–6). Thus, salvation is conditional upon abiding in Christ until the end.
God’s Eternal Glory
Praise the Lord, “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The glory is God’s, not man’s. John the Revelator tells us that in heaven, “the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, / to receive glory and honor and power’” (Revelation 4:10–11).
God is “worthy” to receive praise from His creatures, because He has given them life through His Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Through God’s infinite gift of love, it becomes possible for people to be “called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Soli Deo Gloria!
In His service,