Friday, October 16, 2009

Adding to God's Glory

24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. - Jude 24-25 (TNIV).

In his doxology, Jude gives to God, among other things, glory. What does he mean precisely? What does it mean to give glory to God? Peter Davids provides a compelling answer in his commentary on Jude.

...while God can be said to have a certain amount of "glory" objectively..., glory is also something that human beings (and other beings) can give to him. That is, one meaning of glory is "reputation" or "honor." Honor was a very important theme in ancient Mediterranean societies. One could act honorably and in that sense have great honor, but other human beings might not recognize it. In the sense of reputation honor is given to others by the honorable person (or in this case deity), ideally on the basis of genuine qualities seen in people or genuine deeds done by them. Thus human beings and others are often said to give glory to God... It is a mixing up of these to meanings of glory that leads some commentators to say that human beings cannot give anything to God. In fact, they can give him the one thing that he cannot produce for him - free recognition of who he is. They can ascribe to him the honor (i.e., "glory") of which he is indeed worthy. - (Davids p. 113-4)

At the end of the doxology, we the readers respond with an 'Amen.' That affirmation should not end when our Bibles close, rather it should be carried out in every facet of our lives; through words as we ascribe glory to God and through deeds which hopefully compel others to see how glorious our Lord and Savior is.

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