Why does God perform all His acts of love toward us in a way that reveals He is loving us this way for His own glory? Why does God relentlessly reveal His love to us by telling us in the Bible that He is loving us for His own name’s sake?
It is an urgent question because so many say or feel it isn’t really love for us if God’s aim is to magnify His own glory. Or they feel: You say He is making much of me, but in fact He isn’t making much of me if His design is that He be made much of in making much of me. I tremble just to say those words. It isn’t so. I want to show you—I want to help you see and feel—that we are more loved by God when He loves us this way. He makes much more of us when He makes much of us this way. Brothers, please don’t turn this off. Ask God to help you see what we are about to see in the Bible. That’s what I am doing.
Just a few examples of what I mean by God doing all His acts of love toward us in a way that reveals He is loving us for His own glory.
1. God shows His love for us by predestining us for adoption into his family.
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace. (Eph. 1:4–6)God loved us in eternity, before we were created, and He planned to make us His children by adoption. And the aim of this love was “to the praise of the glory of his grace.” He loved us in this way that we might praise His grace. A regenerate person loves to praise God’s grace in our adoption. A nominal Christian simply loves the natural benefits of adoption.
2. God shows His love for us by creating us.
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. (Isa. 43:6–7) Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. (Isa. 43:6–7)God loved us in bringing us into being that we might enjoy forever all the good He plans for us. And He did it, He says, for His glory.
3. God shows His love for us by sending us a Savior.
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest.” (Luke 2:10–14) We get the Savior; He gets the glory. We get the “great joy”; God gets the praise. That is God’s design in sending His Son.
4. God shows His love for us when Christ died for us.
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Cor. 5:14–15) Christ loved us, died for us; and the aim was that we might live for Him. He pursues His glory through our salvation. This is the consummation of a very old divine pattern: Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake! (Ps. 79:9)Born-again people pray like this. They see their salvation primarily as a gift of the ability to see and savor and show the glory of God.
5. God shows His love for us in the way Jesus prays for us.
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24) With Him. He prays that we be with Him. And why does that make us happy? Oh He will give us many things. But the bottom of our joy, the decisive foundation of our happiness, will be this: We will see His glory. Our Savior, not our self, will be the bottom of our joy. The point of those five texts is to show that throughout the Bible God performs all His acts of love toward us in a way that reveals He is loving us for His own glory.
From John Piper’s book, “Brothers, we are not Professionals.” B&H Publishing