Why does God deserve to receive glory and honor? How should we express honor for God? Should we honor God for His majesty, character, and works? Are we expressing proper honor by our worship and our lives?
If someone asked why you should serve God, what reasons would you list?
It is possible to have improper reasons, but here are some good reasons:
* Salvation from sin
* Heaven and hell
* Spiritual blessings (peace, hope, guidance for life, etc.)
* Better life (moral uprightness, good family relations, etc.)
* Love of God
We want to discuss a reason that I fear our lists would often omit.
Many Scriptures state that we should give God glory and honor.
Revelation 19:1 – “…glory and honor belong to the Lord our God!”
1 Corinthians 1:31 – “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
Let us consider Bible teaching about the glory and honor of God.
To glorify means to show respect or appreciation for majesty, greatness, splendor, fame, renown, prestige, or preeminence.
To honor means to value, respect, appreciate, or esteem. The honor we show to someone or something is a reflection of the value we place on it.
In this study, we want to learn a greater understanding of our need to give God glory and honor. How often do we think about whether or not we are honoring Him as we should?
Why God Deserves Glory and Honor
The Scriptures give many reasons why we should glorify God. Here are a few of them.
God Deserves Glory and Honor for His Majesty / Authority.
Majesty is defined as sovereign power, authority, or dignity. God should be glorified because He rules as the ultimate authority over the universe He created.
Scripture urges us to glorify God for His majesty and authority.
1 Chronicles 29:11 – Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all.
Psalm 104:1 – Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty
Revelation 5:13 – And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
God’s majesty and dominion are so great that everyone in heaven and earth should give Him glory. Surely we should join in that praise.
But some people fail to glorify God for His authority and majesty.
Some lack appreciation for the glory God deserves.
Malachi 1:6 – God accused the priests of despising His name. “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?” says the Lord of hosts.
If we can understand that an earthly father or ruler should be honored, how much more so the Ruler of the universe?
Some take glory for themselves that belongs to God.
Daniel 4:34 – Nebuchadnezzar failed to honor God but took for himself the glory for his achievements as king (verse 30). As a punishment, he had to live like an animal till he repented. “And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, … blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.”
Acts 12:23 – King Herod allowed the people to honor him as a god. As a result, an angel struck him so he died “because he did not give glory to God.”
People sometimes honor idols, ancestors, religious leaders, or even political leaders by bowing to them or exalting them with titles or otherwise giving them the honor that should be expressed only to God. God does not take lightly such errors. (Matthew 23:7-12; Acts 10:25,26)
God Deserves Glory and Honor for His Character: Power/Wisdom/Holiness/Justice.
Many Scriptures show we should glorify God for His character.
1 Timothy 1:17 – Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever.
Psalm 99:9 – Exalt the Lord our God … for the Lord our God is holy.
Psalm 21:13 – Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.
But instead of glorifying God, some find fault with His character.
Job 42:1-5 – Job accused God of treating him unfairly by allowing him to suffer. As a result, Job had to repent and confess his error to God.
Many people today likewise find fault with God because He allows suffering.
Other people say God is unjust if He sends people to hell.
Still others disagree with teachings in God’s word such as the necessity of baptism, the one true church, the role of women, divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, etc.
As limited humans, we often fail to understand God. Yet Scripture shows that He is always holy and just. We must never find fault but always glorify His character.
God Deserves Glory and Honor for His Great Works.
All His works
Psalm 138:5 – “… sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.”
Psalm 145:5 – “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.”
A person’s greatness is reflected in his works. Those who do great works deserve great honor. Those who do little good deserve little honor. Those who do evil deserve dishonor. People often fail to honor God for His great works.
Consider some specific works for which God deserves honor and glory:
Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.
Revelation 4:11 – “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” So God deserves glory and honor for His work of creating the universe.
Does it properly glorify God to claim that everything in nature evolved by natural powers? When He says He did it all in six days (Exodus 20:11), doesn’t it belittle the glory due Him if we say it took billions of years?
One of the fundamental errors of evolution and so-called progressive creation is that such myths deny or belittle the honor of God’s work as Creator.
Miracles and fulfilled prophecy
Miracles and fulfilled prophecy are major demonstrations of the glory of God.
1 Chronicles 16:24 – Declare His glory and wonders among all peoples.
Matthew 15:31 – The multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
Bible accounts repeatedly state that miracles led people to glorify God.
But some dishonor God by denying or belittling Bible miracles or prophecies.
Acts 4:21 – Peter and John healed a man born lame. The rulers wanted to punish them for their teaching but could not because the people all glorified God for what had been done.
Isaiah 42:8 – I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images.
Sometimes people attempt to deny or explain away Biblical miracles or prophecies, such as the Virgin Birth or the resurrection. One of the fundamental errors of all such views is that they belittle or deny the glory that belongs to God for His great works.
On the other hand, when people attribute miraculous powers to those who do not possess those powers, such as idols or occult powers, that gives God’s honor to those who are not God.
Psalm 115:1 – Not unto us, O Lord, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth. Observe that this glory should not be given to people.
Romans 15:9 – That the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written…
Every sin is an affront to God. Forgiveness can be obtained only from Him according to His will as recorded in Scripture. When people seek salvation or hope of eternal life through some means other than the plan of God, they are failing to glorify God.
How We Show Glory and Honor to God
Glorify God in Worship and Praise
Sincere worship exalts God for His glory and honor.
Psalm 148:13 – Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.
Revelation 5:12-14 – Everyone should worship saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
Improper worship dishonors God.
Worshiping according to God’s instructions honors God. Failure to worship or worshiping according to human teaching dishonors God.
Romans 1:21 – Some knew God but did not glorify Him as God nor were thankful. As a result, they became involved in false worship and immorality of all kinds. Ingratitude for God’s blessings is a failure to honor God that leads to greater and greater errors.
Matthew 15:8,9 – These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. (Isaiah 29:13)
So, when we go through the motions with our hearts not in our worship, God is dishonored. He is also dishonored when people change the worship that God has revealed. Consider:
Is God glorified when we forget to praise Him for His blessings, or is He glorified when we diligently give thanks in prayers and songs?
Is God glorified when we could meet with the church to worship Him but instead we choose to do other things? Or is He glorified when we give His worship priority over other activities?
In our assemblies, is God glorified when we daydream or talk back and forth privately, even laughing and joking with one another? Or is He glorified when we give careful attention to our songs, prayers, Bible study, and the Lord’s Supper?
Is God glorified when we make little or no effort to sing, or is He glorified when we sing out from our hearts?
Is God glorified when we use our income for ourselves and give God the leftovers, or is God glorified when we sacrifice to support the work of the church?
Is God glorified when we change the worship that He authorized or is He glorified when we worship as He teaches in His word? One of the fundamental problems with man-made schemes for worship and church organization and work is that they dishonor God.
Glorify God in Obedience and Service
Faithful obedience and service give God glory.
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
1 Corinthians 6:20 – For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Peter 4:11 – If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:21 – To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.
Failure to obey and serve God dishonors Him.
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 2:23 – You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?
Leviticus 10:3 – God slew Nadab and Abihu for using the wrong fire in offering incense. God said, “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.”
So faithful obedience to God gives Him glory, but disobedience dishonors Him. Consider:
Is God glorified when we use profanity, tell lies, and slander others, or is God glorified when we speak truthfully and kindly to encourage and benefit others?
Is God glorified when we engage in immoral or suggestive entertainment, watch pornography, or dress indecently. Or is God glorified when our lives are pure and holy?
Is God glorified when we frequently lose our tempers and quarrel in our homes, or is He glorified when we patiently seek what is best for our spouse and children?
Is God glorified when we use our material blessings to please ourselves, or is God glorified when we help others with their needs?
God is glorified, not just by what we do in our church meetings, but by how we live our everyday lives.
Glorify God in Salvation
Seeking salvation according to God’s plan gives glory to God.
Ephesians 1:5-7 – Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
God’s plan for forgiveness through the blood of Christ, whereby we are adopted as sons of God, results in the praise of the glory of His grace.
God is dishonored when we fail to seek salvation through Christ or seek it by some other means.
Judges 7:2 – When Gideon sought to save Israel from their enemies, God said, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’”
This illustrates our salvation from sin. When people seek to save themselves by their own power or ability, they detract from the glory of God. But when we seek salvation through the blood of Christ, we exalt the glory of God.
Is God glorified when we follow His plan or when we follow human changes in the plan?
Is God glorified when people teach we are saved by “faith only” without obedience when God says Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9)?
Is God glorified when churches baptize babies or practice sprinkling or pouring, or is God glorified when those who are old enough to believe and repent are immersed for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3,4)”
Is God glorified when we allow lost souls to continue in sin, or is God glorified when we make a diligent effort to teach them the gospel?
Is God glorified when we rationalize and justify our errors or is God glorified when we humbly repent and confess the wrongs we have done?
If you have not been baptized for the purpose of receiving forgiveness by the blood of Jesus, would God be glorified if you continued in sin, or would God be glorified if you determine to receive salvation even today?
Isaiah 43:7 – Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him."
Each of us was created to give God glory. That should be a major reason why we serve Him. Does your life give God glory, or do you need to make changes?
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2021; www.gospelway.com