Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church preaches an incredible sermon in a series of sermons on the Cross. This first message of the series explains the character of God, and ends with an explanation of our purpose.
Most of us have been told that God created the universe, created all that…because He desired fellowship with man. Has anybody heard that? It’s a great idea if it weren’t for the Bible, and it’s almost blasphemous. That God, in His infinite perfection, was lonely, and His response to that loneliness was to create a bunch of glory thieving rats? That was the infinite God solution to His loneliness? You are not created for fellowship. That kind of makes you the centerpiece of the puzzle I’m afraid. We’re not that close to center. There are two ways to view the Scripture…One is that it’s a book about life and the other is that it’s a book about God. And this book, from beginning to end, will unpack for you that the desire of God’s heart is not your salvation but rather the glory of His name. That is what drives the universe, that is why everything exists, not so that you and I might be saved or lost, heaven or hell, but that God might be glorified in His infinite perfections.
- Ezekiel 20:5-9 says that God did not destroy Israel in the desert for the sake of His name.
- Psalms 106:6-8 says, “Yet he saved them for his name’s sake.”So, why are men saved? For the name of Christ, for the namesake of God, that He might make known His mighty power.
- Exodus 14:4; Exodus 14:18 says that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened for the glory of God.
- 1 Samuel 12:19-23 says the beginning of the Israeli monarch was about the glory of God.
- Psalms 25:11 says, “For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.”
- Psalms 23:3 says, “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
- 1 Kings 8:41-45 says Solomon dedicates the temple for the glory of God.
- 2 Samuel 7:23 says Israel became great and powerful among the nations for the glory of God.
- Isaiah 48:9-11 says God does not destroy Israel when they deserve it because He did not want His name blasphemed among the nations.
- Malachi 2:2, He decides to destroy Israel because they would not lay it in their heart to give glory to His name.
- John 17:4; John 7:18; John 4:34 says that Jesus’ life and ministry was about the glory of God.
- John 12:27-28 says the cross of Jesus is about the glory of God.
- Ephesians 1:3-6 says that you and I are saved to the praise of His glorious grace.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:11; Matthew 5:16 says that the Christian life is about the reflection of the glory of God off of our lives into the universe
- 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 says the second coming is about the consummation of the glory of God.
- Revelation 21:23 says the consummation of all things is that God might be praise.
This is the story of the Bible, not you, not me, God, God alone, God’s name alone, God’s glory alone, God who is deep in riches, God who is deep in wisdom and knowledge, not you and me. So you see, outside of an understanding of God like this, everything becomes surface. Everything from dinner to sex to marriage to kids, it’s all shallow, it’s all trivial. But when you understand the driving force behind everything, all of a sudden there’s an immense amount of joy because everything we do is carried into a deeper level.