Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Crosfigell

The End of Faith

Not to us, no, not us.

Adae, i.e., ad dee, to God, i.e., due to God

  - Cormac, Glossary, Irish, 10th century

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory…

  - Psalm 115.1

I get the impression that a good many contemporary believers understand the faith of Jesus to be something that is in their best interests primarily. Jesus came to earth to save us. The Holy Spirit has come to comfort us. The Bible is God’s Word to bless us. God watches over us each day to make us happy and give us peace.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking that our salvation is primarily all about us.

Rick Warren hinted at as much some years back, in the opening line of his book, The Purpose Driven Life, he wrote, “It’s not about you.” Many Christians might nod in agreement with Pastor Warren. His book has been widely read, even by whole churches determined to achieve a 40-day makeover away from the spiritual narcissism so prevalent in our self-absorbed age.

Yet for all those good intentions, things haven’t changed much in the churches in our day. We still seem to be pursuing the faith according to some self-centered guidelines and practices. We seem to think the salvation we have in Jesus is designed above all else to bless us.

But to believe this is to fall short of God’s purpose in sending Jesus to save the world. God sent Jesus to bless us so that we would be a blessing to the world. Jesus was sent not merely to save lost sinners, but to glorify God in all His works (Jn. 17.4). We fall short of God’s intention for us when our salvation ends with us. And to fall short of God’s purpose, even in the claim of being saved, is to be still in our sins (Rom. 3.23).

It must have been the same in Cormac’s day. We recall that Cormac compiled his Glossary to preserve certain Celtic words which had fallen into disuse, and which he believed were very important. Like adae, a literal translation of which is something like, “glory” or “glorious”. What God is due is glory, and glory to God is the end of faith. That word, and the ideas associated with it, had fallen on hard times in Cormac’s day, as it has, I believe, in ours.

Why has God redeemed and saved us? That He might get glory. But what does that mean?

God receives glory when His Presence is acknowledged and His character is honored. We glorify God as those who are saved when we live in such a way as to exhibit and exalt His truth, attributes, and works. We glorify God by talking about Him, and not just about what He has done for us. We glorify God when He is seen in our good works of love, and not when we are commended for some good thing.

God is determined that the knowledge of His glory should cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2.14). To that end, He is continuously manifesting His glory in the things He has made, throughout the vast creation (Ps. 19.1-4), but especially in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn.14.9; Heb. 1.3).

But because sinful people choose to turn a blind eye to God, and go about their business quite apart from Him (Rom. 1.18-32), God has chosen a particular people out of the mass of humanity to bring His glory to light and call others to see and acknowledge Him. We who believe in Jesus are called to do all things for the sake of glorifying God (1 Cor. 10.31), and this means that the end of faith is that God might be glorified in all the words and deeds of all the moments of our lives. He intends for us who know Him to render to Him what is His due – glory!

This glory is the very thing Cormac feared was being lost sight of in His day. We may be all bubbly and gushing about how happy we are to be saved, and how much God does for us. But our salvation is not complete until, in our speech, our demeanor, all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities, we are putting God on display, crediting and honoring Him, and seeking by every means to render to Him the glory which is His due.

I’m convinced we would make real progress in the faith if everything we did was prefaced with the prayer, “Not to us, O LORD, but to Your Name give glory!” Salvation is not about us, not, at least, in the last analysis. Salvation is for us, so that we might be for the glory of God.

And when we do, and this prayer is our prayer, then the world will know that there is a God and King in heaven, and He is great and wise and good and caring and holy, and Jesus is His Name.

For Reflection
1. Is it possible to live for God’s glory in everything? Explain.

2. What is the role of prayer in helping us to live for God’s glory?

Psalm 115.1-3, 14-18 (Plainfield: Nothing But the Blood of Jesus)
Not to us, O God, not us,
    but unto Your Name give glory!
For Your love and faithfulness,
    ever to Your Name be glory!
Why should the nations cry, “Where is their God on high?”
You rule us, Lord, on high:
    ever to Your Name be glory!

Grant us, Savior, great increase –
    ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless us with eternal peace –
    ever to Your Name be glory!
Heaven and earth are Yours; let every soul adore
and bless You evermore:
    ever to Your Name be glory!

What does this mean for me, Lord? Help me to bring You glory today as I…

Free Christmas Gifts

Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, can strengthen our faith, but only as we sing it understanding what he intended. Our book, A Mighty Fortress, walks through each stanza of Luther’s hymn to reveal the powerful testimony this song provides. Order your free copy by clicking here. Order several copies and give them to friends for Christmas.

Thank you
Thanks so much to those of you who faithfully support the work of The Fellowship of Ailbe. God uses your gifts and prayers to reach thousands of people every day in over 120 countries. We praise the Lord for His having moved and enabled you to share with us in this ministry.

If you’re not a supporter of this ministry, won’t you please prayerfully consider making a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe? Only God can move you to do this, and we believe He intends to support this ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it. If this includes you, please seek the Lord in this matter. You can click here to donate online with your credit card or through PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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