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Sermon Notes: Soli Deo Gloria (Oct. 29, 2017)

Pastor Troy Martin

Text: John 3:27-30

Soli Deo Gloria

    During our series on the five solas of the Reformation, we have completed a look at four: sola scriptura - scripture alone is our infallible authority, sola fide - faith alone justifies a sinner, sola gratia - grace alone saves us, and last week, Solus Christus - that the source of all of this is only in Christ.

    But today we come to the consummation of the five solas. Today’s sola is the roof of reformed theology - the last Sola. Soli Deo Gloria - to God alone be the glory.



v. 27    John the Baptist was a man of great influence. Yet when his followers gripe that his ministry is dwindling because of Jesus, John answers with carefree contentment - We only have what God gives.


v. 28    “Christ” is a royal term in Scripture, usually synonymous with “King” 1 Sam 26:9. John is saying, I’m not the Lord you are looking for.


v. 29     As the Bride is for the Groom, so the Church is for the Christ. John is, at best, the best man. That makes him a witness; not part of the wedded pair. But being number two does not irk him, he calls it full joy.


v. 30    Jesus must increase. John must decrease. John can say that about his following, for he has already desired that with his heart.  He has lived Soli Deo Gloria.



Like John the Baptist, John Calvin was also a man who spoke of a deep and abiding joy in his decreasing and God’s increasing.  Their desire was born from a deep understanding of what Soli Deo Gloria means. So the question needs to be asked. What does it mean?


Soli Deo Gloria ________________________. For Calvin this has nothing to do with hatred of the body, punishment of our desires, or earning merit through the powers of will and self-control. It means “I deny myself the position of being the point of my existence” Mt 16:23


Soli Deo Gloria ________________________. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in the way. Is 64:5 We are only glum saints when we are obsessed with ourselves and frustrated that people don’t see how hard we are working.


Soli Deo Gloria ________________________.  “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”  He 12:2 When we look at God, by definition, we stop looking at ourselves. Calvin gives us good wisdom in telling us to “reckon with God every moment.”


Questions for Household Growth

Why did Calvin stay in Geneva? Why did he return?


How is the Christian understanding of self and goodness different from the worldly view of self and goodness?


What does it mean to be reformed?


Happy 500th Anniversary of the Reformation!