Good News! Relying on Grace Gives God Glory

It is very good news that God designs his glory to be magnified through the exercise of his grace.

To be sure, God is glorified through the power of his wrath (Romans 9:22), but repeatedly the New Testament  (and OT, e.g. Isaiah 30:18) says that we should experience God’s grace so that God gets glory.

Ponder how this works in the prayer of 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12,

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul prays that God would fulfill our good resolves.

How? He prays that they would be done “by [God’s] power.” That is, that they be “works of faith.”

Why? So that Jesus would be glorified in us.

That means the giver gets the glory. If we fulfill a good resolve “by his power” he gets the glory. We have faith; he gives power. We get the help; he gets the glory. That’s the deal that keeps us humble and happy and keeps him supreme and glorious.

Then Paul says that this glorification of Christ is “according to the grace of God and the Lord Jesus.”

God’s answer to Paul’s prayer that we rely on God’s power to do good works is grace. God’s power to enable you to do what you resolve to do is grace.

That’s the way it works in the New Testament over and over. Trust God for gracious enabling and he gets the glory when the help comes.

We get the help. He gets the glory.

That’s why Christian living, not just Christian conversion, is good news.

  • “[Serve] in the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 4:11)
  • “[May you be] filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:11)
  • “It is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15)
  • “We have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
  • “And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will.” (2 Corinthians 8:19).
  • “…to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.