We Don’t Need To Make God More Glorious

Giving God glory means ascribing to him what is already his.

“To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 25) 

Jude’s concluding verse summarizes the goal of missions. Every missions initiative is directed toward the ultimate end of God’s glory, and every missionary who is sent out by a local church goes under this banner. While this verse may not have the directive clarity of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), it encapsulates the importance of missions as much as any other passage in Scripture.  

This provides a resounding finale to Jude’s letter and elevates the hearts of his readers to something beyond the present trials they are enduring from false teachers. In their time of distress, Jude turns their attention to the eternal beauty of the Lord. 

Glory, majesty, dominion, and authority belong, in their highest sense, to God alone. He does not share his glory or majesty, nor are his authority or dominion diluted by rival powers. While he does endow man with limited dominion and authority (Genesis 1:28), and he does “crown him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5), that is by extension of his grace and does not, in any degree, reduce his infinite glory, majesty, dominion, and authority. 

We must also recognize the distinction between intrinsic glory and ascribed glory. When we “give glory to God,” we are not affecting his intrinsic glory, which is the glory he necessarily possesses as the eternal God. He is a glorious being whether we acknowledge that glory or not. When Psalm 19 speaks of the heavens “declar[ing] the glory of God” (v. 1), David is not saying that the universe adds to God’s divine glory, but that it displays God’s glory in a way that demands our affirmation. Likewise, Jude is not saying that more glory, majesty, dominion, and authority will be added to him, but that he already possesses them to the Nth degree. 

The infinite glory God possesses (his intrinsic glory) demands that we proclaim his glory among the nations (ascribed glory). Jude’s phrase, “To the only God . . . be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority” is best understood, I believe, to refer to ascription. However, ascription is appropriate and necessary because that which we ascribe to him is eternally intrinsic to him. 

God does not need human service nor human worship (Acts 17:25). As A.W. Tozer said, “Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator.” God does not need us in order for him to remain perfectly and infinitely glorious. He does use us, according to his good will and pleasure, to go to all the nations so that his intrinsic attributes may be ascribed to him throughout all the earth. 

Consider the recent lunar eclipse that drew the eyes of the world. We set our clocks to the minute and freed up our schedules to get the best view of the extraordinary event. There was inherent wonder and grandeur to that event that was unaffected by whether anyone watched or marveled at the event. However, the eclipse received much more attention and “glory” because humanity rendered its undivided attention and collective awe to the occurrence. The event itself had inherent wonder, and we magnify that wonder by acknowledging it. 

As we engage in missions, we call the nations to observe the glory, majesty, dominion, and authority of the eternal God. We point to the intrinsic glory and say, “Look how amazing that is!” We echo John the Baptist’s words, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Missions is about drawing attention to God in order that all peoples, nations, tribes, and tongues may ascribe to God the glory that is due his name. 

As we go out into the world in obedience to the command of our Lord, may our rallying cry always be, “To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” 

Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, 
Help us to faithfully ascribe to you that which is intrinsically yours. May our goal always be to make you known and to reflect your glory as the moon reflects the sun. 
In the name of your Son, 
Amen 


Prayer Requests: 

  • Prayerfully consider opportunities to serve and make God’s glory known among the nations or support those who do
  • Pray that we would never seek to keep the glory that rightly belongs to God. 
  • Pray that Christ would soon receive his inheritance of nations in its fullness.