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To Save Men or to Glorify Himself

I found a recording of a sermon from a church in Arizona entitled “Right Thinking About Missions.” The church is going through the book of Romans, and in Romans 10 their Pastor Adam Roland turns aside for just a moment (OK, most of the sermon) to address a very important question:

Is God’s ultimate purpose to save men or to glorify Himself?

The way you answer this question impacts the way you live and especially the way you evangelize. I encourage you to listen to the sermon.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:14–15 KJV)


A friend referred me to some related resources that I thought I should share. The first is a John Piper book called Let the Nations Be Glad! 2nd Edition. There is a PDF excerpt available online.

The second is a John Piper article called Did Christ Die for Us or for God? What an eye opener. Here’s an excerpt:

That is what the passing over of sin communicates: God’s glory and his righteous governance are of minor value, or no value.

But, according to Romans, this is the most basic problem that God solved by the death of his Son. Let’s read it again: “He did this [put his Son forward to die] to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance (or patience) he had passed over sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous . . .” (verses 25b-26a) God would be unrighteous if he passed over sins as though the value of his glory were nothing.

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