Sermon Notes-Glory of God Alone from Romans 11:33-36


We are wrapping up our 5 week study on the 5 Solas. Sola is Latin for alone, the solas were considered the foundational principles of Protestantism which was begun by Martin Luther in 1517 (Sola! Pg 3)

Intro: Which of the 4 solas we have looked at so far has been the most helpful?

What is the glory of God? Andy Owen’s, one of our missionaries when preaching here at HMBC defined it as, “The glory of God is all of who He is on display for the world to see.”

God’s Knowledge (vs. 33-34)

·         All that follows in these verses is praise to God. Your Bible might even include the heading “Doxology” which literally means “word of glory” Doxa is Greek word for glory. Doxology is not the title of the song but instead praising God for the truths about Himself.

o   All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and Scripture, and arises from our reflection on who he is and what he has done. [1]

·         This is discovered in Scripture Alone. The Bible is not a textbook or how to manual but a True Story that shows God redeeming, restoring, reconciling the world to Himself.  The Bible is from God and about God.  It is not about our personal opinion, our agenda, our knowledge. So, God gets the glory.

·         Vs. 33-The depth (profound) of riches (abundance) of Wisdom and Knowledge

o   denote the riches of divine grace in bringing salvation to both Jews and Gentiles.[2]

·         Vs. 33-Wisdom & Knowledge of God

o   Knowledge-cognitive content— what has been perceived, discovered, or learned.

o   Wisdom-the capacity for rational thought (and the application of knowledge)

o   The two words translated ‘unsearchable’ and ‘beyond tracing out’ are virtual synonyms,[3]

o   God’s great plan of salvation is something that no one could have conceived. No one would have anticipated that God would effect salvation through the death of his Son on a cross. No one would have anticipated that God would bring salvation to Gentiles through the disobedience of Israel, or that the blessings enjoyed by Gentiles would lead to salvation for Israel.[4]

o   What follows is three questions.  And the answer is No one.

·         Vs. 34-mind of the Lord & who has been his counselor?- taken from Isaiah 40:13

o   It is not a direct quote but uses similar language

o   Paul is showing the impossibility of our understanding fully all that God is doing.[5] But we can praise God when we understand and even when we don’t.

o   This is the New Testament equivalent of Isaiah 55-his thoughts to be higher than our thoughts, and his ways than our ways. His mind (what he thinks) and his activity (what he does) are altogether beyond us.[6]

God’s Action (vs. 35-36)

·         Vs. 35-Given to God-taken from Job 41:11

o   This is part of the Lord’s response to Job’s complaints (Job 38–41). In this context the Lord asks Job: ‘Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me’ (Job 41:11). It would seem that Paul cites this text to show that God’s great salvation plan is implemented, not because he is under any obligation towards humanity, as if he has to repay them. Rather, he implements it, as Paul has insisted, as a matter of sheer grace[7]

o   Like your child or grandchild wanting to pay you back for something by giving you a penny for something that costs much more.

o   We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone

§  Grace-Not earned, it is a gift from God to us, we don’t deserve it, but He freely gives

§  Faith-Not works, not what we do, not our faithfulness, but what He has done. We trust, rely, have confidence in Christ

§  Christ-Jesus paid it all.  He is our justification, sanctification, glorification.

·         Vs. 36-From Him, Through Him, To Him are all things.

o   The apostle makes similar statements in 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Colossians 1:16

o   God is the creator, sustainer and heir of everything, its source, means and goal.[8]

·         Vs. 36-To Him Be the Glory (doxa) forever! Amen.

o   6 other times by Paul

§  Romans 16:27- 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

§  Galatians 1:5- to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

§  Ephesians 3:21- 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

§  Philippians 4:20- 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

§  1 Timothy 1:17- 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

§  2 Timothy 4:18- To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

o   It emphasizes the idea of eternity.

o   Amen is normally the response of a congregation to prayer or praise uttered by a leader and which the congregation thus makes its own. [9]

o   How do we take the glory for ourselves?

§  When we make it about our wisdom, our knowledge, we know best rather than Scripture alone and God’s wisdom and knowledge

§  When we make Christianity about the Christian life, our morality, being good rather than Christ alone

§  When we think we can earn God’s favor or we are saved by what we do or don’t do rather than Grace Alone.

§  When we look to our works to save us or keep us saved or try to save ourselves rather than Faith alone

o   The Glory must be his alone.  So, instead of taking the glory for ourselves we say along with the Psalmist--Psalm 115:1-“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”

Good News As You Go:

·         Johann Sebastian Bach--"The main purpose of my music is to glorify God. Some people do this with music that is simple. I haven't chosen to use a simple style, but my music comes from my heart as a humble offering to God. This honors God no matter what musical style I use."Whenever he began a new piece, he bowed his head and prayed. "Jesus, help me show your glory through the music I write. May it bring you joy even as it brings joy to your people." Without Jesus' help, Johann knew he'd never be able to complete the task. With that, the music began to pour from his soul and onto the page. When he was finally satisfied, he wrote the letters SDG at the bottom of the page - Soli Deo Gloria - For the Glory of God Alone. He hoped that when the music was played, it would point toward God.

·         The Reformation affirmation of everyday life is an invitation to see the whole earth as the theater of God’s glory and to see our whole lives as opportunities to reflect that glory. (Why the Reformation Still Matters)

·         By grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone as learned in Scripture alone. The 5 solas matter because they set Christianity apart for all other religions and reveal who God is and how we respond.



[1] Stott, J. R. W. (2001). The message of Romans: God’s good news for the world (p. 311). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
[2] Kruse, C. G. (2012). Paul’s Letter to the Romans. (D. A. Carson, Ed.) (p. 457). Cambridge, U.K.; Nottingham, England; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos.
[3] Kruse, C. G. (2012). Paul’s Letter to the Romans. (D. A. Carson, Ed.) (p. 458). Cambridge, U.K.; Nottingham, England; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos.
[4] Kruse, C. G. (2012). Paul’s Letter to the Romans. (D. A. Carson, Ed.) (p. 458). Cambridge, U.K.; Nottingham, England; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos.
[5] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 428). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
[6] Stott, J. R. W. (2001). The message of Romans: God’s good news for the world (p. 310). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
[7] Kruse, C. G. (2012). Paul’s Letter to the Romans. (D. A. Carson, Ed.) (p. 459). Cambridge, U.K.; Nottingham, England; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos.
[8] Stott, J. R. W. (2001). The message of Romans: God’s good news for the world (p. 311). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
[9] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 429). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.

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