Q&A: Salvation to Display God's Glory

Salvation to Display God's Glory

What motivated God to redeem fallen humanity?

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Answer

Asking what motivated God to redeem fallen humanity is a good question. But I think it's important to realize that, a lot of times, we're not exactly sure what motivates God. God does everything out of his sovereign freedom. He redeems, and he creates, and he does everything ultimately, though, to glorify himself, to display his character. So, all of creation, from the heavens that declare his glory, to human beings made in his image who are intended to reflect his glory, he's about showing his character, displaying his holiness, and his worth, and beauty. Everything he does is for that ultimate end. But, why does he redeem? He redeems so that he can display his glory through redeemed creation. You know, it's amazing these pictures we get of the worship in heaven, where we gather around the throne as redeemed humanity, worshipping the Lamb who was slain. God shows his glory in redeeming us. In the person of Christ, he comes and displays his holy character; he displays his holiness, his majesty, his grace, his compassion, his wrath. All these attributes converge in the person and work of Christ, especially in the cross. And we see this display of God's glory in human history. And it's that backdrop that is what we worship in response to. God glorifies himself in redeeming us and enabling us to reflect his image to the world. So, God's redeeming work is ultimately to display his glory, like everything else he does.

Answer by Dr. K. Erik Thoennes

Dr. Erik Thoennes is Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology