This is the final sermon in our Sunday morning series, “Memorial Stones.” We’ve been looking at the 5 Solas of the Reformation during this series. This sermon is for Sunday, January 28th, 2008.
Memorial stones part 6
Soli De Gloria (for the glory of God alone)
This is our final sermon on the Sola’s of the reformation. So far we have looked at Scripture alone, Christ alone, Grace alone, and Faith alone.
This morning we are going to be looking at the glory of God alone.
Let me ask question that has been asked since the dawn of time? What is the chief end of mankind? Or What is the ultimate goal of the human race? Is it to have a family? Is it to make money? Is it to have a respectable name in the community? Is it fame?
Those are many things that people have chased after throughout all these centuries, but it isn’t the ultimate plan and goal for us.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism gives the answer, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” This is also our main point for this sermon this morning. All glory belongs to God, and we should be giving Him glory at all times.
These memorial stones that we’ve been looking at all have to do with our redemption, calling us back to the fundamental truths of the Gospel. Well, the glory of God has to do with redemption as well. You see, God redeems us and calls us His children so that He might be glorified.
As Gentile believers, God called us out of darkness to bring Himself glory.
Romans 9:23-26 ISV – 23 Can’t he also reveal his glorious riches to the objects of his mercy that he has prepared ahead of time for glory— 24 including us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but from the Gentiles as well? 25 As he says in Hosea, “Those who are not my people I will call my people, and the one who was not loved I will call my loved one. 26 In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called children of the living God.”
In the same way, God also called another notorious sinner like us to bring Him glory. We watched a video about her; this sinner was named Mary Magdalene.
Here is what we know about her conversion from Scripture.
Luke 8:1-2 ISV – 1 After this, Jesus traveled from one city and village to another, preaching and spreading the good news about God’s kingdom. The twelve were with him, 2 as well as some women who had been healed of evil spirits and illnesses: Mary, also called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out;
We don’t know what type of sinner Mary was, all we know is she had seven demons cast out of her by Christ. She may have been a prostitute before coming to Him, we just don’t know.
Now for our Scripture text this morning we are going to look at a passage where a notorious sinful woman washes the feet of Christ. Many Scholars feels that this is Mary Magdalene. While the passage doesn’t say, let’s suppose that it is her for this sermon. Let’s look at her response to Christ and what we can learn concerning the glory of God.
Luke 7:36-47 ISV – 36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him. So he went to the Pharisee’s home and took his place at the table. 37 There was a woman who was a notorious sinner in that city. When she learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s home, she took an alabaster jar of perfume 38 and knelt at his feet behind him. She was crying and began to wash his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. Then she kissed his feet over and over again, anointing them constantly with the perfume. 39 Now the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who is touching him and what kind of woman she is. She’s a sinner!”
40 Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “say it.” 41 “Two men were in debt to a moneylender. One owed him 500 denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they couldn’t pay it back, he generously canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him the most?” 43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the larger debt canceled.” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly.” 44 Then, turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You didn’t give me any water for my feet, but this woman has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You didn’t give me a kiss, but this woman, from the moment I came in, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with perfume. 47 So I’m telling you that her sins, as many as they are, have been forgiven, and that’s why she has shown such great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves little.”
Notice first that Jesus was eating at the house of a Pharisee.
Luke 7:36 ISV – Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him. So he went to the Pharisee’s home and took his place at the table.
Here Jesus is asked to eat in the home of a Pharisee, a religious leader of Judaism. These Pharisee’s should have been the one’s who gave the Father glory by receiving Christ as Messiah, but instead they worked against Christ on every turn and didn’t believe in Him.
But God did have someone who would honor Him by giving glory to Jesus and it wasn’t a religious person.
During the time of the reformation, religion had closed the door on people having a personal relationship with Christ, but yet Christ kicked open that door for the poor, sick, and afflicted to be invited to His banquet of salvation. This door was flung wide open during the Reformation Period.
We live in a time that people are often attacked because of afflictions they go through. Some people are arrogant enough to declare things like: “If you were a true Christian, you wouldn’t have this problem,” or “If you had enough faith, you wouldn’t be going through what you are going through.” And many people who are suffering feel like second class citizens within our churches.
We need a reformation again. A reformation that humbles people before the Word of God and instead of attacking people with afflictions, loving them and opening the door of the kingdom to them.
People who suffer are the very ones Jesus came to redeem. We must realize this truth.
Let’s look a little further into our story from the text.
A notorious sinful woman enters the picture.
Luke 7:37-38a ISV – 37 There was a woman who was a notorious sinner in that city. When she learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s home, she took an alabaster jar of perfume 38 and knelt at his feet behind him.
Notice the ISV says this woman was a “Notorious sinner.” It means she had a reputation around town. Everyone knew who she was, and what kind of woman she was.
This sinful woman was not invited to the meal, she just heard about it. But she didn’t let the fact that she had no invite prevent her from coming and worshipping at the feet of Christ Jesus.
Religion likes to invite only those they want. They want to impress people. Christ’s offer is not to impress, but to save sinners.
When God draws someone to salvation – even religion cannot stop the sinner from coming to Christ.
Luke 7:38b ISV – She was crying and began to wash his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. Then she kissed his feet over and over again, anointing them constantly with the perfume.
This sinful woman didn’t care who was watching or if religion approved of her actions, she was going to bring glory to her Master, whatever the cost may be.
In the same way, do not let your religious background or lack of one prevent you from truly pouring yourself out in worship to the Savior – Jesus Christ. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and let your worship of Him become a sweet smelling perfume.
Also, don’t let your religious background judge others who do come to Christ. It doesn’t matter what their past is. When Christ calls them to Himself, He will change them, and we should glorify God in this.
Religion will constantly point its finger at your sins.
Luke 7:39 ISV – Now the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who is touching him and what kind of woman she is. She’s a sinner!”
Religion and the Law not only exposes your sins, but leaves you in your sins. The Law shows that you are powerless to change yourself, and unless there is a Savior present you will die in your sins.
Christ does what religion cannot do – forgive sins; and our response should be pure love toward Him – which brings Him glory.
Luke 7:44-47 ISV – 44 Then, turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You didn’t give me any water for my feet, but this woman has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You didn’t give me a kiss, but this woman, from the moment I came in, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with perfume. 47 So I’m telling you that her sins, as many as they are, have been forgiven, and that’s why she has shown such great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves little.”
This woman loved the Lord much because He forgave each one of her sins. Her response was not determined by the religious around her, but by the presence of Her Savior in her midst.
In the same way, we must remember that the only reason we are following Christ is that He loved us enough not only to die for us, but to also call us to Himself. Salvation is for God’s glory alone and not ours to share in.
What should be our response to the message this morning? Whether we want to admit it or not, none of us deserve God’s love and forgiveness. We are all notorious sinners. But God showed His love in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He didn’t wait for us to come to Him, because that never will happen – He came to us. In light of this, pour your life out as an offering of praise to Him. Don’t let the dictates of religion and other people tell you how your love for the Lord should be displayed – display it according to what He has done for you.
Give glory to God and God alone. That is what Soli De Gloria is all about.