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If my interpretation of the ultimate purpose of human existence according to the Bible is correct, humanity exists to glorify the existence of God. In Isaiah 43:7, it is stated "everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” This outlines humanity's purpose as a device to glorify God.

But if God is a perfect being, why does he desire to be glorified? Normally, this characteristic would be associated with a being that is insecure or narcissistic, which are not to my understanding perfect traits.

Surely this is a pretty fundamental attribute of God for which Christianity surely has a doctrine. In there a specific theological term used for this topic? And what do different Christian theological traditions teach about this issue? Is there there a general explanation that is broadly agreed on explaining this attribute of God or are there different explanations?

  • Do you search for an answer based on some text (e.g. a text in the Bible or some texts officially released by some church) or do you search for purely opinion-based answers? – Martin Rosenau Feb 25 '18 at 6:26
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    It might help to limit this to a particular denomination. – curiousdannii Mar 14 '18 at 4:19
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    Read C. S. Lewis’ “Weight Of Glory” for an excellent answer. – Paul Chernoch Oct 31 '18 at 1:08
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Why did He make us for His glory?

For fun.

To celebrate.

A child riding a trolley down a slope or dancing in a meadow says, "Daddy, look at me! Look at me!" The child knows intuitively, a delight shared is a delight doubled.

A glorious sunset delights the heart. Seeing it, we give glory, we share in the beauty.

Rapturous applause celebrates the shared experience of the performer's art. To sing, to dance and know the audience are one with you, living the experience with you, through you, to explode in exultation at the end ... have you ever seen performers applauding as enthusiastically as the audience? That sense of shared celebration is the greater reward of the gift.

When our God created a butterfly, that was an act of amazing beauty. To create nearly 20,000 species of them ... that is a hint of why He created us in His image to share His nature and His delight. Worshipping God is the ultimate experience of truth.

And worship to glorify the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the greatest multiplier of sheer joy and exultation we can ever experience. Heaven is a wedding feast: joyous fulfilment and tremulous expectation present with each other, forever. And this is our chance to get ready.

Why did He make us for His glory? In the end, I do not know. The fact that He did is glorious.

Here, ambiguity and inconclusiveness are part of the thought. I want to leave that as it is. Our response to the Bible needs to be at least as nuanced as our response to any other love letter.

The Bible, however, does not say God wants us to give Him glory. In Isaiah 43:7, 'kabowd' means 'glory, honour,dignity, splendour' (Strong's Concordance 3519). The Oxford Dictionary gives 'high renown or honour; magnificence or great beauty; splendour'. We cannot give glory to God in any literal sense; it is already an attribute of His. All we can do is acknowledge the fact.

What God does desire–even assume–is our worship (Exodus 20:3, 5a; Psalm 95:6; John 4:23). This is a contraction of 'worthship', wherein we acknowledge His worth. In desiring our worship, God is desiring that we acknowledge the truth and that is truly liberating.

In fact, by nature, God entails the worthiest of every good value. Thus, whenever we speak truly of God's attributes, including His glory, we implicitly acknowledge His worthiness. That is, we worship Him. As emotional beings, we add our own "Wow!" factor and underscore the thought with our feelings—extremely enjoyable.

I guess the question and my initial response are more accurately about that worship. Isaiah 43:7, however, declares we are expressions of God's glory, created as illustrations of His glory.

We feel uncomfortable presenting ourselves as glorious. But that is the truth of our creation. The older Babylonian accounts say we were made to be slaves to the gods. The Bible says we became slaves only after we chose autonomy (coming under self-rule, the realm of Satan: Genesis 3:4-6; John 8:34; Romans 6:6). In Jesus Christ, we return to our original state of majesty and dignity as living expressions of God's glory (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:5). That is a great responsibility, to be zealously guarded.

The Oxford Dictionary further defines glory as 'reverence'. Any logical distinction between God's attribute and our response we forget when awareness becomes worship as we pray, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen" (Doxology, Anglo-Lutheran style).

  • That was a delightful answer but seemed to major on God making us for his joy, which is not the same as making us for his glory. You admitted that "In the end, I do not know" [why] but if you could make an attempt to suggest how worship glorifies God, that would enhance an already interesting answer. – Anne Apr 13 '18 at 13:20
  • Thank you, Anne, for prompting the clarification. Acknowledging worth and protecting our dignity need greater recognition. I will be going further with each. We need to value them more. – Jean Camille Apr 17 '18 at 16:06
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Starting from God requesting us to glorify Him is starting from the end of the order of things.

First and foremost, God deserves to be praised. Hence His request for it from us. That is the correct order of things. Not to glorify God for us is equivalent to not understanding our place in the world, and our relation to God. We are His creatures. Everything was created by God (by the Father through the Son of God, Jesus). Or do you think human beings are good and powerful enough to compare with God? The creature more than the Creator? (Ideas developed more here).

Hence, from our position as creatures, it follows that we must glorify Him. In fact, it is a basic movement of the heart in Christians (as so beautifully expressed by so many hymns and writings of Saints) to praise God for the marvelous gifts received (including life itself, nature, etc).

If God would not ask us to glorify Him, God would be lying to us. Jesus Himself said (John 13:13):

You call me Master, and Lord; and you say well, for so I am.

This is, saying the truth is saying well. Hence, worshiping God is doing well too. If God would not asks us to glorify Him, we would not be doing well. Hence God's call for us to worship Him as what he truly is, God our Creator.

The entry on Glory in the Catholic Encyclopedia also mention this acknowledgment:

... glory is equivalent to praise rendered to God in acknowledgment of His majesty and perfections manifested objectively in the world, or through supernatural revelation.

Notice also that a narcissist needs to be hailed e.g. to fill in self-esteem vacuums. God however needs nothing. The same entry above states beautifully:

Infinite, He possesses the plenitude of Being and Perfection; He needs nothing, and can receive no complementary increment or superfluous accession of excellence from without.

This is, our act of glorifying God does not expand God in any way. By glorifying God we are simply acknowledging the true order of things. It is just reasonable for God to asks us to recognise this true order of things.

Thus, if God is immutable to our glorification of Him, what is it's purpose? St. Aquinas touched upon this in his Summa Theologiae, Question 123:

As Augustine says on John 13:13, "You call Me Master and Lord; and you say well" (Tract. lviii in Joan.): "Self-complacency is fraught with danger of one who has to beware of pride. But He Who is above all, however much He may praise Himself, does not uplift Himself. For knowledge of God is our need, not His: nor does any man know Him unless he be taught of Him Who knows." It is therefore evident that God seeks glory, not for His own sake, but for ours. On like manner a man may rightly seek his own glory for the good of others, according to Matthew 5:16, "That they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven."

God created us in order to share His life with us. That was a selflessness act of Love. God, loved us first, and made us to love Him and love our brethren, and to have eternal life in Him, in perfect happiness. This is quite the opposite to the narcissist God commonly attributed to Christianity.


Notice also that the concept of glory has different meaning across Scriptures. In fact, the quote in your question refers, in my opinion, to the case of the creation of God as a sign of God's powerfulness. This sense of glory if more in line with that which is referred to in the Jesuit motto Ad majorem Dei gloriam (to the greater glory of God). This is often is explained as meaning that the glory of God is the salvation of its creatures.

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    This barely, if at all, answers the question asked: why God desires glorification. Perhaps there's an answer in there somewhere, but the fact that God deserves glory does not answer the question of why God desires glory. – Lee Woofenden Jan 15 '18 at 15:33
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    @LeeWoofenden Unless you think reasonable to believe that God would have reproduced Himself in the act of creation and created creatures which share His nature (i.e. created more Gods), it follows that the creature must, by definition, stand lower than the creator. Hence, a relation of worship follows by consequence. I do not think God "desires" glory, as He does not need anything. But the correct order of things is for us to glorify Him. – luchonacho Jan 15 '18 at 15:37
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    But that's not what the question asks about. – Lee Woofenden Jan 15 '18 at 15:39
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    @LeeWoofenden I think I do answer it. First and foremost God deserves glory. Hence, in line with the truth of things, God asks us for it, not because He needs anything, but because of how things are. – luchonacho Jan 15 '18 at 15:46
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    @LeeWoofenden Updated the answer. Asking why God "desires" glory is a bit begging the question too. – luchonacho Jan 15 '18 at 15:58
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You can't apply human psychology to God. God doesn't have the same brain processes like humans so if God is glorified it is not for the same reasons as the human wants to be glorified. So talking about insecurity or narcissism is just silly.

His glory comes from his nature and not desire. His divine nature defines glory. That's what it means to be God.

Angels have angelic nature and humans human nature. Every nature has different functions. God's nature produces its glory from its function. Human nature produces obedience because it was created, the same is for angels. We serve God because we do it by the very nature we possess.

Isaiah 43:7

Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

  • Downvotes and no comments? – Grasper Jan 16 '18 at 14:28
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    I am not the one who downvoted your answer but I think the user who downvoted you did so because the answer does not answer the original question. – Martin Rosenau Feb 25 '18 at 6:00
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    @MartinRosenau, it does answer. He doesn't desire glorification. He draws glory to himself by being God. He created everything for his glory, not because he desires it but because glory is the answer or a result of what he did. When a speaker says something he gets applause. He doesn't say something because he desires applause. Applause comes back naturally from the good thing he said. – Grasper Apr 13 '18 at 14:25
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I think that the verse quoted, Isaiah 43:7, in the original question, is not addressing the creation or forming of humanity in general. It is specific to the community of the 'Saved.' "even every one that is called by my name," is a distinct title given to those who have been saved. It is this community of the 'Saved,' that God has created to glorify Himself. Salvation is a 'glorious' thing. If the statement "Because God deserves to be glorified, and He desires what He deserves" cannot be accepted as an answer to this question, then there is no answer to this question. God is Justice, and it would be an injustice if God did not receive what He deserves, and not to 'desire' what He deserves, would be injustice manifested in God. That would not be a good thing.

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Why does God desire glorification?

This is an answer I can only get to by “backwards engineering it” so to speak. But here it goes, we humans according to the Bible are “created in God’s image”. This concept however is understood a abstract way, rather than a literal way (as Latter Day Saints and some Fundamentalist believe). Our being “created in God’s image” is generally thought of as that we are beings that are creative, sentient etc. But in terms of this topic, I would also include the need for relationship as part of that. If humans are a kind of microcosm of God (from being created in His Image) then the desire for adult humans to play with pets, talk to young children as being something similar to God and his relationship with us lower life forms.

In theology it also recognized that “God is love”, as the Gospel of John mentions. And this also motivates his various actions, even the existence of God as a Trinity (Rather than simple monotheism). (The Son and Holy Spirit eternally proceed from the Father who is the First Cause, but coequal with them.). Needless to say, that while Yahweh does not need anything (His name is supposed to mean “self-existent”), he does seem to desire companionship and relationship in a manner somewhat similar to human beings.

As to the specifics of “glorification” relating to the exact question, I see this as simply a desire for acknowledgement and appreciation for the things He has done, is doing. etc. And is similar to the desire that we humans have to be appreciated and not being taken for granted (for giving life and holding the universe together etc.) As to your other comments, in the post, I think your conception of God is that of the Celestial Clockmaker of Deism, while the God of Christianity however is a more personal deity than that.

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The simple answer comes from the words of God's beloved daughter, the chosen Woman who is the reason why God created mankind. God desire to share His glory to a created being but there's one big problem. No created being can enter into His Glorious Presence without being glorified meaning "nothing defiled shall enter His Presence". (Revelation21:27)

To solve this problem God dreamed of a perfect creature that can enter His Glorious Presence. God painted a Masterpiece and the Key to enter His Glorious Presence lies in the Heart of a created being. God in His Omnipotent conceived a Heart worthy to enter His Presence. When God saw this Heart this beautiful Heart, God so desire to have it He even dream to have it.

The Heart that God dream to enter His Presence is a burning heart, that speaks his praises and glorifies His Mercy. What kind of heart is this?

enter image description here

If all of us will imitate the humble heart of Mary then all of us can enter Glory of God presence in Heaven.

http://www.theimmaculateheart.com/

We know that in our world when we desire or dream something to have, it requires a "sacrifice."

But God in His Omnipotent sees that it is impossible for any creature to enter His Kingdom, the Divine Mercy is the only way for man to attain Theosis.

And so, this beautiful words coming from the Diary of St.Faustina speaks of the Wisdom of God before He start the creation of Mankind.

"Mercy is the flower of Love. God is Love and Mercy is his deeds. In Love it is conceived in Mercy it is revealed." (St.Faustina)

Only by way of God Divine Mercy can one enter His Kingdom, and so the First Act of God in Heaven is to offer His INFINITE MERCY. God gave a singular privelege to the chosen Woman by Redeeming her in an exalted fashion. Mercy is a Gift that we don't deserve and the first recipient of god Mercy is the Woman name Mary who exist in the thought of God in eternity.

If God wanted to pursue His desire or His Dream, God needed to offer a sacrifice and that one is no other than He's only Begotten Son, and the Begotten Son cannot accomplish it without the Holy Spirit anointing. The Salvation of Man to fulfill the desire of the Father requires the Work of the Most Holy Trinity.

And God perfect glorification was uttered by the lowly handmaid upon receiving the favor of God to her unceasing supplication for God to look with Mercy upon the people of God.

My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden: For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations. He hath shewed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : As he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

In closing, the heart is the one who give glory to God in Heaven that's why Jesus wants our heart burning when He returns.

"I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!"(Luke12:49)

If our hearts is not yet on fire, then we cannot enter the Glory of God in Heaven, we must kindled it first in the Fire of Purgatory. That's why only few goes straight to Heaven because only a heart that was on fire can see the Glorious Majesty of God in Heaven. Look at the Seraphim the closest to God they are described as "burning ones".

The picture of the Sacred Heart & the Immaculate Heart speaks profoundly to us. The Logos Incarnate comes from the "three drops of blood from the heart of Mary" and then Jesus set His Heart on Fire doing the Will of God and Mary's Heart was lit on fire too by accepting the Will of God in Her FIAT. The Two Hearts was lit on fire and so all of us must follow the Will of God to let our hearts lit.

enter image description here

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