Monday 23 August 2021
Title: Soli Deo Gloria
By Ong Hwee Soo

Matthew 5:16
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

In a nutshell, this verse exhorts us to shine by doing good works that glorify God. What Jesus means by “good works” is enunciated in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount (which is PBC’s current sermon series). It is a concept that encompasses more than charitable deeds.

However, let me begin with altruistic acts that are the context of the ensuing text in Matthew 6:1-3, wherein Jesus highlights that motive is what matters when almsgiving. Where the motive is pure, public acts of philanthropy are to be commended. In fact, today’s verse, implies that the motive of good works should be to glorify God, solely.

‘S oli D eo G loria’ (Latin for ‘Glory to God Alone’) were words used by renown composers, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel to signify that their works were produced for the sake of praising God. Abbreviated S.D.G, Bach signed off all his church compositions and some of his secular compositions.

It is heart-warming to know that during the recent Tokyo Olympics, some Christian athletes publicly gave glory to God for their achievements. When the Fiji Rugby Sevens Team (comprising all Christians) won the Gold Medal, their first response was to kneel down together in a circle, to pray and thank God, instead of running or jumping around, or hugging one another in celebration. Sidney McLaughlin, the American hurdler and sprinter, who won the 400m hurdles race (in world record time) as well as the 4X400m women relay, gave her personal testimony to “live a life worthy of glorifying God”.

The recently launched PBC Covid Aid Initiatives are commendable indeed. With the initiatives gaining momentum, let’s remind ourselves that our benevolent endeavours are exclusively for the Glory of God. To quote C.S Lewis: “ Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you others see Him. ”

Now, let me turn our attention on the broader context of good works. Ephesians 2:8-9 states “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We are saved not by good works , but we are saved for good works . Good works are not the means to our salvation but they are the purpose of our salvation. Our salvation is solely by the grace of God, through faith in Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria originated from the series of slogans that the Reformers held onto, called the Five Solas, which are now the tenets of our Christian belief: Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Sola Gracia (Grace Alone), Solus Christus (Christ Alone). Soli Deo Gloria is both the beginning and the end of the four Solas. Hence, ‘To the Glory of God Alone’ should be the purpose of our being and our doing.

Are you striving to do good in order to gain God’s favour? May I encourage you to approach God simply by faith and receive Christ’s grace of salvation.

If we were to sign off every decision made in our church board/committee/members’ meeting, would we be able to seal them with S.D.G? If we were to thumbprint every good work we do, will they show the S.D.G mark?

PRAYER

Dear God, help us Live the Life of Doing Good, Giving Glory to Your Name. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

班底浸信教会
每日灵粮
星期一,2021年8月23日
标题:唯独上帝的荣耀
作者:翁辉赐弟兄
翻译:陈劲年姐妹

【马太福音5:16】
你们的光也当这样 照 在人前,叫他们看见你们的 好行为,便 将荣耀归给你们在天上的父。

简而言之,这节经文劝勉我们要以善行发光,从而荣耀上帝。耶稣所说的 “好行为” 的意思,在 “登山宝训”(这是班底浸信教会目前的证道系列)的其余部分中都有阐明。它是一个不仅仅包含慈善行为的概念。

然而,让我从利他行为开始,这是马太福音 第6章1-3 节中随后文本的上下文,其中耶稣强调,施舍时动机是最重要的。在动机纯正的情况下,公众慈善行为应该受到赞扬。事实上,今天的经文暗示,善行的动机应该只是为荣耀上帝,唯独荣耀上帝。

‘S oli D eo G loria’ (拉丁语为 “唯独上帝的荣耀” 的意思)是著名作曲家约翰·塞巴斯蒂安·巴赫(Johann Sebastian Bach)和乔治·弗里德里克·亨德尔(George Frideric Handel)用来表示他们的作品是为了赞美上帝而创作的。巴赫将其缩写为S.D.G,在他所有的圣乐和一些非宗教作品上签名。

令人欣慰的是,在最近的东京奥运会期间,一些基督徒运动员公开为他们的成就荣耀上帝。当斐济七人制橄榄球队(由所有基督徒组成)赢得金牌时,他们的第一反应是围成一圈跪下,祈祷和感谢上帝,而不是又跑又跳,或互相拥抱庆祝。美国跨栏和短跑运动员西德尼·麦克劳克林(Sidney McLaughlin)赢得了400米跨栏比赛(世界纪录时间)以及4×400米女子接力赛的冠军,她个人的见证是 “过一个配得上荣耀上帝的生活”。

最近发起的 “班底浸信教会冠状肺炎援助行动”确实值得赞扬。随着这些举措正获得动力时,让我们提醒自己,我们的慈善努力完全是为了上帝的荣耀。引用克莱夫•斯通•刘易斯( C.S. Lewis )的话:“不要为了让别人看到你而发光;要为让别人通过你看到祂而发光。”

现在,让我将我们的注意力转向善行更广泛的背景上。以弗所书2:8-9指出:“你们得救是本乎恩,也因着信,这并不是出于自己,乃是神所赐的。也不是出于行为,免得有人自夸。” 我们 不是靠善行得救 ,乃是 为善行而得救。善行不是我们得救的途径,但却是 我们得救的目的。我们的得救完全是靠着上帝的恩典,靠着对基督的信心。

“唯独上帝的荣耀”(Soli Deo Gloria)起源于改革者秉持的一系列口号,被称为 “五个唯独”。这些口号现在是我们基督教信仰的信条:唯独圣经(Sola Scripture)、唯独信心(Sola Fide)、唯独恩典(Sola Garcia)、唯独基督(Solus Christus)。唯独上帝的荣耀(Soli Deo Gloria)既是四个唯独的开始,也是四个唯独的结束。因此,“唯独上帝的荣耀” 应该是 我们存在和我们行为的目的。

您在竭力行善为要得到上帝的恩惠吗?让我鼓励您仅凭信心接近上帝,领受基督救赎的恩典。

如果我们要在教会董事会/执事会/会友会议上的每一项决定签署,我们能用S.D.G盖章吗?如果我们对我们所作的每一个善行都留下印记,它们会显示出S.D.G标记吗?

祈祷

亲爱的上帝,求祢帮助我们过 行善的生活,荣耀祢的名。奉主耶稣的名。阿们。