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Editor’s note: The following is a response to Joseph Farah’s column, “Give the glory to God!” (Farah’s reply will appear tomorrow.)

I believe Jesus Christ deserves all the glory. It is the purpose of life. The stated theme of the PEACE plan is, “For the global glory of God.” That statement is printed on PEACE material. Our members, and other churches doing PEACE call it the “3-G” statement. One church in North Carolina built a “Global Glory of God house” which houses PEACE missionaries.

Joseph, you know that as a rule I don’t answer critics, but we can’t ignore what the Bible says about this important subject. I just happen to have a Bible study I wrote on it. Here it is.

1. The Bible clearly states in many major passages that God wants His body and bride to receive glory.

Paul commanded that both Christ and his bride receive glory: ” … to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:21 (NIV)

“He died so that he could give the church to himself like a bride in all her glorious beauty. He died so that the church could be pure and without fault, with no evil or sin or any other wrong thing in it.” Ephesians 5:27 (NCV)

Glory belongs to God in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time and eternity! Amen.” Ephesians 3:21 (GW)

“God is the One who made all things, and all things are for his glory. He wanted to have many children share his glory, so he made the One who leads people to salvation perfect through suffering.” Hebrews 2:10 (NCV)

May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.” Ephesians 3:21 (NLT)

“I die every day – I mean that, brothers – just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:31 (NIV)

You certainly agree with these verses, don’t you, Joseph?

2. Jesus clearly stated that He receives glory through His church. He said the church is His glory!

“And all of them, and since they are mine, they belong to you; and you have given them back to me, so they are my glory!” John 17:10 (NLT)

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)

“All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” John 17:10 (NIV)

“Paul gloried in the church and told them: Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:20 (NIV)

3. Christ intends for his church to share in his glory! Giving glory to Christ’s bride and body gives glory to Christ. Christ’s eternal plan has always been to share his glory forever with this church, his bride. Salvation, sanctification and glorification are all Christian doctrine.

“And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share his glory and his honor when he returns.” 1 Peter 5:1 (NLT)

“Christ is our life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory.” Colossians 3:4 (NCV)

“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” Romans 5:2 (NLT)

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 (NIV)


“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.” Romans 8:18 (NLT)

“Everything God made is waiting with excitement for God to show his children’s glory completely.” Romans 8:19 (NCV)

” … [T]hat everything God made would be set free from ruin to have the freedom and glory that belong to God’s children.” Romans 8:21 (NCV)

“And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.” Romans 8:30 (TEV)

“As objects of his mercy, we were prepared in advance for glory. What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory …” Romans 9:23 (NIV)

“For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.” Colossians 1:27 (NLT)

“Christ is our life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory.” Colossians 3:4 (NCV)

“He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:14 (NIV)

“And when the head Shepherd comes, your reward will be a never-ending share in his glory and honor.” 1 Peter 5:4 (NLT)

I have found that more I honor Christ’s body, the more God blesses me.

4. If we are really serious about bringing glory to God, we must love and accept each other in Christ, rather than tearing each other down. Unity glorifies God. Dividing and accusing Christians does not.

“Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other, which will bring glory to God. Romans 15:7 (NCV)

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

“But the true wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.” It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere. And these who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.” James 3:17-18 (NLT)

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephes. 4:31-32 (NLT)

5. Creating division does not bring glory to God.

“Human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purpose.” James 1:20 (TEV)

“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 (NIV)

“Each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Romans 14:12-13 (NIV)

6. What brings God the most glory is love and unity in his body.

The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

“If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Galatians 5:14-15 (NIV)

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.” John 17:22 (NIV)


Rick Warren is the founding and senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of the nation’s largest and most influential congregations, with more than 22,000 in attendance each weekend.

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