Soli Deo Gloria

The Reformation reclaimed the Scriptural teaching of the sovereignty of God over every aspect of the believer’s life. All of life is to be lived to the glory of God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” and answers, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” This great and all consuming purpose was emphasized by those in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to reform the church according to the Word of God.

In contrast to the monastic division of life into sacred versus secular perpetuated by Roman Catholic Church, the Reformers saw all of life to be lived under the lordship of Christ. Every activity of the Christian is to be sanctified unto the glory of God.

Each of the great solas is summed up in the fifth Reformation motto: soli Deo gloria, meaning “to God alone be the glory.” It is what the apostle Paul expressed in Romans 11:36 when he wrote, “to him be the glory forever! Amen.” These words follow naturally from the preceding words, “For from him and through him and to him are all things” (v. 36), since it is because all things really are from God, and to God, that we say, “to God alone be the glory.”