Saturday, 25 October 2014
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
This verse is commonly known as the Christian’s great “first principle.” Paul has been speaking about foods sacrificed to idols, our Christian liberties in regards to that, and our need to consider others’ conscience in the process. He has shown that by following this pattern which gives glory to God, we will be neither overly offensive towards others, nor complacent in our duties and responsibilities towards Him.
This then is the reason for the word “therefore.” It looks over the entire discourse he has thus far penned on the Christian’s responsibilities and sums them up in an all-inclusive statement. “Whether you eat or drink” covers everything he has written about concerning the issue of idols and our liberties and responsibilities in regards to them. “Or whatever you do” adds in every aspect of our life; nothing is excepted. With each step we take, with each breath we breathe, with each day we go off to work, or with every penny we spend for the things we need or desire, nothing is exempt and everything is included. In all things we do, “do all to the glory of God.”
Being filled with the Spirit is not an active process. Rather it is passive. We are sealed with the Spirit the moment we receive Christ as Lord. We have all the Spirit we will ever receive at that moment. But the Spirit can get more of us as we cede our life to Him. When we do, He fills the voids that exist in our humanity. As the Spirit is fully God, then He will only do in us that which glorifies Himself, and therefore God will be glorified. It is a synergistic relationship of us ceding to the will of God and allowing God to be glorified in the process through the Spirit’s work.
Unfortunately, in what seems almost unappealing to most Christians, we cannot be in God’s will if we don’t know what His will is. Thus we must read, study, and practice what is given in His word. There is no “short cut” and no external injection of right knowledge which leads to right practice. Either we study and then put into practice His word or we are not glorifying God as we should. This is an inescapable truth.
As a great summary of this verse, we can look to the eloquent words of Ellicott –
“The quality of each act depends on the spirit which guides it, and the motive from which it springs. The commonest thing may be done in a high Christian spirit. The greatest deed may spring from a low and selfish motive. A religious act done in a secular spirit is secular. A secular thing done in a religious spirit is religious. This is ‘the great first principle’ of Christian life.”
Life application: Doing all things to the glory of God means that we must know what will bring glory to God. Knowing what will bring glory to God is knowing what God has shown will bring glory to Him. Knowing what God has shown will bring glory to Him is knowing His word which is given for this purpose. Know your word; put your knowledge into practice; and give glory to God.
Lord God, Your word says that in whatever I do, I am to do all to the glory of God. This is tougher than I dare to admit. My mind wanders, my thoughts roam to things that may not be holy, and my actions seem to overtake me by impulses that are hard to control. You know my limitations and my weaknesses. And so Lord, strengthen me for this battle and give me the single-minded desire to fulfill this precept and to do everything for Your glory. It is what I wish and I know it is what You desire. Be glorified through my actions. Amen.