1 Corinthians 10:31-33. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
Do all to the glory of God.
This is Paul’s classic summary statement for everything he’s said over the past three chapters. The Corinthians were questioning whether they could eat the meat that had been sacrificed to idols in the pagan temples? And Paul’s answer was yes you can, but not if it is unloving to do so in front of a Christian with a weaker conscience. In other words, your freedom must take a back seat to love.
This is why if you keep reading the next couple verses you see that the way we do all to the glory of God is by living for the good of others. Giving no offense. Pleasing everyone in everything we do. Not seeking our own advantage. Desiring the salvation of others.
When we think about the glory of God we might think of bright lights, fire and smoke on a mountaintop, lightning and thunder, or rainbows and angels surrounding a throne in heaven. And yes, God’s glory is manifested in all of these ways. But as we learned from Moses’ experience on the mountaintop (see day 34), God’s glory is his goodness and grace, his steadfast love and faithfulness, his mercy and compassion, his forgiveness. God’s glory is his salvation.
And God’s glory was made known to us fully at the cross of Christ. Jesus death for mankind displayed all of the goodness, love, and forgiveness of God, but also all of God’s holiness. The cross is the most glorious event that the world has ever known. Why? Because it revealed the full essence of God. The selfless, self-sacrificing, self-giving nature of God. God’s glory is his giving of his life for others.
This is why when Paul says that whatever we do should be done for the glory of God, he then quickly describes living for the good of others. Doing all for the glory of God is doing all from self-sacrificing and self-giving love. Doing all for the glory of God is choosing to die to selfishness and choosing to live as a beacon of God’s glory – his grace, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and love. Why? So that others may see God’s glory in your life, the glory of the cross, and live!
Now Paul has brought living for the glory of God out of the clouds of “super spirituality,” and equated it with our everyday choices. What we choose to do each moment of each day, eating and drinking, or not eating and not drinking, WHATEVER we do, can be for the glory of God when it is done with the good of others in mind. Anything done to benefit others, while not seeking your own rights or advantages, can be for the glory of God. Any sacrifice that points others to Jesus is for the glory of God. Anything that helps others trust the grace of God is for the glory of God.
Before we choose to do anything, even things we are totally free to do, we must ask this question, “will this glorify God?” And that question is answered by asking, “will this strengthen the other Christians around me?” You see, “to live is Christ” is not only a vertical relationship between you and God alone through your private choices. “To live is Christ” is lived out horizontally between you and others through the relational choices you make each day.
“To live is Christ” is to do all for the glory of God. Christ in us makes this possible. His life in you allows you to live for the good of others and thus display the glory and goodness of God. How? Because when you have the love, security, and grace of Christ in you, you are able to set your own rights aside. You can “eat” or “not eat.” It doesn’t matter. Whatever you miss out on in this life for the salvation of others, you will receive back ten million times over in the eternal glory of Christ’s kingdom.
Do you make your daily choices in light of what is best for just yourself, or for those around you? Are you an offensive Christian?
You in Christ
How does trusting in your union with Christ allow you to live for the benefit of others over yourself?
Christ in you
Are you able to see how living for others is the same as living for the glory of God?
Playlist: The Glory of God