The Baptist Beacon
Do All To The Glory Of God
by Steve Perrigo
The scripture basis for this message is found in I Cor. 10:31, "whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." The implication of this passage is in the "doing" the work. Whatever our occupations, do we see our work and labors as reflective to God's glory? Does our work glorify God or dishonor Him? It is my objective to show in this "work" how we can glorify God every day of our lives and receive abundant blessings.
To begin, do we know what God's glory really is? Have we ever seen God's glory manifested? Do we "know" His glory? Isaiah recorded his vision of seeing, or beholding, the glory of God. " In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ``Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.'' At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. " (Isaiah ch. 6) This sight had a profound effect upon Isaiah. He immediately declared himself to be "ruined, cut off, soon to be destroyed" and a "man of unclean lips". Sinful man will always be effected in this manner when in the presence of God's glory. ( Except for those who are arrogant and proud. They will be effected when they bow before Him in judgment at the last day.) The profound nature of this event caused a greater reverence, awe, and fear of God to come upon Isaiah ultimately effecting his relationship with God with which God poured out the abundance of revelations to him of things to come. His prophecies of Jesus Christ were glorifying and the character of Isaiah's work left to us today reflects God's glory. Indeed, Isaiah put his whole being and effort into his work to the glory of God.
Jesus' disciples also saw the Glory of God and the Glory of Christ. John writes; "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." ( John 1:14) What does it mean to us to know His glory. To know His glory is to see, or behold, His glory. We understand this glory in the actions of Jesus Christ as recorded in the scriptures and the spiritual revelation given by way of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, being our example of perfection in all things, did all He did to the glory of the Father. When we study His life asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds to know the truth, we see that Jesus held back nothing within Himself, but gave Himself completely to the object of His work. What was His object? The redemption and restoration of mankind to God. Man was made for God's glory, but in his sin, man cannot glorify God . Jesus fulfilled this purpose in the flesh and satisfied God first as a perfect man, then as a perfect atoning sacrifice for sin. He did all without holding back. The sin of mankind is in the selfish nature. We always hold back part. Jesus held back nothing. In Jesus' prayer for us to the Father as recorded in John chapter 17, Jesus prayed for God's glory upon Him because He wanted to glorify the Father. " Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Notice that Jesus claimed nothing but that which is truth. His desire to be glorified was through the completion, the finished work. We too, having been born of God through repentance and faith in Jesus, should desire to glorify Jesus through our work because Jesus is glorified in us by what we do. "And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." This is not merely "good works," but the manner of how we approach our secular occupations. What we do in our life and how we do it either reflects glory to God or brings reproach upon His name. Jesus did all to the glory of God.
The verse used as a basis, I Cor. 10:31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God," Paul instructs these people on the manner of their behavior in this world as it applied to eating food sacrificed to idol gods raises the question, will this action glorify God or bring reproach; will it become a stone of stumbling causing one to not believe or go into error? Yet this instruction extends to "whatsoever ye do," not only eating and drinking. Many people soon forget that they do not belong to themselves anymore after salvation. Paul also wrote, 1Corinthians 6:20-AV "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." Evidently, many people must think God is glorified through spirit but Paul says, glorify God also in your body. Why? Because your body belongs to God as well as your soul. Both, body and soul, were purchased by Jesus Christ through His sacrifice on the cross. When we begin to recognize our relationship with God through Jesus in an obedient manner, then we can begin to serve Him, worship Him, rejoicing having gladness in our hearts because we recognize that this relationship is not like the former. Before, we were in captivity, in bondage to sin, a slave to sin. This new relationship is one of liberty, freedom. Anyone who has been held captive knows how it feels to be released, made free, and also knows the responsibility of maintaining that liberty. Freedom does not mean you can do whatsoever you please. This philosophy produces anarchy and chaos. Both are destructive. The examples of this philosophy are present today in our society with loose morals, pleasure seekers, and self-gratification. The end is higher murder rates, baby killing, increased suicides, laziness, low productivity, high drug use and alcoholism, increased violent behavior towards family or strangers, and the list is still growing. Are those who do these things happy? NO! Why? The nature of sin has bound them; they are caught in the trap, captive to sin. It is sad to say, but those in this condition cannot get out of this trap on their on. Only by the grace of God that is by faith in Jesus Christ can we be released from the torments of sin's captivity.
Now let us understand our liberty in the Lord and begin to apply this rule of Christian living to ourselves making it our aim to regulate our conscience and practice, whether eating, drinking, or what ever we do, to do it all with the habitual aim to the glory of God. Colossians 3:17-AV " And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. ...23 And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;" (NIV, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,) To glorify God is to work at it. Not as the world is working. If people would work at anything as if it was for God, perhaps the efficiency of our work would increase. Our quality of work would be better. Do you put your whole being into worship? Do you put your whole being into your daily work and activity as if you were worshipping God with what you do? Remember, your work is a signature of who you are. If your work shows poor quality, it may be showing who you are, as before God. If people work for you and do not put forth the effort or quality that is representative of your Christian principles, do you retain them as the signature of your work? If that work brings a reproach upon you, how does it make you feel? Now imagine how it makes God feel when we claim to be doing a work in His name, yet do not put our best effort forward. It becomes a stumbling block to those who examine us daily.
Look at the examples of Christian skills as displayed in the Shaker and Amish work ethic. They built furniture, buildings and every object necessary to improve their standard of life. Their craft was a reflection of giving God the glory through their work. These same types of craftsmen were present in the building of the Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple. They did not work to satisfy themselves, but to glorify God, a much Higher Standard. Do you employ True Christians in your business? If you employ professing Christians, do they reflect their Christianity in their work ethic? If so, do you compensate them adequately, or do you hold back? Remember, the laborer is worthy of his hire. Also, just as one who labors in the Word of God is worthy of Double Honor, so also should those whose work reflects to the glory of God in its superiority. Pay them well.
This brings up the subject of giving. The church in Corinth, being Gentile, gave of their abundance to the poor saints in Jerusalem. There was some doubt by some in Jerusalem whether or not these Gentiles were a true church, doubted perhaps even whether or not they were even true believers given their background as pagan worshippers. Their attitude changed toward these Gentile Christians when their gift was received. God was glorified. "Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for [your] liberal distribution unto them, and unto all [men];" 2Corinthians 9:13-AV
Generous giving glorifies God. We see the glory of Jesus in the giving of Himself as the sacrifice for sin. Jesus' works glorified the Father. We too give glory to Jesus our Lord, and God the Father, when we give of the "first fruits of our increase." The right attitude when giving is important as to whether or not God receives glory. Are we giving joyfully, with happiness in our hearts, or do we give expecting something in return? The right attitude, or state of mind and heart, is in the understanding of ownership; to whom does it belong. We become receivers of gifts prior to becoming givers through God's grace. If we think we earned, or deserve something, it is no longer of grace, but of debt owed and there is no rejoicing. But in order to glorify God in giving is first to have joy through the thanksgiving of God's gracious gifts and then honoring God by giving back to Him a portion, a token showing our understanding of His divinity. God in turn multiplies these gifts back to His people who glorify him. Look at the following list of scripture references.
Ec 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Pr 11:24* There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and [there is] that withholdeth more than is meet, but [it tendeth] to poverty.
Pr 11:25* The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
Pr 22:9* He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
Isa 32:8* But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
De 15:10* Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
Ps 41:1* To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Blessed [is] he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
Ps 41:2* The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; [and] he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
Ps 126:5* They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Ps 126:6* He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him].
Pr 11:18* The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness [shall be] a sure reward.
Pr 19:17* He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
2Co 9:6* But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
2Co 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for [your] food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
Ga 6:8* For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Ga 6:9* And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Ga 6:10* As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
With all these scriptures to back up this truth, may we give God glory through praise and rejoicing as we see how God is blessing. Let us speak openly of these things. Let us be a witness and may people begin to see the witness in us which is by God's Holy Spirit; the witness that comes through God giving the increase.