Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – 1 Corinthians
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Most of Paul’s Letters that he wrote to particular churches were in regards to some doctrinal issue that was in some way impacting that particular church. The Churches in Galatia (Galatians) were dealing with the false teaching of the Judaizers; in Colossians the issue seems to be a spirituality that was to be added to Christ’s work on the cross that included observing a cycle of feasts and festivals; living an ascetic lifestyle by abstaining from certain foods and drinks, etc.
The Church at Corinth (1 Corinthians) was in a BIG mess. There was division among the church as to who was baptized by whom; abuse of the Lord’s Supper (drunkenness and overeating, while excluding the poor); a denial of the bodily resurrection of the dead; an abuse of spiritual gifts; and sexual sin. Paul called them saints because of the redeeming work of Christ, but they certainly weren’t living like saints.
In this tenth chapter Paul was writing about an issue some were having with being invited to people’s homes that would be serving meat that had been offered to idols. Paul didn’t want them to participate in idolatrous feasts, but if they bought meat at the market place they shouldn’t worry whether it was used in an idolatrous sacrifice or not, because it was just meat, and the Lord gave them meat to eat and enjoy.
But on the other hand, if they were invited to eat with people who just brought home that sacrificed meat from their idolatrous event, then it would be better if they abstained because a brother in Christ might mistakenly think you were celebrating in the idolatrous feast. Paul brings this up because it appears from what is said in verse thirty that Paul was previously accused of eating meat offered to idols.
Paul brings his arguments that he has been discussing in chapters eight, nine and ten to a climax by reminding the Christians in Corinth that the Christian’s every decision needs to be governed by whether the Lord God is glorified through that decision, and if so, then their godly and God glorifying decisions may possibly draw Jew and Gentile alike towards the faith, and encourage believers as they grow in their faith. It’s important to notice that Paul says in this thirtieth verse: “So whether you eat or drink or WHATEVER you do, do it ALL for the glory of God.” What I want us to see is that the Lord isn’t to be glorified ONLY when it comes to food and drink issues, but rather He is to be glorified in WHATEVER WE DO. In other words, we as Christians are to live our lives – every aspect of our lives – for the glory of God.
Now, what in the world does that mean? Well, if Paul is saying here that ‘whatever you/I do’, then that has to do with my decision process. I do what I decide to do, even if I’m being told to do it. So, if I’m going to be setting some goals (by doing whatever I’m doing), they need to be goals that are in some way bringing glory to God. I can tell, you’re still confused. Maybe this other verse will help. We read in 1 Timothy 4:3-5,
They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
Paul was warning Timothy of some false teachers that he might encounter that were making up rules about marriage and abstaining from certain foods, and these ‘rules’ were not biblical. The Lord God made everything good, so those who believe and know the truth – Christians – are to receive whatever they eat or WHATEVER THEY DO with grateful hearts of thanksgiving because, again, the Lord has made it all good.
So, as the believer is making decisions about what he or she should wear today, they need to ask themselves if they are doing so with a grateful heart of thanksgiving to the Lord, and will the Lord be glorified or seen in the wrong light because my decision to wear something is totally inappropriate. I can’t tell you what is appropriate or inappropriate to wear, but I think a simple test would be this: look at yourself in a full length mirror and ask, “Will the Lord be pleased with this outfit, and will it draw people towards the Lord or make them wonder if I’m a believer or not?” Now, you might think that my question is leading, but it really isn’t. If you are a Christian, then you have the Spirit of Christ within you, and if you honestly ask the Lord to answer you, and if you are willing to listen to His answer, then you shouldn’t have any trouble glorifying the Lord in what you’re wearing.
But more than the clothes we wear, this verse speaks encouragement to us when we go to work, no matter how mundane we think that job is. If we are grateful – if we do our job in a spirit and attitude of thanksgiving – then the Lord will be glorified – He will be pleased – His name will be lifted up and people may stop and say, “I’ve never met a person who enjoyed working a cash register like you!” And then you can smile and say, “Well, I’m grateful that the Lord has given me a job”. And that person will either walk away saying, “Wow, there must be something about this Jesus that she’s so thankful towards”, or they will walk away angry and frustrated because they won’t like the fact that you find joy and thanksgiving in serving your Lord in this capacity. Either way, God still is glorified!
I certainly don’t want anyone reading this to think that Randy is so super spiritual because he is always so grateful for every single thing he does or has to decide to do, because I’m not. I’m growing along with you folks, but I must say that I have learned to be content in whatever state I’m in (I don’t mean Florida, although I am content, especially considering the northeast is being hit with a major late winter blizzard right now!), and I truly do find joy and peace in the little things of life. And for that I thank and glorify my Lord, because He has always been good, faithful, loving, gracious, merciful, and lovingly corrective towards me, so by His grace and Spirit, I will humbly do what I can to bring glory to the Lord in everything that I do. How about you?