How We Live for God's Glory
What a lofty goal this is! What could be higher? Yet this is the chief end of everyone who has ever lived. God deserves all glory due to His name (Ps. 29:2).
He says it Himself: “This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise.” (Isa. 43:21)
The happiest beings are the angels and glorified saints in heaven, who glorify God eternally. Paul put it this way: “Ye are redeemed with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit” (1 Cor. 6:20). Paul is giving shape to what it means to live for God’s glory.
1. We must be redeemed by Christ
By nature, we live for our own glory. We come short of the glory of God; in fact, we are enemies of it. We deserve everlasting shame because we have not glorified God rightly and without sin. And being changed is not enough, though that clearly is necessary. We must be redeemed. Our service to sin must come to an end, and Christ’s blood and righteousness must be applied to take away our guilt and to set us free from the penalty and power of sin. Christ’s active and passive obedience must avail for us and be charged to our account. He lived a perfect life that glorified God without fail; He paid the full ransom price on Calvary. Are you redeemed by His precious blood? Without this great Redeemer, you are lost and will never attain the purpose for which you were made.
2. We must glorify God in our bodies
Many in the Corinthian church were returning to their former fleshly sins. The body is not for fornication (1 Cor. 6:13), but for the Lord.
Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?1 Cor. 6:19
There is a great dignity to our bodies; they are not a garbage dump or a place to give over to the world. They are temples of the Holy Ghost. Therefore glorify God in your body.
Let us use our eyes rightly, as Jesus did, who lifted His eyes away from the world to the Father in prayer, or on another occasion was filled with compassion as He looked on the multitude. Let our ears turn away from the voices of the world and of the devil and use them to heed God, to listen to good instruction, and to heed the advice of the godly, even if it is reproof. Let us use our lips not for gossip, but to pray, and to speak of the Lord Jesus to others and to our children (Deut. 6:7), and to speak comfort to the downcast – speech that cannot be condemned (Titus 2:8). Let us use our hands not to steal, but to work diligently (Eph. 4:28), and to give and to seek the good of others. Let us use our feet to go to the house of God, to walk in His ways, and to follow the Lord Jesus in His footsteps (1 Pet. 2:21).
3. We must glorify God in our spirit
The Lord is not only the Lord of the body, but also of the soul. Therefore, let us think high thoughts of God, read His Word, and submit to His will. Let us trust in Him, as was said of Abram: “he was strong in faith ... giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20). Let us give glory to God by confessing our sins, as Joshua says to Achan, a man who had stolen: “give ... glory to God” (Josh. 7:19), and as David acknowledging his sin and justifying God (Ps. 51):
For the glory of thy name, pardon, Lord, my evildoing.
Let us give glory to God by a life of holiness, being made conformable to His Son, denying ourselves, and taking up our cross. Let us give glory to God by being thankful, as the leper who returned to Jesus to render thanks to Him (Luke 17:18). This is our reasonable service, isn’t it (Rom. 12:2)? Paul does not say to glorify Him simply because He is your Creator, although that is reason enough. Nor does he say to do so because He is your Sustainer day by day, which is reason enough, too. But He has bought you with His precious blood, so glorify Him in your body and in your soul. How sad when common activities like eating and drinking remain only common activities. That is how they lived in Noah’s days, swallowing it all down without honoring the Giver of these gifts. But Paul says that the children of God should be marked by doing everything to His glory (1 Cor. 10:31).
The secret? The favorable presence, of God. That was the secret to Joseph’s life of glorifying God in trying times. He was far from his parents, far from the Promised Land, but the Lord was not far from him. God was with him (Gen. 39:2). He experienced the communion and nearness of the Lord. Can we do with less?
Let us look to the Savior from God who could say,
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.John 17:4
He gives His Spirit in answer to your prayer: “Help me thy will to do.”