Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Can a Christian smoke? Should a Christian drink “socially?” What’s “ok” to do before marriage? These are common questions, and they are good questions, for immature believers to ask, that is. How do they relate to the 1 Corinthians 10:31? I’ll try to show how.
The chief end of man is to glorify God. All of creation is designed to proclaim God’s glory. Even the sin He allows in His sovereignty is used for His good (Rom 8:28). Let us consider to whom Paul is writing this letter: to believers! What is a believer? A believer is someone who has realized their sinfulness and their necessity for a savior. They have been snatched from the depths of eternal hell by our smitten Lord who, by His grace, has chosen them as a people unto Himself. Nothing they did or could have done caused this to happen, it was an act of mercy, (see Titus 3:5)
So what ought the response be to this act of love, grace and mercy? We owe our very lives to God, the Creator and Redeemer! So in what manner ought we live? For Him alone. This is the essence of this verse, (and the entire bible, if you will). Paul’s point above is that EVERYTHING you do ought to be for the glory of God. There are 3 main factors to consider when trying to decide of your proposed act is for or “not for” His glory. (At least that’s how many I’m going to discuss here!)
1. Is it sin? This will immediately disqualify the act. There are obvious sins. Things like activity outside of a man-woman marriage, stealing, lying, cheating, blasphemy and covetousness.
2. If it is not clearly sin, can it become sin? Is it the beginning of a slippery slope? This is where drinking and smoking and drug use fall into play (at the VERY LEAST). These things, in and of themselves, may not be immediately obvious as sins. But against the backdrop of a degenerate American society, where these things are idolized and used for worship and revelry, there is only damage that can be done by participating in these behaviors. I love Todd Agnew’s song, My Jesus where he sings, “If Ephesians says to imitate Christ, why do you look so much like the world?” (Hear it here)
3. Does it add to the Kingdom? Does it point to Christ as Savior? Ultimately, does your act contribute to your ministry, whatever it is? If it does, then great, if it doesn’t, then see questions 1 & 2.
A Christian who is filled with the spirit is ALWAYS glorifying God. We do this ALL THE TIME, if we choose. When you eat or drink, you are generally doing an innocuous, a-moral act, but it can be done with a fervent thankfulness to God and an unashamed outspoken love for the Provider that draws the attention of the lost to Him. Keep in mind that Jesus ate and attended family gatherings and slept. Things that seem unimportant, but He did them all filled with the Holy Spirit and glorified His Father in Heaven CONTINUOUSLY. His example is what we are to follow!
So whatsoever you do, do it all to the Glory of God! Thanks, Matt for Romans 15:5-6 today!
To see an example, check out this blog article about George Whitefield and his zeal for God’s creation in all he did!