Saturday, April 16, 2016

Whatsoever you do

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

In this verse Paul gives a simple rule to direct Christians in making choices about things that are neither commanded nor forbidden in the Word of God. His rule is this: Do WHATEVER we do TO THE GLORY OF GOD. This is a general rule, not limited to the eating of meat offered to idols, of which he had been writing. It is a rule applicable to all other actions. The reasonableness of this rule is seen in Proverbs 16:4, “The Lord hath made all things for Himself.”  Our purpose in life is to bring glory to God.

First Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” We are not our own. Our bodies and our spirits belong to God. The Greek word translated spirit is pneuma (pnyoo'-mah). Its literal meaning is, “breath.” By analogy or figuratively it means the rational soul or mental disposition.

Glorifying God in our bodies should be fairly easy to figure out. Dress modestly, not to reveal your body or seductively attract others (1 Timothy 2:9). Sex is not love and sexiness is not beauty. Don’t get drunk; drunkenness is sin (Ephesians 5:8). Don’t overeat; gluttony is sin (Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:21). There are some things that aren’t directly mentioned in Scripture that can be listed here because we know they harm our bodies: smoking, not getting enough exercise, and eating things not good for us, just to name a few. (I’m not a health food nut but we do need to be knowledgeable about the things we eat, such as things known to cause cancer or have low or no nutritional value.)

Glorifying God in our spirits (rational soul, minds) isn’t really hard to figure out either. The music we listen to, the TV and movies we watch, the books we read, the things we look at or read on the internet, … anything that goes into our minds through our five senses. If it doesn’t glorify God and draw us into a deeper relationship with Him, we should not allow it to enter our minds. Granted, there are times when we cannot control some things we listen to, such as music in grocery stores or doctors’ offices. Those cases would be a good application of 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

In short, we are not to follow the world’s opinions of beauty and self-gratification. We are to search the Scriptures for God’s thoughts on these things and apply those Scriptures to our lives, our behavior, and our choices. Know the Scriptures. Obey the Scriptures. It’s not easy but it is simple.

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