"Do All To The Glory Of God"
All glory really belongs to God. It is his by right of his majesty, power and wisdom. He really needs nothing from us, for we are only the creatures of his design and of his determined will. Indeed, "Unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever" (I Tim. 1:17). The glory of God is manifested in two ways: (1) His very being portrays his glory. "The glory of the Lord shall endure forever" (Ps. 104:31). The very fact that there is an all-wise, all-powerful God, and that there is only one such God, is the greatest source of honor for him. "I am the first and the last; and beside me there is no God . . . . . . Is there a God beside me? yea there is no God; I know not any." (Isa. 44:6, 8). In Psalms 115 we have the contrast between the true God and the god of the heathen, and the psalmist says, "Not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and thy truth's sake. . . . Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased". (2) But God's work also portrays his glory. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork" (Ps. 19:1). This good earth, with all of its wonders, and the universe about us with its limitless design and the perfect precision of its operation, declare the glory of God even to those who cannot read. The work of God, in all of its perfection, is incontestable evidence of His majesty, undeniable proof of his power and unending demonstration of his wisdom. His greatest work was concluded in giving his Son to the purchase the church (Eph. 5:25) and because of the nature of that divine body, Paul exclaimed, "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end" (Eph. 3:21). God is glorified because of the very existence of the church. No physical, material thing portrays God's glory so well as the church, the spiritual body of Christ in which sinful souls find salvation (Eph. 5:23; 2:16).
Whatever glory belongs to man is really only his because he has been "Crowned with glory and honor" and has been given dominion over the works of God's hands, for God has "put all things under his feet" (Ps. 8:5, 6). Man has more glory and honor than all the beasts and creatures, for man is truly made in the image of God-that is he has a spirit that came from God (Eccl. 12:7) and because of the intellectual power the Lord has given him, he rules over all other living things. Therefore, though they be much stronger, man rules over the horse, the elephant, etc., and in this man attains his glory.
But man's glory is from God "For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if they hadst not received it?" ( I Cor. 4-7). Then the glory that man may attain must always be attributed to the Lord. "But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth" (2 Cor.10:17, 18).
Rather than seek honor for self, man should seek always to do that which will praise and glorify God. (Only when he does this will he really possess glory before God at all). In four ways man can glorify God:
1. We bring praise and glory to God when we worship him in spirit and in truth. "Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks in his name" (Heb. 13:15). "In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee" (Heb. 2:12). Examples of such worship are found in Acts 2:47 where it is said that the first Christians were found "praising God" and in Acts 16:25 where we are told that at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God.
2. We glorify God by living holy, godly lives. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost . . . . . therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's" (I Cor. 6:19, 20). The context of these verses teach us to keep our bodies from the defilements of the world (covetousness, drunkenness, fornication, etc.)
3. God is glori6ed through the service Christians render to mankind. Paul said that the contribution made by the Gentile churches for the relief of the needy saints in Jerusalem was administered to the glory of the Lord (2 Cor. 8:19). Again Paul said that the Christian is "Created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Eph. 2:10). Let us remember that every service which a Christian renders either to God or to man is done "in the body." That is, this body is used as a device for God's glory -but it must be used, not misused! In one of his most tender appeals Paul begged that brethren "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptance unto God" (Rom. 12:1 ) We have been made alive in the new birth, and we must be kept alive by the Holy Spirit through the word and by active use of our bodies in true service. We cannot obey a single command of the Bible without use of our bodies, but when we do use our bodies in obedience, God is honored. Likewise we can do no real service to mankind without use of our bodies, but when we do serve humanity with this body, glory is brought to the Lord.
4. Finally, we glorify God in fruitfulness. Jesus said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit" (Jn. 15:8). This is true discipleship. We really follow Christ only if we are faithful in fruit-bearing. Furthermore, this is an individual matter. He said, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away." We are not fruitful because we are members of a church that does great good, but only if we personally do so. We do not really glorify God because we worship with a group that is fruitful, but only if we render proper service ourselves. Each Christian can have a part in the sowing, cultivating and reaping to produce the precious fruit of saved souls. By use of his time, talent, influence and money and by his purity, prayers, labor and love he can help to bring many to saving grace, and thus bring glory to the Lord whom he serves.
Peter said, "That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 4:11 ). Paul said, "Whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all to the glory of God" (Col. 3:17) and "Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31).
Truth Magazine IV:12, pp. 1, 3