1 Corinthian Series #26

"All To The Glory Of God" - 1 Cor. 10:23-11:1

 

I. INTRODUCTION

A. RR

 

B. Why Are We Here?

1. Not here in El Rio

2. Why are we here, on Earth?

a. what is the meaning of life?

b. what's the goal of existence?

3. Evolution = nothing!

4. So, have a good time

5. These verses from Rev. 4 say something very different!

a. God created all things

b. He created us!

c. Old KJ = "For His pleasure, they were created."

- His will is His pleasure

- we were created for God's pleasure

d. Col. 1:16 - "All things were created for Christ."

 

C. Today

1. Paul has a way of using large, all-encompassing truths to direct the smaller decisions of life

2. Rather than coming up with a different rule to govern every little thing, he lays down some broad guidelines and then calls on us to let the Holy Spirit guide us as we walk with Christ

3. In our passage today, Paul gives the most fundamental guideline for living in all of the Bible

 

II. TEXT

A. Vs. 23-24

 

23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being.

 

1. These final vs. of ch. 10 wrap up Paul's response to their questions about eating meat offered to idols

a. I know this may seem repetitive

b. we have been over this ground a lot lately

c. so I'll keep this recap short

2. Situation in Corinth

3. In vs. 23 & 24 he summarizes all he has said

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful but not all things edify.

 

a. no one knew his liberty in Christ better than Paul

- and while the freedom Christ brings was precious to him

- there was something more precious to him

- growing in Christ

 

4. At end of ch. 9, Paul had used example of an athlete

a. free to engage in anything

b. but if he wants to win, lives a disciplined life

c. so for Christian

- we are free to engage in many things

- but what effect will it have on my walk

- for instance, I am free to watch MTV

- but MTV is filled with images that pollute the mind with thoughts unworthy of God

- and as the Bible says in Prov. 23:7, "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is."

5. But for Paul, there was also the consideration of what kind of an impact we will have on others, especially other Christians

 

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being.

 

6. Throughout last 3 chapters he has told the Corinthians to think about others

a. what kind of an impact their lives have on them

b. take care of the example they provide

7. How contrary to the way of the world this is

a. 3 most important words of the world are: "I, me mine"

b. "Looking out for #1" is the motto of most

8. Paul cuts straight across the conventional wisdom of his and our time

9. And you know what? What he says here is impossible to do! It simply cannot be done

a. in our own strength that is

b. only thru the power of the HS can a person take as much thought for others as he does for himself

c. Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

- how clearly different this word of God is when compared to the wisdom of this world

- how different from so much of what is called Christian counseling today

10. There is a little acronym that is taught to new Christians we need to be reminded of = JOY

a. Jesus first

b. Others second

c. You last

d. so much counseling today scrambles this into Y- if JO

- you first

- Jesus if He fits

- others if it's convenient

 

B. Vs. 25-30

 

25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake;

26 for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

 

1. Paul gets down to some nitty-gritty practical advice

2. (Explain) Go to market, buy meat, don't ask where it's from

(Example of dropping a carrot - what you don't know '

won't hurt you)

3. Reason = V. 26 - for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

a. Psalm 24:1

b. ultimately, all things belong to God

c. 1 Tim 4:4-5 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

 

27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake.

28 But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

 

4. If an unbeliever invites you to dinner, eat what is set before you w/o asking where it's from

5. But is someone leans over to you and says, "Did you know this meat was offered to an idol," then don't eat it because clearly he has a problem with it

6. Reason = same as before - "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

a. while the meat belongs to God, so does the one whose conscience is defiled by eating meat

b. and in the bigger picture of things, your brother or sister in Christ is more important than that steak

 

29 "Conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience?

30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?

 

7. Paul's point is that we can have liberty w/o always exercising it

a. why should what I consider a precious liberty in Christ become the cause of someone stumbling

b. if that happens, then what I hold dear is tarnished

c. better to treasure my freedom to myself than to expose it and see it become a point of trouble

8. We must be mindful of the consciences of others

 

9. Now Paul moves from specifics about the eating of meat sacrificed to idols to the largest principle of the Christian life

 

C. V. 31

 

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

 

1. For Paul, this was the critical issue

a. what gives the maximum glory to God:

b. eating a T-bone?

c. or building up others in the faith?

2. He was saying that for every decision, this must be the filter thru which it passes.

 

3. Catechism

a. many here went - remember?

b. learn by asking and answering questions

c. one of the most used - Westminster Shorter Catechism

- begins by asking, "What is the chief end of man?"

- answer - "To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."

d. this and this alone gives the right answer to the meaning of life

 

4. Last week - in Sequoia, nest campsite

a. got to talking with guy - psychotherapist

b. asked what therapy he used

c. Adlerian, cognitive, and behavioral

5. Now, you might be wondering what all that means; and that's just my point . . .

a. there are over 400 registered psychotherapies being practiced in the US today

b. not 400 psychotherapists (there are thousands of those)

c. I mean over 400 DIFFERENT psychological therapies being used to treat people

d. and after years and years of psychotherapy being practiced, you know what the conclusion of the psychological community is about the benefit of psychotherapy?

e. no one treatment method is superior to another

f. in fact, it is their conclusion that in most cases, people recover faster w/o psychotherapy than with it

6. What I'm driving at is this: Most psychology fails because it fails to take into account the purpose for man - to glorify God!

7. The way to mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical health is to follow Paul's counsel here.

a. this is Biblical psychotherapy!

b. "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

8. If we would put this first in our lives, run every thought thru this filter, I'm convinced we would find true contentment and peace

 

D. What Does It Mean?

1. But what does it mean to do all things to the glory of God?

a. conversation with friend some years ago

b. seemed somewhat disgusted - tired of hearing this

c. too abstract, too general

d. need to be more specific

2. How do we glorify God?

 

1) Rom. 4:20 - Abraham glorified God when he trusted in God's promise of having a son thought he and his wife were well passed the child-bearing years.

a) God is glorified when we put our trust in Him

b) rather than living merely by our own resources

 

2) John 15:8 - We glorify God when we bear spiritual fruit

a) by maturing in the things of the Spirit

b) by being conformed to the image of Christ

 

3) Psalm 50:23 - We glorify God when we actively praise Him.

a) not just at church

b) all thru the week

 

This is just a few of the ways we can glorify God in practical and specific ways

 

3. Paul knew that if the Corinthians made the glory of God their priority, every other issue would fall into line

4. That is true for us as well

 

E. Vs. 32-11:1

 

32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,

33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

 

1. So he concludes his instructions on this issue by calling them to follow his example.

2. He lived his life by asking what glorified God

3. And in doing so, provided a great example for us to follow

 

III. CONCLUSION

A. Examples

1. There is nothing like having an example to follow

2. It has been my prayer for several years now that the HS would raise up godly men and women who could provide good examples for us to follow

3. I would ask you to join me in that prayer

4. God - raise up men and women who will lead us in Your ways, not the ways of the world

a. not looking our for #1 (point at me)

b. but looking out TO #1 (Point up)

5. In fact, let's pray we become such people!

 

B. To The Lost

1. What are you living for?