8-26-2018 The Declaration of Dependence 1 Corinthians 10:31
[[Power of personal testimony Wednesday night - Paul giving testimony Acts 22]]
Terry Leprino - she headed the Young Life group in my city-- she took a special interest in me I was at a young age learning about God’s Word and I became a Christian as a young teen in a great Christian Church with a great home with a wonderful mom. Really, to describe my life as a senior in high school, I was a great example of defiant mediocrity. Although some, I wasn't getting into a lot of trouble. I didn't realize my spiritual condition at the time. Terry Leprino took an interest in me. And she would say, “You know Josh, it would really be a great thing every day for you to pick up your Bible and read from God's word and ask Him to speak to your heart and develop your life.” And I was agreeable to that so I’d say, “that means a lot, a great thing, I'll do that!” Yet by the next time I would see her, she would question if I said Hey you said did you read your Bible this week?” I said, “No, not yet I was just about to do that this evening and I didn't really get it done. But I started to not want to get too close to Terry. I would look to avoid her because I knew she would be asking me the same question. I go through my day without having any kind of personal quiet time. At that point my life, I really did not develop any consistency with the word of God. But Terry kept on in her patient persistence, asking me regularly.
I still remember the day I decided well I'm I'm going to have something to tell her because she have invested time and money into me. So I thought I'm going to read so I turned to random passages and I read that random chapter. I would try to pick out a verse about some spiritual thing just so I would have something to tell Terry. When it came to telling her what I read, I remember walking away with a great sense of satisfaction. God had yet to really be working on my heart with His Word. But I had begun a personal devotional time albeit weak and with little structure. So I began reading a chapter a day this is near the end of the school year I graduated I went off into the world without a care loosing that devotional time.
So in my early to mid 20’s I worked night shift alone and so I opened up my Bible and read a chapter to pick up a habit of devotional time.
And when the night I came to 1 Corinthians, I was reading chapter 10. I'd like for you to turn there with me for just a moment. I want to share with you how this began to unfold in my life. I came to chapter 10 and I have read through like I was reading through every other chapter for that night. I was going to have a brief time of prayer and get back to work.
24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
When I read verse 31 for some reason that night, the word was like a knife into my heart and confronted me with my entire life. You see I was at that stage has just finished my senior year of high school, I would argue about everything. In fact my whole senior year, I follow the rules but I'd argue about all of them. “Show me a verse that says I can’t... Well I don't agree with that. That's what they think.” People would talk about music, they talk about standards, they talk about activity, and I just said “well show me in the Bible” very argumentative spirit. Really what it was, I had a resistance to any authority in my life. It's a pretty common thing. Because I didn’t like anyone telling me what to do or how to do it and I always wanted to argue with that person. Now I was confronted with a philosophy of living: “Doing all to His glory” Here is how it hit me: my whole life was be lived out for my own glory, and my own pleasure, and my own will. But YHWH now was and is challenging me about living every in every way in doing everything to His glory. Well I prayed and I went to back to work that night. Then the next night, I opened up my Bible and turned to chapter 11--the next chapter. I couldn't read it! My eyes kept going back to verse 31. That night, YHWH had done one of the greatest works in me. In fact, this verse had more impact on me than almost any other verse in the Bible. The theme is a magnificent theme: The glory of God. In fact, it's an overwhelming theme, it is an inexhaustible theme. The glory of God--how can I begin to describe His glory? From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible speaks of the glory of YHWH and I feel so small in light of His Glory. But in this verse, It's a very clear and pointed proposition. Do all to the glory of God.
This morning I like to sure 3 concepts of His Glory:
There is no greater declaration then the declaration of His Glory.
There is no greater demonstration then the demonstration of His Glory.
There is no greater desire then the desire for His Glory.
I. The Declaration of His Glory
I. The Declaration of His Glory
There is no greater declaration then the declaration of His Glory. When we think about the declaration of the glory of god and you think of the great magnificent theme throughout the Bible. The majesty and glory of His name. It transcends the Earth. It fills heavens. It is the grandest theme of the ages from eternity to eternity.
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
And what should be our philosophy of life and living? we would describe it as doxological-- doxo = glory. We sing ‘the Doxology.” The glory of god to me is the overarching theme. From eternity to eternity, YHWH’s great desire is His glory. Some would say it's salvation. Really salvation is not a theme that runs from eternity to eternity is limited to only a period of time. But above all of these themes in life, of all of the doctrines, of all of the messages-- above everything is this:The glory of God. And I think you would agree with me that there is no greater declaration of the declaration of His glory. It fills the earth.
Secondly there's no greater demonstration...
II. The Demonstration of His Glory
II. The Demonstration of His Glory
... then the demonstration of His Glory. YHWH demonstrates His glory to us in who He is, and what He does. YHWH Himself is the eternal God. In Ps 90:2
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
“from everlasting to everlasting you are God”
He receives glory in the fact that He is eternal. He is the God that never changes Malachi 3:6
6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
“I the Lord do not change”
YHWH is not inconsistent, He is not fickle, He is not going back on His word. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The glory of His knowledge--His omniscience--He knows everything, nothing is hid from Him: Hebrews 4:13
13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
YHWH receives glory in His infinite knowledge
His power Jeremiah 32:27
27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?
God receives glory in that he has all power--Omnipotence. Nothing is too hard for him.
The glory of His presence: He is always there—Omnipresence. No matter where you go, no matter where you find yourself in life, no matter how deep the pit.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
The Glory of YHWH in His presence. Glory of YHWH in His sufficiency: Exodus 3:14 “I am who I am.”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
“I am who I am.”
He is the all sufficient One--those are just only a few of the attributes. A marvelous God and all that He is brings glory to Himself.
But not only in who He is, but in His work.
The Bible says in Psalm 86:9
9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. 10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.
The glory of His creation: Psalm 19:1
1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
It is interesting when you read through Psalm 19. And it describes the sky above proclaims (or the firmament shows), “handiwork” in the Hebrew, is literally “finger work”. YHWH’s finger work here in creation.
The glory of His revelation: Psalm 138:2
2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
“You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word”
God is glorified whether it's the the pillar of cloud by day, the fire by night, the still small voice in every one of YHWH’s revelations. He is glorified and is magnified especially in His Word. He is glorified in salvation.
In Isaiah 52, right before we get into chapter 53—the famous description of the cross of Christ, it talks about how God brings salvation. And in verse 10 of Isaiah 52, an odd phrase pops up:
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
“YHWH has bared His holy arm...”
What it means literally to us today is God “rolls up His sleeve” and He does His great work His creation is His finger work, His salvation, He rolls up His sleeve. The marvelous glorious work. All of that brings glory to His Name.
There is glory in his judgment. Revelation 20:11
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
If we think of all of YHWH's glory in His person and in His work, we then see tt is revealed most clearly in our Lord Jesus, the Christ. He is central. He is the one that is the flesh on God that we see. Jesus, our Messiah, is glorified. And He glorifies the Father. 2 Corinthians 4:6
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
And then, for a tremendous verse a chapter earlier:
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
In other words, I behold His glory. I see in his word. And He transforms my life. Christ prayed in John 12.
28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
There is no greater declaration. There is no greater demonstration. Now here is the part that I want to challenge you with today: there is no greater desire then the desire to glorify our God.
III. The Desire for His Glory
III. The Desire for His Glory
What does it mean to glorify god? Well I think first of all I need to realize that there's nothing that I can do to add to His glory or take away from His glory. God is completely glorified in himself.
But to say this to do all to the glory of god and to have that motive-- something that's hidden behind your life. You are all seated here and we are dressed the same, we look the same. But beyond the surface, beyond the skin of your life, God is looking at the motive of what drives you. What pushes you? what challenges you? why do you live the way you live? And that's exactly what 1 Corinthians 10:31 did to me --it went to the core of my being. How are you living, Josh? What are you looking for? What is your passion? What is your real desire? and here's what He said to me: “do all to the glory of God.” I was rebuked. Why? Because my whole life was living for something else.
What is it to glorify God? It is to give honor to Him, and to praise Him with all of my being. It is to seek His pleasure with my whole heart. It is to see His pleasure with my whole heart. I’m talking about very simple truth. Sometimes when we talk about the glory of God, we think of a doctrine that is overwhelming. After all, how do we even begin to describe the glory of God? This morning I shared just a little bit, but I feel like I fell far short of being able to challenge you about the glory of god in just this one sermon because of the overwhelming picture of it. Yet there's a very simple truth: to live for His pleasure. You know it's really like a little kid. A little boy or girl who just wants daddy to be happy. Just to please his father. That's how simple it is. It's not arguing in all of the points. Show me in the Bible! well I don't think that's right!. No it's just desiring the smile of YHWH--His pleasure--His approval.
Let's look at our lives a little bit-- it can be a painful thing. Some of us look in the mirror in this morning and saw a painful thing. Painful to really see what you are, and what I am. If I look at the condition of my desires to see that my bent is to please myself, I have then become a very self-absorbed, self-indulgent person. And so in time we grow to become even more focused on self. We are completely self serving. We read this verse 1 Corinthians 10:31.
31 Therefore, whether you eat or you drink or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God.
Even in eating & drinking--the simple things in life--what we would compartmentalize and say, “well that's not really spiritual, that's not important” Yet YHWH wants you to please Him in every single thing--even the little things. You can't divide the spiritual from the secular with YHWH. Every part of your being matters to YHWH.
Zechariah 7:6 says:
6 And when you eat and drink, are you not eating and drinking for yourselves?
And then Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:6
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough?
“Your boasting/glorying is not good.”
You know we glory in our own performance so often. I'm all for rules. I haven't always been that way, but now that I'm a dad I became a firm believer in them. But I don’t much like people telling me what to do. I remember walking through in my high school years always saying, “that's idiotic”. It was said mostly under my breath so that the right people can’t hear it. A “make me” attitude. I think sometimes we don’t grow in the Lord even though we can say, “I'm following all the rules. And I even added some rules myself.” What happens we begin to glory in our performance with no glory to God. We even glory in what we do for YHWH. There is a spiritual pride in that. I wonder if there's nothing more disgusting to God than spiritual pride.
Another trap we fall in is when we glory in catching violators. We can find people that aren't doing right and we take glory in exposing them, but them God is not glorified in that. We glory in pleasing self and we even glory in pleasing others. Ministries become motivated to please men in order to attract people. The outward appearance is so easy.
In Galatians 1, Paul says:
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
That's our condition. It's a sad condition. Because whether we admit it, we live for our own pleasure, we live for our own glory. We're talking about a very simple truth yet so core to your being that everything in your life from the crown of your head to the sole of your foot ought to bring pleasure to YHWH alone. That should be the driving philosophy of your life and that was what confronted me. And I realized that I had an excuse for everything, I had an argument for everything. I would justify any wrong with me by pointing the finger at others. And so down deep in the core of my being, I just loved myself. And I want to please only myself to make me better. This principle confronted me like no other truth had.
You ask yourself: what motivates you to live for YHWH? Dr. Matt Olson says there are at least 4 possible motivations:
You may just be a fearful person. Do you live for God only outwardly externally? You live for Him because you don't want to get in trouble. You don’t rock the boat. You don’t want to make life complicated. You don't like to make your life miserable. And so you go along and you follow what everybody else puts around you, but nothing in your heart has a desire to please God, so your fear motivate you.
For some of you the motive is out of duty: “well it's the right thing to do. I’m gonna do the right thing.” Out of a sense of duty we go on about our business knowing that it is right even though there's nothing going on in our heart.
For some it is lust. But not the kind of lust you might first think about. The lust after a satisfaction of your own spiritual experience. Your performance. A lust to perform for God and in the eyes of men. That others can see your spirituality and that's what motivates you. It is really a self-gratification in the name of God. YHWH knows it's a spiritual pride. Your not living for His pleasure. What motivates you is a lust.
Is it His delight that motivates you? Is it His pleasure that keeps you going in every single thing that you do? Desiring the joy on YHWH’s face to see you?
And you know what? I'd argue about music. I’d argue about dress, I'd argue about my hair (yes, I did have some a long time ago), I’d argue about curfews, I'd argue about rules. I had an excuse, and I had a reason why I did everything in life. I didn't like anyone telling me what to do, and I’d point my finger at all the hypocrites only to realize I was the biggest one. Just about everything I thought was sin. But now I'm seeing a principle that YHWH is saying that “This is just what I want: I want to live your life for My pleasure, My glory, My praise, My honor.” God broke my heart that night at work. I bent my knee and I prayed, “From this point on, my desire is to live for Your glory--in Your glory alone.” My life has never been the same since. I'll never forget that—Webster House for the Colorado Department of Human Services. It's that time now for you to bend the knee and to offer the simple plea unto our Father from His child for the glory of God even in the little things in life--even eating & drinking. His pleasure, His honor, His glory-- that's my highest ambition. What motivates you? Are you like me and want to argue about all the rules and everything, and in turn, missing the big picture? There's no greater glory than His glory. There's nothing better to live for. There is no greater pleasure than the glory of God.
Let us stand together as we pray.