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The Fifty-Seventh (The Glory of God)

How are you doing this week? Well, I hope. We're going to do a sort of continuation of last week's writing and take a look at what it means to do everything to the glory of Yehovah. We'll look at the word translated to "glory" and a bunch of passages that give a picture of what Paul was talking about. So let's get to it!

If we take a look at 1 Corinthians 10:31, we see the direction is given for us to do everything we do to the glory of God. Before we get too deep into the context of this verse, take a look at the Greek word used for "glory:" doxan. This word is translated to glory in the vast majority of its occurrences in scripture. It is also translated to honor, praise and worship. In fact, interestingly, if you look at this verse all across the different translations of the Bible, you'll find that almost all of them say, "do to the glory of God." Might I suggest though, that this translation is not the easiest for us to understand or apply in our lives.

If we look at the Greek, we see that the phrase used in this verse is eis doxan Theou poieite, which in the case of these translations would be, "to the glory of God do." If we modify it slightly to be in line with our English grammar rules, we put the verb in the beginning and it becomes poieite eis doxan Theou, or "do to the glory of God." Now let's break it down individually and see if there's an acceptable translation that doesn't change the meaning, but provides us with better understanding. Keeping poieite as "do," is sufficient so let's look at eis. This word is a preposition, and plain and simple it means, "to." So now we have, "do to..." Doxan is interesting because it has a few different translations as I stated above. I'll use the one that moved me the most: worship. But, feel free to use one of the others to see if they move you and provide you more understanding. We've got, "do to worship," and I think you can see where I'm going here! The final word is Theou, and this means God, the one true God, Yehovah (YHVH). If we put it all together, we get, "do to worship God."

Does that give you more understanding, or meaning, to what Paul wrote? "...whatever you do, all things do to worship God." It did for me! It works for the other words for doxan as well: "whatever you do, all things do to honor God," and "whatever you do, all things do to praise God." Maybe it's just me, but as I take action in my life I can better identify whether those actions "worship" or "honor" or "praise" God rather than if they are "to the glory of" Him. If it's not the same for you, I encourage you to study this verse and pray and meditate on it, because it's quite an all-encompassing direction being given to us. Literally everything we do is to be done this way. Paul even mentions eating or drinking!

Now that we may have a better understanding of the phrase used, let's take a look at the context of this verse. Starting at verse 24 of the same chapter, Paul talks about seeking to help others instead of yourself (vs 24), eating things from the meat market without question even if it could have been sacrificed to idols previously (vs 25-26), and eating what is offered at a party you were invited to without questioning its origin but not eating it if the host volunteers the information that it was previously sacrificed to idols (vs 27-28).

Why would Paul talk about those last two, and what was the intention there? As far as the party goes, it makes sense to me that Paul was making a point about differing between the law and grace. By law, if someone were to eat something sacrificed to idols, whether they knew it or not, they sinned and were required to make atonement by sacrifice. However, by grace we are held accountable to what we know, because we're told those who know more will be accountable to more (Luke 12:47-48). That's why he says if they volunteer that the food was sacrificed to idols, don't partake in it. Not only because you now know where it came from, but also because now those at the party will associate you (and potentially other Christians) with eating idol sacrifices and judge you. And God has always sought for His people to have not even a hint of similarity with pagans or their practices.

When it comes to the meat market, I think the idea is the same: law vs grace. In this context, pagan priests used to sacrifice to idols and then provide that meat to the market to make some money off of it. Rather than going through the stress of trying to identify the supply chain of where the meat came from and if its origin was from idol sacrifice, Paul says don't worry about it. Essentially, your salvation or righteousness does not hinge on you unknowingly eating meat sacrificed to idols, and don't go out of your way to find out if it was! When it comes down to it, as long as you eat these things with honor and praise to God (1 Corinthians 10:31), you're good if it was unclean and you didn't know it.

So that gives us a little context to the eating and drinking part of 1 Corinthians 10:31, but what about the, "all things," part? How do we figure that one out? Well, there are plenty of places where we can see Yehovah giving direction on this aspect, and I'm just going to cover some of them.

First, let's look at the words in red! We are to let our light shine so others can glorify (or praise/honor/worship) Him (Matthew 5:16). And what is light? Truth (1 John 1:5-6). I wrote about truth previously, and it is key to who we are as Christians. Satan is the father of all lies (John 8:44), so if we lie, no matter what it is, we are doing his works.

Another aspect of honoring Yehovah is being unashamed and happy with who you are, rather than hiding it. Ever since the first clothes were made, the world has been about hiding ourselves. We were made in His image (Genesis 1:26-27, James 3:9), and He formed us in the womb (Isaiah 45:9, Jeremiah 1:5). WE are His glory, and hiding our true selves behind all the various things this world says we need in order to be liked, attractive, loved, popular, etc., is not honoring Him in all that we do.

Finally, the last one I'll cover is doing all things in Jesus' name and giving thanks to Yehovah (Colossians 3:17). This means, whenever we do something we think about Jesus and essentially dedicate that action to Him. Then, we give thanks to Him for helping us with it. We have started doing that regularly, and it really reinforces His workings in our lives and identifies all the good and perfect gifts are from Him (James 1:17).

There are many others, and I'll list a few more for you to study personally at the end, but something to keep in mind when attempting to fulfill this direction to, "do all things to worship/praise/honor God," is what our goal/prize is. The things of this world mean nothing compared to what awaits us at His coming, and especially what awaits in the new heaven and earth to come. Is that extra dollar in your pocket, or that extra compliment you were given based on your looks really worth losing the ability to live with Jesus in the millennial kingdom, or for eternity (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 24:50-51, 25:30, Luke 13:28)? Now, I'm not saying you're not supposed to work hard or you're supposed to look disheveled all the time. I'm just saying if what your doing or saying is not somehow worshipping, honoring or praising Yehovah, don't do it. Use the time you could be making that extra dollar or making yourself look like a doll (Ken or Barbie!) to study His Word, or thank Him for His blessings, or many other things in which you can worship, honor or praise Him. If lying to people will trick them into giving you more money, or convince them to like or trust you more, don't do it. "For what does it profit man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?" (Mark 8:36)

God bless you and have a great week! Shabbat Shalom!

-Rob and Sara Gene

Other verses to study: Luke 6:33, John 7:4, Romans 13:4, 1 Corinthians 15:37, 1 Corinthians 16:14, 2 Corinthians 12:20, 2 Corinthians 13:7, Galatians 5:17, Colossians 3:23, James 4:13-14, 1 Peter 2:20, 3 John 1:5

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