Paul says, “Everything you do, Do to the Glory of God”
1 Corinthians 10:23-33
Paul now for the second time in this first letter to these Corinthian believers and to us says the following, “All things are lawful for me” (1 Corinthians 10:23) once again reiterating to them and us that his standing and our standing “in Christ” gives us liberty and freedom from the once rigid and strictly observed Jewish ceremonial laws, even though these Gentile believers knew nothing of those Jewish ceremonial laws, they were however, steeped in and immersed in their own brand of pagan ceremony and rituals. Paul made this statement earlier on in his letter coming right after he had so rebuked, reviled, and reprimanded them for their unloving behavior to one another exemplified or represented by them having such disputes and disagreements amongst each other that they were angered and offended and hurt to the point where some were filing lawsuits against another brother in Christ. Paul also earlier admonished them for allowing someone in their fellowship to commit fornication even with his own father’s wife and it was accepted by the entire church. However, as Paul wrote to the Galatian believers our freedom or liberty “in Christ” is not a license to live in vile, debased, and immoral sin, but instead as Paul declared in this manner we are to be led by the Holy Spirit who will never lead us into anything that would cause ourselves or our brothers and sisters harm, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:13-16).
Paul being the consistent vessel of the Holy Spirit that he was, now proclaims the same truth to these Corinthian believers and to us again imploring us to recognize and realize that we have the “mind of Christ” as he already declared to them earlier in this same letter with these words, “But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:15-16) and so he now tells them to, “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor” (1 Corinthians 10:24). The command we have from our Lord Jesus Christ is that we have “love for one another” (John 13:34), that is our brothers and sisters in His Mystical Body and this love is not a mere feeling or emotion, but it is a choice which controls all that we do to one another and do for one another seeking the others good before we do our own and so it is certainly not edifying to our brother or sister “in Christ” to partake of animals that pagans offer up to demons and even give such food to one of our brothers or sisters without their knowing where the meat or food came from. Paul declares we are to do nothing that would hurt the conscience of one of our sisters or brothers, but we should desire at all times to bring honor and glory to God by all that we do. Paul now from verses 25-27 goes back to his statement in verse 23 declaring his freedom “in Christ” to partake of any foods no matter what pagan practice may have been intended for the food, but Paul declares that his freedom also obligates him to seek the good of another before himself, therefore, he says, “But if anyone says to you, ‘This is meat sacrificed to idols,’ do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience?” (1 Corinthians 10:28-29).
Paul declares that he is not to be judged by another man’s conscience or is another man to be influenced by Paul’s liberty if that man does not likewise (in his own conscience) feel free to partake in the meat or food knowing that there is no such thing as an idol or any other activity that is not forbidden in Scripture (Romans 14). Paul declares himself to these Corinthian believers and to us of a good conscience to know that anything that our Lord Jesus Christ provides to him for food will also be blessed by our Lord Jesus as he Paul gives thanks by grace for what our Lord Jesus provides. Paul then is conscience of everything he does in every area of his life, desiring that he brings honor, praise, and glory to God, therefore, he says, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31-32). Finally, Paul’s desire is the same desire that these Corinthian believers and we should desire, for it is the desire of our Lord Jesus Christ as Paul declares it in this manner, “Just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:33) and Paul also urged Timothy to prayer with these words written to him and to us, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
“A Christian man is bound to shape his life so that no man shall be able to say of him that he was the occasion of that one’s fall. He is so bound because every man is his neighbour. He is so bound because he is bound to live to the glory of God, which can never be advanced by laying stumbling-blocks in the way for feeble feet. He is so bound because, unless Christ had limited Himself within the bound of manhood, and had sought not His own profit or pleasure, we should have had neither life nor hope. For all these reasons, the duty of thinking of others, and of abstaining, for their sakes, from what one might do, is laid on all Christians. How do they discharge that duty who will not forswear alcohol for their neighbour’s sake?” Alexander MacLaren
“The believer in Christ knew that an idol was nothing in itself, and the fact of food having been offered before a shrine did not make it better or worse. It was a common practice, and meant nothing so far as Christian disciples were concerned. But if an unbeliever were to make the meal a test of faith, by reminding believers that in partaking of such food they were implicitly partners in heathen rites, then there was no course but to refuse and abstain. In every meal and act we must so conduct ourselves that praise and honor may redound to God. The thankful enjoyment of God’s gifts of food, which constitutes the essence of a Christian meal, must always be subordinated to our consideration of the religious scruples of others; and we must avoid doing anything which would blunt and injure their faith. Though our intelligence may give us a wide liberty in regard to personal conduct, we must allow a check to be placed on it by the thoughtfulness of Christian love.” F. B. Meyer
“Paul again declares himself and all Christians free “in Christ”, but that freedom is to be exercised “in love” to our brothers and sisters “in Christ” seeking to always do them good and never to do intentional harm to any of them.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…