Vs. 23-24 – Paul wrote basically the same thing in 6:12, “‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but I will not be mastered by anything.” “Everything is permissible” is in quotation marks which implies it was either in the letter he received or was a well know saying in Corinth. But we are also being told to look out for the other guy first.
In Philippians 2:3-4 Paul wrote, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Why should we put the other person first? Don’t I have the right to eat meat or let my kids go trick or treating on Halloween? Or, for that matter, why not watch the Harry Potter movies or Narnia movies?
They, like we, are no longer under the law. The question that needs to be asked is not what we can do in our freedom, but will it glorify God? The Great Commandment tells us to love God and neighbor. So, will what you are choosing to do or say be beneficial? Will it be constructive? Will it be helpful?
In this life we are free to choose, but, we are not free form the consequences of our choices. And then, there is the collateral consequences to others that arise from our choices. As a Christian you have been set free from the Law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). But not all of our choices bring glory to God. What glorifies God is never to let our rights and freedoms in the Lord become something that will cause another to stumble; something that would hinder the Gospel.
What does it mean to glorify God in all that we do? How do we? We do it in and by our faith. To give glory to God is to know God, to be what He is, and to rely upon his power and His faithfulness. This is faith in action, this shows the world your trust, belief, dependence, and conviction that He Loves you, is for you, and wants what’s best for you. You give God glory by your faith! When we step out in faith, that brings glory to God. In Romans we read of Abraham and His faith, Abraham knew that God was able to do as He promised, “He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what God had promised, he was also able to do. Therefore, it was credited to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:20-22). How did he give glory to God? Faith! Your faith in God brings Him glory!
We also glorify God by and in our worship. Scripture connects worship with glorifying God more than any other thing we do. It is in worshiping God that we set aside every other task and set our hearts and minds fully on God. Is that not the reason you are here; to worship God and hear from His Word?
There is much encouragement from scripture to call on the lord, sing to the Lord, and to praise the lord. When we gather as the church and sing and give praises to God in Worship, we are declaring God’s glory. Though in this life, imperfect as we may be, we can, with faltering voices, join in with the heavenly host in proclaiming God’s glory and thereby glorify Him in our worship.
In 1 Peter 4 we read of how to bring Glory to God: we glorify God in our service to one another using the gifts God gives.
Vs. 31 – when we live by faith, worship God, and serve one another, loving our neighbor as we should, then we are glorifying God. We cannot, for the sake of conscience, be overly concerned with where something was bought or where it came from because certain companies and stores support something you don’t agree with or believe in. If you receive something as a gift, then accept it, knowing that, “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1). But, should one of your friends point out that this was from one of those places, then do what is necessary for the sake of conscience, not yours, theirs…
This brings us back to trick or treat and the books and movies and maybe even the Easter Egg hunt you many have participated in…
I would not want, in any form, to have books on witch craft or Satanism in our homes. And I have seen those that have come out of the practice of such having a lot to say about Halloween and our need to avoid the celebrations. But I grew up going out on Halloween, trick or treating, and never associated it with demon worship or witchcraft. I see “no connection with the characters of some books and movies with true Witchcraft, any more than with the Wizard of OZ,” to quote Kenneth Schenck. And while I can understand the concern of others, I do not always agree.
But, out of love, for the sake of the gospel, so that I would not hinder it or become a stumbling block to others, I would forgo those things.
It all comes down to this: do you truly know the love of God? If you do, you will return that love by doing all you can to love Him in return and, in loving Him, love your neighbor. Our objective is to bring God glory with every word, with every step, in all that we do. Is what you are doing bringing glory to God?
Are you giving Glory to God in everything that you do?