Jonathan Edwards was a resolute 17-year-old with a desire to “do all to the glory of God,” he began a list of 70 resolutions to guide him in his pursuit of holiness and God’s glory.  I believe these resolutions will help us to understand and apply the great command in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” A few of Edwards “Resolutions”:

“Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.”

Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence.

Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism;

Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s, agreeable to what is to be found in. Saturday, January 12, 1723

Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer.  July 8, 1723.

Let us be resolved to seek God’s glory in all things. Paul commanded, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

 

What Is God’s Glory?

The word glory (Δόξα) is used 167 times in the New Testament. “In this epistle Paul at times uses the word δόξα, glory, in its Hebrew sense (LXX translation of כבוד kabod) as that which makes something impressive, weighty, or radiant with splendor.[1] “In comparison with nonbiblical Greek, the usage is surprising. The most frequent meaning of δόξα outside the Bible, “view, opinion,” is missing in the NT. The other usage to convey the meaning of reputation, value, honor … goes back to a religious usage which is unknown outside of biblical Greek: “divine radiance, divine glory” (Luke 2:9, “the glory of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.”; Matt 16:27, “The Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done.”; Acts 7:55, “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” etc.), with a transition to “visible radiance” in general (1 Cor 15:20f.; Acts 22:11 “I could not see because of the brightness of the light.”).”[2]

This distinctive Biblical usage is the result of the LXX translators choosing to translate כבוד as δόξα.  In the LXX and Hebrew Bible glory is used to describe God’s “expression of the manifestation of his sovereign rule over nature and history, on the one hand in the powerful form of divine radiance in theophanies, but even more in the majesty of his historical acts of salvation and judgment, perceptible only to the eye of faith. To acknowledge and confess this kāḇôḏ of Yahweh is the honor due him from his people and from all creation.”[3] So Paul spoke of the glory of the starts in 1 Corinthians 15:40-41. The resurrection body is said to be raised in glory in 1 Corinthians 15:43.

 

How Can My Life Be for God’s Glory?

Jonathan Edwards asked,

“What is implied in the people of Christ glorying in Christ. To “glory” is for a person to express his high esteem of his own advantages of excellency, honor or happiness above others. The word in the text in the original signifies to show forth one’s own praise, or to exalt oneself with one’s own praises. Therefore boasting or glorying is generally taken in an ill sense, as an expression of a haughty disposition. Thus when the Apostle, when he is setting forth the exceeding great wickedness of the heathen, he mentions this, amongst other things, that they were “boasters” (Rom. 1:30). Self-praise is spoken of, as by the wise man, as a foolish thing. Prov. 27:2, “Let another praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” But there is one sort of glorying that is no manifestation of pride, but the contrary, and is most consistent with prudence and but this one sort. 1 Cor. 1:31, “Let him that glorieth, glory in the Lord.”[4]

We must live for God’s glory. “The life of Jesus is a living doxology.… He revealed God’s glory in a world intoxicated with its own.”[5] Hebrews 1:3 tells us that “He was the radiance of His glory.” John told us, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). In John 2:11 Jesus performed a miracle to manifest his glory (John 2:11). The Lord Jesus said, “I must be about my Father’s business.’ He is the Lord of Glory who washed his disciples’ feet as an humble servant. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe who said, “I speak not of my own authority, but of him who sent me.” Jesus, when praying to the Father said, “I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me” (John 17:20-23). Jesus not only gave glory to his disciples, but he wanted his disciples to see his glory fully. John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they will see my glory, which youhave given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

We can live for God’s glory because we have been crucified with Christ. “Yet for Paul, as for John, that which most startlingly displays God’s impressive splendor is precisely his self-giving in which the Lord of glory is crucified.”[6] So in 1 Corinthians 2:8 Jesus is described as the crucified “Lord of glory.” In Galatians 2:20 Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life which I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

When we are saved, God glorifies us. Sin robbed us of our glory. It marred and hid the image of God in us. Romans 3:23 says we “fall short of God’s glory.” But in Romans 9:22-24 Paul said, “And what if, God wanting to display his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath prepared for destruction? And what if he did this to make known the riches of his glory on objects of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory—on us, the ones he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles.” God made us more like him. He shared his glory with us.

 

How Much of My Life Should be for God’s Glory?

No matter what we are doing, our great purpose must be for God’s glory. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever”[7] Paul used the word “whether” three times in this one verse. Whether (Εἴτε) is marker of a condition, existing in fact or hypothetical.”[8] So whatever the condition is, we are to be about God’s glory. Paul mentioned things as mundane as eating and drinking to highlight the fact that God’s glory should be the theme of our lives.

Scripture says that the purpose of God’s glory is in everything we do. The word “do” is a small English word, but we need to stop and think about what it means. The word “ποιεῖτε” is a “A multivalent term, often without pointed semantic significance, used in ref. to a broad range of activity involving such matters as bringing something into being, bringing something to pass, or simply interacting in some way with a variety of entities.”[9] It is also an imperative. It isn’t that God says whatever you happen to be doing can be for my glory. He said it must be purposefully done for His glory.

Believers lives should result in the glory of God. Paul wrote, “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted you, to the glory of God” (Romans 15:7). 2 Corinthians 4:15 says, “Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God.” Philippians 2:11 says, “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 records Paul’s prayer “that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” “They are able with their mortal body, indeed in their death itself, to increase the glory of God and of Christ (1 Cor 6:20; Phil 1:20). Now one can in truth devote his life to the pursuit of “glory and honor and immortality” (Rom 2:7), for he lives with his will and his achievements from the radiance of the presence and love of God (Rom 12:1f.; Gal 2:20; Phil 2:13), and he is summoned to do all to the honor of God (1 Cor 10:31).[10]

 

How to Glorify God

Production–Jesus said, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit.” (John 15:8). Praise–Psalm 50:23 says, “He offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me.” Prayer–John 14:13, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Proclaim–Paul said, “Brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did with you.

Glorifying God is commanded “Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, askcrib to the LORD glory and strength” (1 Chronicles 16:28). Psa. 22:23, “You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel.” “Let them give glory t the Lord and declare his praise in the coastlands” (Isaiah 42:12).[11]

Edwards gave two ways to glorify God:

First. A humble and joyful sense of mind of the great privilege and happiness they have above others in the interest they have in Christ. Those that are so highly favored and privileged of God, God expects that they should be sensible of it: insensibility of it argues stupidity and ingratitude. ’Tis but a thing becoming one so favored, that he should be sensible how greatly he is distinguished from others. It becomes them to have a very high esteem of their own privilege in being in Christ Jesus; they should esteem themselves more happy in having an interest in Christ, than if they had the whole world in possession. It becomes them to admire their own happiness, and their sense of it should excite exultation of heart and joy of soul. Christian joy is a principal part of the disposition exercised in glorying in Christ. Second. In declaring before others that joyful sense and the grounds of it. As it becomes a Christian that his heart be full of a joyful esteem of its own privilege and happiness, so it is becoming that [that] sense should be manifested and declared. This joyful sense ought to be manifested in the behavior. A cheerful obeying of Christ’s commands and adherence to him through all, even the greatest difficulties—enduring the cross and despising the shame, neglecting with contempt all other pleasures and profits and honors that are set before him to allure him—is the best way of manifesting that he esteems the happiness.[12]

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

 

 

 

[1] Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 793.

[2] Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–), 345.

[3] Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–), 345.

[4] Jonathan Edwards, “Glorying in the Savior,” in Sermons and Discourses, 1723–1729, ed. Harry S. Stout and Kenneth P. Minkema, vol. 14, The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1997), 463.

[5] Stauffer, NT Theology, 120 and 122.  Quoted by Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 794.

[6] Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 793.

[7] Westminster Shorter Catechsim.

[8] William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 277.

[9] William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 839.

[10] Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–), 347.

[11]Glory is due to Him, 1 Chr. 16:29, “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name, bring an offering before him.” Glorify him for his holiness. “Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy!” (Psalm 99:9). Rev. 15:4, “Who will not fear, O Lord and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Glorify him because of his mercy and truth, Psa. 115:1, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for eh sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” Rom. 15:9, “The Gentiles glorify God for his mercy.”  faithfulness and truth, Isa. 25:1; wondrous works, Matt. 15:31; Acts 4:21; judgments, Isa. 25:3; Ezek. 28:22; Rev. 14:7; deliverances, Psa. 50:15; grace to others, Acts 11:18; 2 Cor. 9:13; Gal. 1:24. Accomplished by: Relying on his promises, Rom. 4:20; praising him, Psa. 50:23; doing all to glorify him, 1 Cor. 10:31; dying for him, John 21:19; suffering for Christ, 1 Pet. 4:14, 16; glorifying Christ, Acts 19:17; 2 Thess. 1:12; bringing forth fruits of righteousness, John 15:8; Phil. 1:11; patience in affliction, Isa. 24:15; faithfulness, 1 Pet. 4:11. Required in body and spirit, 1 Cor. 6:20 James Swanson and Orville Nave, New Nave’s Topical Bible (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1994).

[12] Jonathan Edwards, “Glorying in the Savior,” in Sermons and Discourses, 1723–1729, ed. Harry S. Stout and Kenneth P. Minkema, vol. 14, The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1997), 463–464.

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