October, 1517 (Part 5)

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 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. 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— I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:23-31 ESV). We come to the last of the Solas today: Sola Deo Gloria. It is actually the least touted of the five; however, it explains our present life more than anything. Simply explained the Reformers declared that Glory belongs to God alone. Watch how this applies in our world. First we can say that God’s glory is the central motivation for salvation, not improving the lives of people. Of course the improvement of the quality of our lives is a wonderful by-product; however, God is not a means to an end, he is the means and the end. This truth keeps us from being deceived by the assertions of the Prosperity Gospel and the Word of Faith movements. God is not required by his character to show us mercy or love. We do not control the work of God by our good intentions or good works. Second, we can say with absolute accuracy that the goal of all of life is to give glory to God alone. Our reading today is so clear at this point today: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (v. 31).  As The Westminster Catechism says, the chief purpose of human life is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” So many questions are answered with this tenet concerning the seeming inconsistencies of our journey. We are now allowed to focus on who is in control rather than why things happen. Some might suggest that this principle points us to a selfish God who only cares for Himself. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because God is who he is, we know that magnifying Him in glory only brings about our good. That is his promise to us. Even when my life looks alarmingly like Job’s life, I can know that God will bring my good from every experience. That comforts me. That encourages me to...

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