|1Corinthians 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (NASB: Lockman)|
Amplified: You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ASV: for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.
Berkley: For you were bought and paid for; then give God the glory with your body.
BBE: For a payment has been made for you: let God be honoured in your body.
ESV: for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (ESV)
GWT: You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.
ISV: because you were bought for a price. Therefore glorify God with your bodies.
KJV: For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (Words not in the best manuscripts)
Moffatt: You are not your own, you were bought for a price; then glorify God with your body.
NJB: You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price. So use your body for the glory of God. (NJB)
NLT: for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: You have been bought, and at what a price! Therefore bring glory to God both in your body and your spirit, for they both belong to him. (Phillips: Touchstone)
TLB: For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it.
Weymouth: And you are not your own, for you have been redeemed at infinite cost. Therefore glorify God in your bodies.
Wuest: For you were purchased at a price. Now therefore, glorify God in your body. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for ye were bought with a price; glorify, then, God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (Words not in the best manuscripts)
FOR YOU HAVE BEEN BOUGHT WITH A PRICE: egorasthete (2PAPI) gar times: (1Co 7:23; Acts 20:28; Gal 3:13; He 9:12; 1Peter 1:18; 2Pe 2:1; Rev 5:9)
We find a parallel thought to Paul's teaching in the Old Testament describing Jehovah's "purchase" of Israel, Moses (addressing Israel) asking…
Do you thus repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you. (Dt 32:6, cp the context which begins with the extolling of God and then the reproval of Israel for her unfaithfulness to Jehovah [her Father and her "husband" = Je 31:31, 32, Is 54:5, Ho 2:2 When was Israel "married"? At Mt Sinai = Ezek 16:8] Context = Dt 32:1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
For (gar) - Always pause and ponder this strategic term of explanation. Here Paul is explaining why the believer is no longer his own, specifically because a price has been paid to purchase the believer from slavery. The One Who paid the price is Christ. It follows that the liberated person is now the property of their loving Master (the idea inherent in "Lord" - kurios) Christ Jesus and the Spirit is His "Administrator" if you will in our body and is to have full command of the Temple!
You have been bought with a price (this verb is discussed in more detail below) - The verb is agorazo which speaks of redemption of slaves out of the slave market by the payment of an appropriate price. Before Christ we were in bondage to sin Paul writing "But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed (NET = "that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to") (Ro 6:17-note), read also Ro 6:12-14)
Wycliffe Bible Commentary - Bought (aorist tense) refers to Golgotha, where the price was paid. The figure is that of sacral manumission, whereby a slave, by paying the price of his freedom into the temple treasury, was regarded thereafter as the slave of the god and no longer the slave of his earthly master.
Spurgeon says that "redemption is our chief blessing—nothing better can be said of you than this, "Ye are bought with a price."… To every man of whom this may be said, it is the best news he ever heard. An angel sent from heaven could not bring to any man or woman here a more delightful message than this, "Thou art bought with a price, even with the precious blood of Christ."… To be bought with a price is the grandest distinction of our manhood, and lifts us above angels themselves… Redemption is a greater mercy than creation. It is no mean blessing to have been made, and to have been made a man rather than a dog or a toad, or a worm… But for all that, although man is highly elevated in the scale of being, and stands even at the very top of being as respects this world, having dominion over all the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the sea; yet if thou, O created man, be not redeemed, everything about thee will only be turned into course, so that it were better for thee that a millstone had been tied about thy neck, that thou hadst been thrown into the depths of the sea, or even better for thee that thou hadst never been born, if thou art not redeemed. "Bought with a price" makes existence life; to be unredeemed would make existence an endless death.
Hodge - The verb is in the past tense, ye were bought, i.e. delivered by purchase. The deliverance of men from the power and condemnation of sin was not effected by power or by truth, but by a ransom. We were justly held in bondage. We were under the penalty of the law, and until that penalty was satisfied, we could not be delivered. The blood of Christ is our ransom, because it met all the demands of justice.
The proprietorship in believers asserted at the close of the preceding verse, does not arise from creation or preservation, but from redemption. ‘Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price,' Romans 6:17; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 3:13; Acts 20:28. The price of redemption is the blood of Christ, Matthew 20:28; Romans 3:24. Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18, 1 Peter 1:19, and everywhere where the subject is spoken of in Scripture. Therefore, i.e. because redeemed, and because redeemed at such a price; glorify God, i.e. honor him, and so act as to cause him to be honored by others. In your body as a temple consecrated to his worship, and employed only in his service.(1 Corinthians Commentary)
Clarke - As the slave who is purchased by his master for a sum of money is the sole property of that master, so ye, being bought with the price of the blood of Christ, are not your own, you are his property. As the slave is bound to use all his skill and diligence for the emolument of his master, so you should employ body, soul, and spirit in the service of your Lord; promoting, by every means in your power, the honor and glory of your God, whom you must also consider as your Lord and Master.
Redemption and salvation are closely related Biblical terms with redemption describing the means by which salvation is made possible. The NT redemption effected by Christ is foreshadowed in the OT (cp Col 2:16, 17-note) where the Law dictates that either lives or land could be redeemed by an appropriate payment.
In Exodus 12, Moses describes the Passover by which God redeemed Israel out of their Egyptian bondage (Ex 6:5, 6, cp Ex 2:23, 24, 25). The redemption price was the blood of a one year old unblemished male lamb (Ex 12:5, 21), this blood was to be applied to the doorposts and lintel (the horizontal beam spanning the opening and resting on the two doorposts) of each dwelling (Ex 12:7, 22 - ? a foreshadowing of the cross) thus serving as a sign (Ex 12:13) to the LORD to "pass over the door and… not allow the destroyer to come in… (to) smite" the firstborn (Ex 12:23).
Related Resources: See the charts on…
In Exodus 13, God commanded that every firstborn (animal and human) in Israel had to be redeemed with money, because of the fact that they had been spared in the final plague that God brought upon Egypt (see Ex 13:13, 14, 15).
In Leviticus 25 God graciously provided Israel the law of the Goel or Kinsman-Redeemer whereby either land (Lev 25:23, 24, 25, 26, 27) or lives (those who were enslaved - Lev 25:47, 48, 49) could be redeemed by the Goel (word study). (See study on Kinsman-Redeemer or Goel)
It is also notable that the idea of redemption in Paul's day conveyed two related, but distinct meanings
Biblical redemption by Christ mirrors the two secular aspects…
The Old Testament makes it very clear that no sinful man (which is all men [Ro 5:12-note] other than the God Man Christ Jesus) can pay the price necessary to redeem another man's soul or his own soul.
The NIV has a slightly different rendering (especially the words in bold font)…
Although the majority of the OT pictures of redemption speak of physical rather than spiritual redemption, certainly the physical always points to the spiritual, which is ultimately fulfilled in Christ (the entire OT being like a "finger" pointing to the Person of Christ! cp Col 2:16, 17-note). Psalm 130 (A Song of Ascents) has an obvious reference to spiritual redemption…
Bought with a price (59) (agorazo from agora = the market place, place of public assembly, town square where things such as slaves were presented for sale or where trials were held) literally means to buy or make purchases in the marketplace, doing business in the agora (Mt 13:44), acquiring something (goods or services) in exchange for money, transferring ownership from seller to buyer. Agorazo meant to secure the rights to someone by paying a price and thus acquiring them as one's property (as here in 1Co 6:20 and 1Co 7:23, referring to false teachers in 2Pe 2:1-note).
All of the uses of agorazo in the Gospels refer to literal buying and selling (see Mt 13:44, 46; 14:15; 21:12; 25:9-10; 27:7; Mark 6:36, 37; 11:15; 15:46; 16:1; Luke 9:13; 14:18, 19; 17:28; 19:45; 22:36; Jn 4:8; 6:5; 13:29).
Agorazo - Usage in NAS: bought (9), buy (11), buying(3), buys(2), make the purchase(1), purchased(3), spend(1).
Were bought is in the aorist tense pointing back to Christ's redemptive work on the Cross (Mt 20:28). You now belong doubly to God: He made you, and He bought you. He created you and He redeemed you.
In the secular Greek culture of Paul's day agorazo was used frequently to describe the ransoming of slaves from the marketplace. Agorazo emphasizes the market imagery of purchasing goods. In such an exchange, the goods are set free from the seller (the previous owner), usually to be possessed by the purchaser.
Louw-Nida says agorazo means "to cause the release or freedom of someone by a means which proves costly to the individual causing the release (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. United Bible societies)
As Kenneth Wuest puts it "Our Lord’s precious, outpoured blood was the ransom paid to redeem slaves of sin from that slavery. His death satisfied the just demands of the High Court of Heaven, paying the penalty for the sinner, and making a way whereby a righteous God could be just and at the same time the justifier of the believing sinner. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Gerald Cowen notes that agorazo "is especially common in deeds of sale, such as in the purchase of houses; however, its most noted use is to refer to the purchase of slaves. This use is cited by Deissmann in a will dated around 133 B.C. He expresses the opinion that Paul used the very formula found in these records in the New Testament. The third word is lutroo. This means "to redeem by paying a price." It is commonly used in connection with redeeming articles that had been pawned, such as a cloak (Moulton and Milligan). It is also used in pagan religion to express the idea "freeing a soul from death." (Salvation Word Studies)
It is notable that in the numerous NT texts that discuss redemption, it is never specifically stated to whom the redemption (ransom) price is paid (cp Christ's Triumphant cry from the Cross "It is Finished" = "Paid in Full" - Jn 19:30-commentary note). Unfortunately some of the Early Church father proposed the false teaching that Jesus paid the redemption price to Satan. To the contrary the Scriptures make it is clear that the price of Christ's precious blood was paid in order to satisfy the righteous, holy and just demands of God Himself (cp Ro 3:26-note).
The related derivative word exagorazo [word study] intensifies the meaning of agorazo, the preposition "ek" emphasizing that the purchase is "out of" or "from" something, in the NT referring to the state of slavery (spiritually speaking).
Redeemed--How I love to proclaim it!
--Fanny Crosby (Play hymn)
Boice writes that "The words agorazo (which means “to buy in the marketplace”—it is based on the Greek word agora, which means “marketplace”) and exagorazo (which means “to buy out of the marketplace” so that the one purchased might never have to return there again) speak of redemption also. Together these words describe how Jesus entered into the marketplace of sin and at the cost of his own life purchased us to himself so that we might be brought into the glorious liberty that is ours as children of God. (Boice, J. M. Genesis : An Expositional Commentary. Baker Books)
Vine comments that agorazo means "to purchase" and is a verb that the NT writers use to direct one's "mind to the fact that a price has been paid… In 1Cor 6:20; 7:23; 2Pe 2:1; Re 5:9; 14:3, 4, it refers to the death of Christ as the price paid by God, or Christ, for the possession of men, whether Jews or Gentiles. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) (Bolding added)
Vine adds that "In the New Testament there are two distinct words each translated “redeem.” Our English word therefore represents two different ideas. The first is agorazo, which, with its longer form exagorazo [word study], signifies “to buy,” the latter being especially used of the purchase of a slave with the object of securing his freedom; the shorter form points particularly to the payment of the price; the longer also points to the purpose in view. The other word is lutroo, which signifies “to set free,” “to deliver,” corresponding to this are the nouns lutrosis, and its strengthened form apolutrosis, which denote “freeing,” “deliverance.” (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
The Theological Lexicon of the NT - “You are no longer your own, because you have been bought and paid for” (1Cor 6:20). This mention of payment is significant; for, in the Hellenistic era, the contract of sale is not completed by the mere exchange of agreements; the seller must have received the timē (price), at least the partial down payment that guarantees good faith and excludes the possibility of retraction. Only the payment of the price accomplishes the purchase of the property; so much so that the seller maintains his right to the item until he has received payment for it. This is why so many contracts mention that the payment has in fact been made. In accord with these usages, Re 5:9 specifies that the purchase has been accomplished by the blood of Christ; 1Pe1:19 that the price of the ransom was the precious blood, and this according to Ep 1:7 was the means of redemption (apolutrosis). (Spicq, C., & Ernest, J. D. Theological lexicon of the New Testament 1:26-27). Peabody, MA.: Hendrickson)
Vocabulary of the Greek Testament - The verb (agorazo - “buy”) is common in deeds of sale… It is used of the purchase of slaves in OGIS 33823 (the will of Attalus III.—b.c. 133): “to buy from Tasarapion her slave Sarapion,” (Moulton, J. H., & Milligan, G. 1930)
The NT background for the use of agorazo relates to the fact that slavery was commonplace in Paul's day (there may have been many as 6 million slaves in the Roman empire). If someone wanted to free a loved one or friend who was a slave, they would pay the purchase price to the slave's master and would then grant them freedom, this transaction being attested to by a written certificate.
Gene Pensiero offers some interesting insights on purchased slaves in his discussion of the name of God, Adonai (Master, Lord) writing that…
there is something even more that is suggested by the name Adonai. God is never an unreasonable Master and therefore does not ask what cannot be performed. He never requires a task for which He does not equip His servants. In other words, everything God asks us to do is good and just and can be accomplished as we trust Him to enable us to do all that He has asked us to do. In Bible times the relationship of a master and a servant or slave was not necessarily something bad. In fact, a purchased slave had some privileges a hired servant did not. The hired servant who was not an Israelite could not eat the Passover, but the purchased slave could because he was considered a member of the master’s family (Exodus 12:43, 44; Leviticus 22:10, 11, cp Ge 17:13). The purchased slave had the right of the master’s full protection and care. In the absence of an heir a slave could be the one to inherit. Earlier when Abraham talked to his Adonai he spoke of Eliezer, a slave, as his heir (Ge 15:3). (Adonai)
Below are the uses of agorazo which are not in the Gospels (where it is used primarily with its commercial or business meaning) and it is notable that 5 NT uses refer to the "buying" of believers (1Co 6:20, 7:23, 2Pe 2:1, Re 5:9, 14:3) where the main point is not the freedom of the redeemed but their new status as slaves of God. In fact, true freedom is not he right to do as you please, but the power to do as you should, and in so doing please the Master.
1Corinthians 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
1Corinthians 7:23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
1Corinthians 7:30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;
2Peter 2:1-note But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Comment: When one understands the meaning of agorazo (bought from slavery to sin unto slavery to Savior - now we are bondslaves of Christ and are to do His will) it makes their denial of Christ's purchase an even more bold-faced affront of the mercy and grace of God in salvation!
Revelation 3:18-note I advise you to buy (figuratively speaking) from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
Revelation 5:9-note And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Revelation 13:17-note and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Revelation 14:3-note And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4-note These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men (Price = Blood of the Lamb = Rev 5:9-note) as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
Revelation 18:11-note "And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more--
Agorazo - 14x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - Ge 41:57; 42:5, 7; 43:4, 22; 44:25; 47:14; Deut 2:6; 1Chr 21:24; 2Chr 1:16; 34:11; Neh 10:31; Isa 24:2; 55:1; Jer 37:12
NIDNTT has this note on the use of agorazo in the Septuagint (LXX)…
Where the verb agorazo is used, the reference is normally to commercial purchase (e.g. Ge 41:57; Neh 10:31). Just once, in Lv 27:19, it translates Heb. ga'al, “redeem”, but the object here is a field, not a person. The idea of sacral manumission was not a Jewish one. Da 2:8 preserves an interesting use of exagorazo, where the Chaldeans attempt to evade their fate by “buying time”. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)
You were bought - You were redeemed from the curse of the law, Gal 3:13; from the wrath of God, Eph 2:3; from the bond of the guilt of sin, Ro 3:19, 20, 21; and acquired as God's property (Ep 2:19, Ep 1:14), for a price which was paid to God for your reconciliation with Him, namely, the blood of Christ (Mt 26:28; Ro 3:24, 25, 2Co 5:18, 19, 20, 21, Eph 1:7; 1Pe 1:18, 19, Rev 5:9) We have the same concept in Acts 20:28, although there, as also in 1Cor 7:23 and Titus 2:14, the church is represented as the property of Christ; but see John 17:9… This is the moral obligation arising out of the two things grasped by faith as certainties, 1Co 6:19. (Heinrich A W Meyer - Critical and Exegetical Hand-book to the Epistles to the Corinthians)
Spurgeon - Oh, Christians, if only you would know this, and know it fully! You are Christ’s men and women, God’s men and women, servants of God through Jesus Christ. You are not to do your own works; you are not to live for your own objectives. You are to say at all times, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). You are to take for your motto, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Php 1:21). Sometimes I fear that nine out of ten professing Christians have never recognized this fact. They think that if they were to devote a part of their possessions, a part of themselves, or a part of their time, that would be enough. Oh, but Christ did not buy a part of you! He bought you entire—body, soul, and spirit—and He must have you, the whole man. Oh, if you are to be saved partly by Him and partly by yourselves, then live to yourselves; but if God has wholly set you apart to be vessels of mercy (see Romans 9:23) fitted for His use, oh, do not rob the Lord; do not treat as common cups those things that are as the bowls of the altar. (The Key to Holiness)
Price (5092) (time) refers to the worth of a person or the value ascribed to something. The amount at which something is valued. The price to purchase us in the slave market from our enslavement to our old "master" Sin is the precious blood of the spotless, unblemished Lamb of God (1Pe 1:18, 19-note, Heb 9:11, 12-note )
A T Robertson - Paul does not here state the price as Peter does in 1Peter 1:19 (the blood of Christ) and as Jesus does in Matt. 20:28 (his life a ransom). The Corinthians understood his meaning.
Speaker's Commentary - This price was paid, not as some early (Church) Father's say, to Satan, but to God and to Him in order to meet exactly the demands of His righteousness, i.e., harmony of action with His own absolute law: "for without bloodshedding, no remission."… The human blood of the Eternal God was the ransom paid to God for our eternal redemption from the curse of the Law (Ga 3:13) and from the claims of Satan (cp Acts 26:18, Col 1:13,14) and from the power of Sin." (Speaker's Bible Commentary - Online)
Albert Barnes writes that price refers to "A price is that which is paid for an article, and which, in the view of the seller, is a fair compensation, or a valuable consideration why he should part with it; that is, the price paid is as valuable to him as the thing itself would be. It may not be the same thing either in quality or quantity, but it is that which to him is a sufficient consideration why he should part with his property. When an article is bought for a valuable consideration, it becomes wholly the property of the purchaser. He may keep it, direct it, dispose of it. Nothing else is to be allowed to control it without his consent. The language here is figurative. It does not mean that there was strictly a commercial transaction in the redemption of the church, a literal quid pro quo, for the thing spoken of pertains to moral government, and not to commerce.
by Charles Wesley
Let Him to whom we now belong
His sovereign right assert,
And take up every thankful song,
And every loving heart.
He justly claims us for His own,
Who bought us with a price:
The Christian lives to Christ alone,
To Christ alone he dies.
Jesus, Thine own at last receive,
Fulfill our hearts’ desire;
And let us to Thy glory live,
And in Thy cause expire.
Our souls and bodies we resign;
With joy we render Thee
Our all, no longer ours, but Thine,
To all eternity.
C H Spurgeon - Bought With a Price
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?…
1. With what ardour does the apostle pursue sin to destroy it! He is not so prudish as to let sin alone, but cries out, in plainest language, "Flee fornication!" The shame is not in the rebuke, but in the sin which calls for it. He chases this foul wickedness with arguments (ver. 18).
2. He drags it into the light of the Spirit of God (ver. 19).
3. He slays it at the Cross. "Ye are bought with a price." Let us consider this last argument, that we may find therein death for our sins.
I. A BLESSED FACT. "Ye are bought with a price."
1. "Ye are bought." This is that idea of redemption which modern heretics dare to style mercantile. Redemption is a greater source of obligation than creation or preservation. Hence it is a well-spring of holiness.
2. "With a price." This indicates the greatness of the cost. The Father gave the Son. The Son gave Himself; His happiness, glory, body, soul. Measure the price by the bloody sweat, the Cross, the heart-break.
3. Our body and spirit are both bought with the body and spirit of Jesus.
(1) This is either a fact or not. "Ye are bought," or ye are unredeemed. Terrible alternative.
(2) If a fact, it is the fact of your life. A wonder of wonders.
(3) It will remain to you eternally the grandest of all facts.
(4) It should therefore operate powerfully upon us both now and ever.
II. A PLAIN CONSEQUENCE. "Ye are not your own."
1. Negative. It is clear that if bought, ye are not your own. This involves —
(1) Privilege. You are not your own —
(a) Provider: sheep are fed by their shepherd.
(b) Guide: ships are steered by their pilot.
(c) Father: children loved by parents.
(2) Responsibility. We are not our own —
(a) To injure.
(b) To waste, in idleness, amusement, or speculation.
(c) To exercise caprice, and follow our own prejudices, depraved affections, wayward wills, or irregular appetites.
(d) To lend our service to another master.
(e) To serve self. Self is a dethroned tyrant. Jesus is a blessed husband, and we are His.
2. Positive. Your body and your spirit… are God's.
(1) We are altogether God's. Body and spirit include the whole man.
(2) We are always God's. The price once paid, we are for ever His.
(3) We rejoice that we know we are God's, for thus —
(a) We have a beloved owner.
(b) We pursue an honoured service.
(c) We fill a blessed position. We are in Christ's keeping.
III. A PRACTICAL CONCLUSION. Glorify God.
1. In your body.
(1) By cleanliness, chastity, temperance, industry, cheerfulness, self-denial, patience, &c.
(2) In a suffering body by patience unto death.
(3) In a working body by holy diligence.
(4) In a worshipping body by bowing in prayer.
(5) In a well-governed body by self-denial.
(6) In an obedient body by doing the Lord's will with delight.
2. In your spirit. By holiness, faith, zeal, love, heavenliness, cheerfulness, fervour, humility, expectancy, &c.Conclusion:
1. Remember, O redeemed one, that —
(1) You will be closely watched by Christ's enemies.
(2) You will be expected to be more gracious than others; and rightly so, since you claim to be Christ's own.
(3) If you are not holy, the sacred name of your Redeemer, your Proprietor, and your Indweller will be compromised.
(4) But if you lead a redeemed life, your God will be honoured.
2. Let the world see what redemption can do.
3. Let the world see what sort of men "God's own" are.
THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY: doxasate (2PAAM) de ton theon en to somati humon: (1Cor 10:31; Mt 5:16; Ro 6:19; 12:1; Php 1:20; 1Pe 2:9)
May your and my redeemed life be a song of praise, like the simple Maranatha chorus…
Father, I love You
Therefore (de) is a term of conclusion. Paul has just explained the truth that believers are no longer their own but at a costly price have been purchased by God and belong to Him as His possession (cp Titus 2:14-note). Based on this solemn truth, Paul issues a command to act concordant with that truth. As someone has said, the indicative (indicative mood = states a thing as being a fact, the mood of certainty), always precedes the imperative (imperative mood = calls for the recipient to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding). In other words God's commands are based on truth.
Display positively in the use of our body the glory and especially the holiness of the heavenly Master who has taken possession of our person.
Guzik notes that…
Any honest person will take better care of something that doesn’t belong to them. Our bodies belong to God. They are His purchased possession. We don’t have the right to pollute and abuse God’s property! This principle applies to more than our sexual conduct. If our bodies belong to Jesus, we also have no right to be idle with, or wasteful of, what belongs to Him. Our bodies should be put to use glorifying God!
Spurgeon once said…
Your body was a willing horse when it was in the service of the devil, let it not be a sluggish hack now that it draws the chariot of Christ.
John Piper bluntly states that in 1Cor 6:18-20, Paul is saying in essence that…
the alternative to fornication is worship. Don't fornicate with your body. Worship with your body. He even says that the body is a temple, that is, a place of worship. The body is a place for meeting God, not prostitutes. This doesn't mean sex is bad. It means that sex is precious. Too precious to be treated cheaply. God means that we put it in a very secure and sacred place—marriage. There it becomes the expression of the love between Christ and the church. It shows the glory of the intensity of God's love for His people. It becomes worship. "Glorify God in your body." (A Godward Life- Book 2)
Henry Morris explains it this way…
The purchase price of our bodies was the infinitely precious shed blood of Christ (1Co 6:19,20). Realization of this fact (Ed: "the indicative mood" = the certainty) provides another very potent principle for discerning the rightness or wrongness of a certain behavior (Ed: And of commanding such a behavior). Does it, or does it not, glorify God in our body and spirit? (Morris, Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
Glorify (1392) (doxazo from doxa = ) has a secular meaning of to think, suppose, be of opinion, (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Xenophon, Plato, Thucydides) but strictly speaking is not used in this sense in Scripture which has two basic meanings
The simple definition of glorify is to give a correct opinion, a correct estimate of Who God is. How? By the way you behave (your "fruit" Jn 15:8, cp Mt 5:16-note) and in the present context, by what you do (or better yet "don't do") with your physical body.
THE CHIEF END OF MAN
The Westminster Catechism asks…
Practically this means to manifest His qualities in one's life (not that we are to be "little gods" but we are partakers of His divine nature 2Pe 1:4-note). When we obey Paul's command to continually discipline ourselves for godliness, we are well on the "road" to glorifying God, for godliness in simple terms is "God-likeness"! As we imitate Him (Paul = 1Cor 11:1, Eph 5:1-note - What does this look like? see Eph 5:2-note; What is the response to imitation of God? 1Th 1:6-note, 1Th 2:14-note; He 6:12-note, 1Pe 2:21-note = walk in Messiah's footprints), empowered by Him (His Spirit - Eph 3:16-note), the lost world sees something that is not natural but which is in fact supernatural. When our supernatural lives (or better His supernatural life, Gal 2:20-note) glorify God, some observers will be drawn to the aroma (2Co 2:15, 16, cp Ep 5:2-note), while others will shrink back (He 10:39-note, cp Jn 3:20), but both groups will know they have witnessed a proper estimate or opinion of the invisible God! When we properly glorify God to others, a neutral response is not really an option (cp 1Ki 18:21 when Elijah gave a "proper opinion" of God!). Even as the Holy Word, spoken with unction and the enduement of the Holy Spirit, will comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, so too, a holy life empowered by the Holy Spirit will elicit a response! Believers are to live for "the praise of His glory" (Ep 1:12-note, Ep 1:14-note, 1Cor 10:31, Php 1:11-note, the "fruit" of prayer, Php 1:9, 10-note). (For a more erudite elucidation see Puritan Thomas Watson's discussion Man's Chief End is to Glorify God)
John Witmer writes that
Glorify is in the aorist imperative is a command calling for an immediate (no procrastination, no delay) response. Don't hesitate. Don't rationalize. Like the popular secular commercial slogan says "Just Do It!". The active voice signifies you are the one who must carry out the performance of this command. From other Scriptures, we know that although we must carry out this command, it is God's provision of His strengthening grace and His enabling Spirit which allow us to carry out this command and even give us the desire to do it in such a way that it is pleasing to our Father. (Php 2:12-note, Php 2:13-note, cp Ezek 36:26, 27 which is an OT allusion to the New Covenant of grace and the promised Spirit). Don't try to obey this command in your own strength beloved! You can't and God never said you could (remember Jesus' words "I am with you even to the end of the age" Mt 28:20 and the writer of Hebrews reminder from God that "I will never leave you nor forsake you" He 13:5-note) Do you feel weak and inadequate to obey Paul's command? Good! You're in the place of grace, for when you are weak, then the Spirit of Christ can be strong (2Cor 12:9-note, 2Co 12:10-note). Remember that you are under grace, not law, so don't try to draw up a list of do's and don'ts to help you obey. The Law could not justify (past tense salvation) us, so why do we think it can it sanctify (present tense salvation) us?! The law will only arouse the old nature (Ro 7:5-note), that intractably anti-god flesh nature that still resides in our mortal bodies (Gal 3:1, 2 and especially Gal 3:3). Instead of rules, continually choose to yield to the Spirit's prompting, and you will not fulfill the evil desires of your fallen flesh (Gal 5:16-note). And remember that God will not test you beyond what you are able to stand against (1Cor 10:13-note; cp Gal 5:1). If you fail to stand (we all fail, for we are not yet glorified!), then don't "throw in the towel", don't "get down" on yourself. Instead, get back up (Pr 24:16), confess and turn from you sin (1Jn 1:9), and submit yourself afresh to the Spirit (Ep 5:18-note) and walk in a manner that glorifies God (Mt 5:16-note). Walking is not easy for babies, and it takes weeks to months before they are steady and confident. Spiritual walking is not much different. It's just taking one step after another, making steady progress in the right direction. Our spiritual walk is not an arrival (in this life at least) but a process. So make the decision to glorify God in your body, once and for all (that's the idea of the aorist imperative). Then every time you are tempted not to obey the command to glorify God, take that next step in faith, trusting in the truth that the Spirit will lead you and empower you (Gal 5:18-note; Gal 5:25-note). God is for us (Ro 8:31-note) and His Son is interceding for us (Ro 8:34-note), so who can be against us in this battle (cp 1Pe 2:11-note) for purity and holiness in the midst of a increasingly crooked and perverse society (Php 2:15-note). God has called us to be more than conquerors through Christ (Ro 8:37-note) and given us everything necessary for life and godliness in a true knowledge of Him (2Pe 1:3-note, 2Pe 1:4-note). Walk out in confidence that the battle is the Lord's (2Chr 20:15. 17, Ps 24:8, Pr 21:31, Zech 14:3) and that the victory has already been won at Calvary.
Doxazo - 61x in 53v - Mt 5:16; 6:2 = self glory/honor; Mt 9:8 = they glorified or gave a proper estimate of God; Mt 15:31; Mk 2:12; Lk 2:20; 4:15; 5:25, 26; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43; 23:47; Jn 7:39; 8:54; 11:4; 12:16, 23, 28; 13:31, 32; 14:13; 15:8; 16:14; 17:1, 4, 5, 10; 21:19; Acts 3:13; 4:21; 11:18; 13:48; 21:20; Ro 1:21; 8:30; 11:13; 15:6, 9; 1Co 6:20; 12:26; 2Co 3:10; 9:13; Gal 1:24; 2Th 3:1; He 5:5; 1Pe 1:8; 2:12; 4:11, 16; Re 15:4; 18:7.
NAS renders doxazo as - full of glory(1), glorified(20), glorifies(1), glorify(19), glorifying(12), had glory(1), has… glory(1), honor(1), honored(2), magnify(1), praised(1), praising(1).
Doxazo - 67v in the Septuagint (LXX)- Ex 15:1, 2, 6, 11, 21; 34:29, 30, 35; Lev 10:3; Deut 33:16; Jdg 9:9; 13:17; 1Sa 2:29, 30; 15:30; 2Sa 6:20, 22; 10:3; 1Chr 17:18; 19:3; Ezra 7:27; 8:36; Esther 3:1; 4:17; 6:6, 7, 9, 11; 10:3; Ps 15:4; 22:23; 37:20; 50:15, 23; 86:9, 12; 87:3; 91:15; Pr 13:18; Isa 4:2; 5:16; 10:15; 24:23; 25:1; 33:10; 42:10; 43:4, 23; 44:23; 49:3, 5; 52:13; 55:5; 60:7, 13; 66:5; Lam 1:8; 5:12; Ezek 39:13; Da 1:20; 2:6; 4:34, 37; 5:23; 11:38; Mal 1:6, 11
In your body - The Living Bible expands on Paul's thought of the "body" rendering it "So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it."
Paul has just stated that the believer's physical body is the Temple of the living and holy God. "What was the purpose of a temple in Paul's day?" Clearly a temple was a place where one would worship. The believers, many of whom had been idol worshippers, understood Paul's allusion, for they had often frequented the pagan temples and "worshipped" the false gods by committing lewd acts with the pagan priestesses ("temple prostitutes".) Paul is saying now the believer's body has the supreme purpose of glorifying God. Practically he as calling for the Corinthian believers to walk in a manner worthy of their holy calling so that they would cause others (both believers and pagans) to have a proper opinion of the one true God. The way the believer lives and uses his or her body influences the opinion of others in essentially one of two ways, either enhancing God's reputation or denigrating it! Let us walk worthy so that we might obey this urgent call to glorify God in our bodies in a sex saturated society that is doing anything and everything to and with their bodies!
MacArthur tells a story illustrating the point of this section…
A friend once took a visitor to a large Catholic cathedral in the east. The visitor wanted to pray at the station of his favorite saint. But upon arriving at that station, he was startled to find no candles lit, and a sign saying, “Do not worship here; closed for cleaning.” The Corinthians provided no divine focus, either, no place for seeking souls to worship, since they were unclean. That, Paul said, had to change. (MacArthur, J: 1Corinthians. Chicago: Moody Press or Logos)
What a possibility, that God himself could be glorified by our bodies! Furthermore, remembering the context here, Paul is saying that God is glorified when we resist temptation to involve ourselves in sexual immorality. But it is also true to say that God is glorified when we use our sexuality for the purposes he intended. Husbands and wives should rejoice in their sexuality. They should grow in it and experience it more fully. That too is glorifying to God. There is nothing of an anti-sexual bias in these verses. The warnings are against being controlled in ways that are ungodly. Proverbs 5:18 (note) says,
"Rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times. Be intoxicated always with her love."
There is a sense in which denying what is wrong and agreeing to what is right in our sexual behavior is an extraordinary gift. Paul is not saying we should run from it, rather he is saying we should use our bodies to glorify God.
It seems perhaps ironic, perhaps not so ironic, that of all the people alive today who can look forward to a future in which there can be joy attached to their sexuality, it is precisely those people who have listened all along; those who have decided that monogamy or abstinence are the only options for them. We can be married to one mate, or else we can trust the Lord to keep our sexuality channeled solely for that purpose. People who have decided to act in this fashion do not need to fear sexually transmitted disease, and death.
And, as far as those who claim to be liberated are concerned, those who claim to know more about human sexuality than the Bible knows, increasingly their sex lives will be tainted with fear, restriction and uncertainty. They will find themselves living in a world filled with passions that may very well kill them. Those who have determined to glorify God in their bodies, however, are the ones who can look forward to their sexuality with joy, not fear.
Sex for Christians should never be considered casual. It is not something done in private, as if God were not present. It is always important. God is always present, and will be either honored or dishonored by our behavior. Sexual sin is demeaning and costly.
But whatever your past has been does not have to determine your future. If you are in Christ, as we have already seen, "you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified." (1Cor 6:11) A great price has been paid for you (1Pe 1:18, 19-note). "Therefore," says Paul, "glorify God in your body." Make the choice to glorify God. Then, because he loves us, in choosing to glorify him we will find ourselves given life, joy, and a sense of approval. (GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY)
McGee commenting on 1Co 6:19, 20 observes…
Here is a remarkable truth which many believers have not received. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because our bodies belong to God, we are not to share our bodies in fornication. This leads to a discussion of marriage, which will be the subject of the next chapter.
James Rosscup in his article on "Fruit in the New Testament" writing on the topic of sacred versus secular exhorts us as believers to …
avoid any secularistic spirit (i.e., worldly or empty of true spiritual attitudes) and (instead to) commend a sacred spirit. But one can labor under the self-imposed burden of a false sacred-secular antithesis. He can compartmentalize life artificially by the criteria of external tasks and surroundings per se. He may feel at ease in a church pew. But when he ventures into the “world” at the office, he is bothered by a gnawing doubt that Christ can ever relate Himself as closely to secular acts in sacred service or surroundings. The truth is, however, that fruit is basically a product of Christ’s life from within the Christian. God dwells in his body, which is a spiritual temple, so that wherever the believer goes and whatever his task, his work can be a sacred ministration that is God-centered and God-glorifying (1Cor. 6:19, 20; 1 Co 10:31; Col 3:17, 23). In a chapter entitled “The Sacrament of Living,” Tozer has shown that spirituality toward God cannot be relegated into a cramped sacred-secular mold. Sacredness and fruitfulness can relate to events of a variety as infinite as life itself. The Christian today can say of the total myriad of activities in which life inevitably involves him, just what Christ says in John 8:29, “I do always the things that please Him.” (Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 125: Issue 497. Page 63. 1968) (Bolding added)
Harry Ironside - In our Authorized Version (See KJV above) it adds the words: "And in your spirit, which are God's." I think somebody making a copy of this in the old Greek text got down this far and had not got the thought at all, but felt that there was something left out and so added these words in the margin. That is the very thing the apostle is not saying. What he is saying is, "Keep to this thought; your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; if you glorify Him in your body, you will in your spirit." Glorify God in your body and the spiritual side will take care of itself. (Ironside's Notes on 1Corinthians)
Rich Cathers - Have you ever had to borrow another person’s car for a day? You usually want to be extra careful about how you drive. The car doesn’t belong to you. You are especially careful if the car is a costly one. Your body doesn’t belong to you anymore. The equipment no longer belongs to you. Don’t trash the equipment.
Story from Kay Arthur… describing a letter she received from a friend who writes…
“It all began last October when I was listening to a message on the Cross by Irwin Lutzer. In this message he told the story of a homosexual that had been healed and how his story was still being used by God to heal others even long after his death of AIDS. This message gave me the courage I needed to say, ‘I will come out of the closet.’”
Now this man had become a Christian. He was a homosexual. He was also a murderer. He didn’t tell Kay about the homosexuality, only the murder. He was afraid to tell her and now he was writing to tell her.
He continued, “I’ve got men that I never thought of coming to me trying to get me to perform things that I won’t, even though they try to force it on me. I think you would be proud of me in the way that I’ve been handling it. I remember what you told us during the 1 Corinthians study. When he tried, I told him that I couldn’t do that. He asked why. I said, ‘I just don’t do that anymore.’ Then he stated, ‘It’s just you and me. No one else will know.’ I stated, ‘But I’d know—and God would.’ Another time my response was, ‘I just can’t drag God into that.’ He said, ‘What do you mean?’ I told him that the Holy Spirit of God lives inside of me and everything that I do God is doing with me through His Spirit. I’m not going to drag God into something that He calls an abomination in His sight. Through Jesus Christ, I’ve been victorious through all these trials. I really don’t look forward to them but I do know that they’re helping to strengthen and prove my faith.”
That’s the story of Kay’s friend. How could he resist? It’s because of what he knows. (Lecture)
by James M Gray
Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
Nor riches of earth could have saved my poor soul;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Savior now maketh me whole.
I am redeemed, but not with silver,
I am bought, but not with gold;
Bought with a price, the blood of Jesus,
Precious price of love untold.
Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
The guilt on my conscience too heavy had grown;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Savior could only atone.
Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
The holy commandment forbade me draw near;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Savior removeth my fear.
Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
The way into Heaven could not thus be bought;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Savior redemption hath wrought.
Spurgeon in his notes writes…
Cambridge Bible - Compare 1 Corinthians 7:22; Romans 6:18; Romans 6:22; Romans 14:8. The Scriptures frequently remind us that we have passed from slavery to sin into slavery to Christ, the latter slavery, however, being the true freedom of man, enabling him to fulfil the law of his being.
Pulpit Commentary - Ye are not your own. We cannot, therefore, use our bodies as though they were absolutely under our own control. They belong to God, and, "whether we live or die, we are the Lord's" (Romans 14:8).
Joseph Benson - Glorify him with your body and your spirit; that is, yield your bodies and all your members, as well as your souls and all their faculties, as instruments of righteousness to God: or devote and employ all you have, and all you are, entirely, unreservedly, and for ever, to his glory.
The "opposite" of glorifying God in our body is the tragic picture in Romans 1 where Paul writes…
For even though they knew God, they did not honor (glorify) Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened… Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (Ro 1:21-note, Ro 1:24, 25-note, Ro 1:26, 27-note)
Comment: Our bodies were originally created in God's image (Ge 1:26, 27) that we might give Him glory (See Man's Chief End is to Glorify God by Thomas Watson), a purpose that was derailed when sin entered the world. But believers have been redeemed so that they might fulfill one of their original purposes - to glorify God in their body! In this tragic section of Romans, Paul explains how a failure to glorify God spirals downward until finally God turned them over to the power of their depraved nature with the result being that their bodies were dishonored. They were of no value to glorify the Creator. But praise God that because of His great mercy and grace and the cleansing blood of Christ, even those "dishonored" bodies can be redeemed and restored to a state of usefulness in which they can glorify God.
Expositor's Greek - The Christian estimate porneia is thus categorically opposed to the heathen estimate. In the temple of Aphrodite prostitutes were priestesses, and commerce with them was counted a consecration; it is an absolute desecration of God’s true temple in the man himself.
I like how Gene Pensiero summarizes 1Corinthians 6 - The church on earth, and each individual Christian in the church, is called to kingdom living right now. We should be showing those lost in the kingdom of darkness what it is like to be in the kingdom of heaven. Suing your brothers and sisters certainly does not show a kingdom lifestyle. Neither does indulging yourself in sexual immorality. Free yourself from lawsuits; flee from sexual immorality. Live as though you are in the Lord’s body, and as though the Lord is in your body. (Notes)
Traveling from his own province through Germany on his way to the city of Paris, Count Zinzendorf, then a young man, halted at the town of Dusseldorf where there was a fine collection of paintings. He entered the art gallery to spend an hour or two admiring the works of some of the great masters. Coming to a picture of Christ suffering on the cross, he stood transfixed before the scene and read the words that the artist, Steinberg, had added to his painting: “All this I did for thee. What hast thou done or Me?” This was the turning point of his life. Abandoning his journey to Paris, he returned to his home and consecrated himself to the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ. Devoting himself and his wealth to the Master’s service, he became the leader of the Moravian brethren (1 Corinthians 6:20; Galatians 2:20).
Motivation to Obey the Command to glorify God - Winston Churchill - A wealthy English family once invited friends to spend some time at their beautiful estate. The happy gathering was almost plunged into a terrible tragedy on the first day. When the children went swimming, one of them got into deep water and was drowning. Fortunately, the gardener heard the others screaming and plunged into the pool to rescue the helpless victim. That youngster was Winston Churchill. His parents, deeply grateful to the gardener, asked what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, “I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor.” “We’ll pay his way,” replied Churchill’s parents.
Years later when Sir Winston was prime minister of England, he was stricken with pneumonia. Greatly concerned, the king summoned the best physician who could be found to the bedside of the ailing leader. That doctor was Sir Alexander Fleming, the developer of penicillin. He was also the son of that gardener who had saved Winston from drowning as a boy! Later Churchill said, “Rarely has one man owed his life twice to the same person.”
What was rare in the case of that great English statesman is in a much deeper sense a wonderful reality for every believer in Christ. The Heavenly Father has given us the gift of physical life, and then through His Son, the Great Physician, He has imparted to us eternal life.
May the awareness that we are doubly indebted to God as our Creator and Redeemer motivate us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him. - D J DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The Total Package - Our family had lived in the same house for many years, and it was time for a change of scenery. When we finally discovered a house we liked, we began negotiating for its purchase.
You have bought us, and no longer
Is your living room the site of daily murders? Do you routinely entertain guests who swear at you and make fun of your faith? Have you ever had somebody drop by and try to convince you that sexual sin is a joking matter and that violence is entertaining?
Temptation's face is young and soft
A NEWSPAPER carried an article entitled "Victimless Crimes Get Second Look." The writer stated that practices such as prostitution and gambling are being reevaluated by state and federal authorities. Because laws governing these activities are hard to enforce, some think they should be legalized. Some states no longer consider drunkenness a crime. And a few have no laws against illicit sexual acts between consenting adults. It's claimed that such behavior is victimless because no one gets hurt.
J C Philpot - "You are bought with a price." –1 Corinthians 6:20
How deep, how dreadful, of what alarming magnitude, of how black a dye, of how ingrained a stamp must sin be, to need such an atonement--no less than the blood of him who was the Son of God--to put it away. What a slave to sin and Satan, what a captive to the power of lust, how deeply sunk, how awfully degraded, how utterly lost and undone must guilty man be to need a sacrifice like this! "You are bought with a price." Have you ever felt your bondage to sin, Satan, and the world? Have you ever groaned, cried, grieved, sorrowed, and lamented under your miserable captivity to the power of sin? Has the iron ever entered into your soul? Have you ever clanked your fetters, and as you did so, and tried to burst them, they seemed to bind round about you with a weight scarcely endurable?
But have you ever found any liberty from them, any enlargement of heart, any sweet going forth from the prison-house, any dropping of the manacles from your hands, and the fetters from your feet, so as to walk in some measure of gospel liberty?
"You are bought with a price." You were slaves of sin and Satan; you were shut up in the dark cell, where all was gloom and despondency; there was little hope in your soul of ever being saved. But there was an entrance of gospel light into your dungeon; there was a coming out of the house of bondage; there was a being brought into the light of God's countenance, shining forth in his dear Son. Now, this is not only being bought with a price, but experiencing the blessed effects of it.
J C Philpot - Deity suffered, bled & died! "For you were bought with a price." 1 Corinthians 6:20
It may be that some of you have seen and felt yourselves at various times, to be some of the foulest, filthiest, blackest, most polluted wretches that God allows to crawl upon His earth—for though your lives may have been free from outward spot, and you are made to walk in the fear of God—yet the shining in of divine teaching has discovered to you the depths of your fallen nature. You felt that—your debt was unpayable—your crimes were too great—your sins were too black—your iniquity was too foul.
Millions of sins of millions of sinners were all put away, blotted out, cancelled, removed, cast behind God's back, and drowned in the depths of the sea—as that precious blood fell from the hands and feet and side of Jesus upon Calvary's cruel tree! Deity suffered, bled and died! Jesus stood, as it were, between the wrath of God and His people—and it was as if by so doing He said, "Let the law discharge all its curses upon Me. Here is My head—let the lightning fall. I bare My brow. Let the wrath of God come upon Me—that My sheep may go free!"
We shall never properly value redeeming love, atoning blood, justifying righteousness, and the gift of the Son of God until we have known experimentally the slavery of sin—and groaned as poor captives under the dominion of Satan. Until the iron has entered our very soul—until the fetters have galled our feet and the manacles our wrists, and we can look up to God and point to our bleeding wounds as inflicted by sin, Satan, and the law—we can never truly feel our need of, or really value—the redemption that has been accomplished by the suffering Son of God.
But O, what a blessed change it is when the first ray of mercy breaks in upon the soul, and cheers the poor captive, who has been groaning for years, shut up in our dungeon cells, half starved, covered with filth and loathsome with vermin—the vermin of sin. But O to have the light of day breaking in through the prison doors, and to hear sounds from above of pardon and peace and blessed liberation—is not this enough to make the poor prisoner's heart leap for joy within him? --J. C. Philpot. RICHES
F B Meyer
CONSECRATION -The fact that we have been bought with a price, not with corruptible things, as silver or gold, but with the precious Blood of Christ, lies at the foundation of all consecration (1Pe1:18). In consecration we do not make ourselves Christ's but recognize that we are His by an unalienable right. In the slave market human beings were sold like cattle; but this institution is set forth as the first step in our devotion to the service and person of Jesus Christ, the Lord who bought us. Slaves pass from one master to another. Among the Hebrews an Israelite would sometimes sell himself into slavery until the year of Jubilee, or until one of his kinsmen redeemed him (Lev 25:47, 48, 49, 50). So our Kinsman, Christ, bought us back from sin and guilt and condemnation; He says, as He buys us: "Ye shall be for Me, ye shall not be for another." (See tabular summary - Kinsman-Redeemer)
Question. 1. What is the chief end of man?
Answer. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
Here are two ends of life specified. 1. The glorifying of God. 2. The enjoying of God.
First. The glorifying of God, 1Pet. 4:11. "That God in all things may be glorified." The glory of God is a silver thread which must run through all our actions. 1Cor. 10:31. "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Everything works to some end in things natural and artificial; now, man being a rational creature, must propose some end to himself, and that should be, that he may lift up God in the world. He had better lose his life than the end of his living. The great truth asserted is that the end of every man's living should be to glorify God. Glorifying God has respect to all the persons in the Trinity; it respects God the Father who gave us life; God the Son, who lost his life for us; and God the Holy Ghost, who produces a new life in us; we must bring glory to the whole Trinity.
When we speak of God's glory, the question will be moved, What are to understand by God's glory?
Answer. There is a twofold glory:
1. The glory that God has in himself, his intrinsic glory. Glory is essential to the Godhead, as light is to the sun: he is called the "God of glory." Acts 7:2. Glory is the sparkling of the Deity; it is so co-natural to the Godhead, that God cannot be God without it. The creature's honour is not essential to his being. A king is a man without his regal ornaments, when his crown and royal robes are taken away; but God's glory is such an essential part of his being, that he cannot be God without it. God's very life lies in his glory. This glory can receive no addition, because it is infinite; it is that which God is most tender of, and which he will not part with. Is 48:11, "My glory I will not give to another." God will give temporal blessings to his children, such as wisdom, riches, honour; he will give them spiritual blessings, he will give them grace, he will give them his love, he will give them heaven; but his essential glory he will not give to another. King Pharaoh parted with a ring off his finger to Joseph, and a gold chain, but he would not part with his throne. Ge 41:40. "Only in the throne will I be greater than thou." So God will do much for his people; he will give them the inheritance; he will put some of Christ's glory, as mediator upon them; but his essential glory he will not part with; "in the throne he will be greater."
2. The glory which is ascribed to God, or which his creatures labour to bring to him. 1Chr 16:29, "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name." And, 1Cor 6:20, "Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit." The glory we give God is nothing else but our lifting up His Name in the world, and magnifying Him in the eyes of others. Php 1:20, "Christ shall be magnified in my body."
Q. What is it to glorify God?
A. Glorifying God consists in four things: 1. Appreciation, 2. Adoration, 3. Affection, 4. Subjection. This is the yearly rent we pay to the crown of heaven.
To glorify God is to set God highest in our thoughts, and, to have a venerable esteem of him. Psalm 92:8. "Thou, Lord, art most high for evermore." Psalm 97:9, "Thou art exalted far above all gods." There is in God all that may draw forth both wonder and delight; there is a constellation of all beauties; he is prima causa [the first cause], the original and spring-head of being, who sheds a glory upon the creature. We glorify God when we are God-admirers; admire his attributes, which are the glistening beams by which the divine nature shines forth; his promises which are the charter of free grace, and the spiritual cabinet where the pearl of price is hid; the noble effects of his power and wisdom in making the world, which is called "the work of his fingers." Psalm 8:3. To glorify God is to have God-admiring thoughts; to esteem him most excellent, and search for diamonds in this rock only.
2. Glorifying God consists in adoration, or worship.
Psalm 29:2. "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." There is a twofold worship: 1. A civil reverence which we give to persons of honour. Gen. 23:7, "Abraham stood up and bowed himself to the children of Heth." Piety is no enemy to courtesy. 2. A divine worship which we give to God as his royal prerogative. Neh. 8:6,"they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces towards the ground." This divine worship God is very jealous of; it is the apple of his eye, the pearl of his crown; which he guards, as he did the tree of life, with cherubims and a flaming sword, that no man may come near it to violate it. Divine worship must be such as God himself has appointed, otherwise it is offering strange fire, Lev. 10:1. The Lord would have Moses make the tabernacle, "according to the pattern in the mount." Exod. 25:40. He must not leave out anything in the pattern, nor add to it. If God was so exact and curious about the place of worship, how exact will he be about the matter of his worship! Surely here every thing must be according to the pattern prescribed in his word.
This is part of the glory we give to God, who counts himself glorified when he is loved. Deut. 6:5, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul." There is a twofold love: 1. Amor concupiscentiae, a love of concupiscence, which is self-love; as when we love another because he does us a good turn. A wicked man may be said to love God, because he has given him a good harvest, or filled his cup with wine. This is rather to love God's blessing than to love God. 2. Amor amicitiae, a love of delight, as a man takes delight in a friend. This is to love God indeed; the heart is set upon God, as a man's heart is set upon his treasure. This love is exuberant, not a few drops, but a stream. It is superlative; we give God the best of our love, the cream of it. Song 8:2,"I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate." If the spouse had a cup more juicy and spiced, Christ must drink of it. It is intense and ardent. True saints are seraphims, burning in holy love to God [from the Hebrew word saruph, to be burned up]. The spouse was amore perculsa, [an overwhelming love], in fainting fits, "sick of love," Song 2:5. Thus to love God is to glorify him. He who is the chief of our happiness has the chief of our affections.
This is when we dedicate ourselves to God, and stand ready dressed for his service. Thus the angels in heaven glorify him; they wait on his throne, and are ready to take a commission from him; therefore they are represented by the cherubims with wings displayed, to show how swift they are in their obedience. We glorify God when we are devoted to his service; our head studies for him, our tongue pleads for him, and our hands relieve his members. The wise men that came to Christ did not only bow the knee to him, but presented him with gold and myrrh. Matt. 2:11. So we must not only bow the knee, give God worship, but bring presents of golden obedience. We glorify God when we falter at no service, when we fight under the banner of his gospel against an enemy, and say to him as David to King Saul, "Thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine," 1Sa 17:32.
A good Christian is like the sun, which not only sends forth heat, but goes its circuit round the world. Thus, he who glorifies God has not only his affections heated with love to God, but he goes his circuit too; he moves vigorously in the sphere of obedience.
Q. Why must we glorify God?
A. 1. Because he gives us our being.
Psalm 100:3, "It is he that made us." We think it a great kindness in a man to spare our life, but what kindness is it in God to give us our life! We draw our breath from him; and as life, so all the comforts of life are from him. He gives us health, which is the sauce to sweeten our life; and food, which is the oil that nourishes the lamp of life. If all we receive is from his bounty, is it not reasonable we should glorify him? Should we not live to him, seeing we live by him? Rom. 11:36, "For of him, and through him, are all things." All we have is of his fulness, all we have is through his free grace; and therefore to him should be all. It follows, therefore, "To him be glory for ever." God is not our benefactor only, but our founder, as rivers that come from the sea empty their silver streams into the sea again.
2. Because God has made all things for his own glory.
Pr 16:4. "The Lord hath made all things for himself:" that is, "for his glory." As a king has excise out of commodities, so God will have glory out of everything. He will have glory out of the wicked. If they will not give him glory, he will get glory upon them. Exod. 14:17. "I will get me honour upon Pharaoh." But especially has he made the godly for his glory; they are the lively organs of his praise. Isa. 43:21, "This people have I formed for myself, and they shall shew forth my praise." It is true, they cannot add to his glory, but they may exalt it; they cannot raise him in heaven, but they may raise him in the esteem of others here. God has adopted the saints into his family, and made them a royal priesthood, that they should show forth the praise of him who hath called them, I Pet. 2:9.
3. Because the glory of God has intrinsic value and excellence; it transcends the thoughts of men, and the tongues of angels.
His glory is his treasure, all his riches lie here; as Micah said. Judges 18:24, "What have I more?" So, what has God more? God's glory is worth more than heaven, and worth more than the salvation of all men's souls. Better kingdoms be thrown down, better men and angels be annihilated, than God should lose one jewel of his crown, one beam of his glory.
4. Creatures below us, and above us, bring glory to God; and do we think to sit rent free?
Shall everything glorify God but man? It would be a pity then that man was ever made. (1.) Creatures below us glorify God, the inanimate creatures and the heavens glorify God. "The heavens declare the glory of God." Psalm 19:1. The curious workmanship of heaven sets forth the glory of its Maker; the firmament is beautified and pencilled out in blue and azure colours, where the power and wisdom of God may be clearly seen. "The heavens declare his glory:" we may see the glory of God blazing in the sun, and twinkling in the stars. Look into the air, the birds, with their chirping music, sing hymns of praise to God. Every beast in its kind glorifies God. Isa. 43:20, "The beasts of the field shall honour me." (2.) Creatures above us glorify God: "the angels are ministering spirits." Heb. 1:14. They are still waiting on God's throne, and bring some revenues of glory into the exchequer of heaven. Surely man should be much more studious of God's glory than the angels; for God has honoured him more than the angels, in that Christ took man's nature upon him, and not the angels. Though, in regard of creation, God made man "a little lower than the angels," Heb. 2:7, yet, in regard of redemption, God has set him higher than the angels. He has married mankind to himself; the angels are Christ's friends, not his spouse. He has covered us with the purple robe of righteousness, which is a better righteousness than the angels have, 2 Cor. 5:20. If then the angels bring glory to God, much more should we, being dignified with honour above angelic spirits.
5. We must bring glory to God, because all our hopes hang upon him.
Psalm 39:7. "My hope is in thee." And Psalm 62:5. "My expectation is from him;" I expect a kingdom from him. A child that is good-natured will honour his parent, by expecting all he needs from him. Psalm 87:7. "All my springs are in thee." The silver springs of grace, and the golden springs of glory are in him.
Q. In how many ways may we glorify God?
Answer. 1. It is glorifying God when we aim purely at his glory. It is one thing to advance God's glory, another thing to aim at it. God must be the Terminus ad quem, the ultimate end of all actions. Thus Christ, John 8:50, "I seek not mine own glory, but the glory of him that sent me." A hypocrite has a crooked eye, for he looks more to his own glory than God's. Our Saviour deciphers such, and gives a caveat against them in Mt 6:2, "when thou givest alms, do not sound a trumpet." A stranger would ask, "What means the noise of this trumpet?" It was answered, "They are going to give to the poor." And so they did not give alms, but sold them for honour and applause, that they might have glory of men; the breath of men was the wind that blew the sails of their charity; "verily they have their reward." The hypocrite may make his acquittance and write, "received in full payment." Chrysostom calls vainglory one of the devil's great nets to catch men. And Cyprian says, "whom Satan cannot prevail against by intemperance, those he prevails against by pride and vainglory." Oh let us take heed of self-worshipping! Aim purely at God's glory.
Q. How shall we know when we aim at God's glory?
A. (1.) When we prefer God's glory above all other things; above credit, estate, relations; when the glory of God coming in competition with them, we prefer his glory before them.
If relations lie in our way to heaven, we must either leap over them, or tread upon them. A child must unchild himself, and forget he is a child; he must know neither father nor mother in God's cause. Deut. 33:9, "Who said unto his father and mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren." This is to aim at God's glory.
(2.) We aim at God's glory, when we are content that God's will should take place, though it may cross ours.
Lord, I am content to be a loser, if thou be a gainer; to have less health, if I have more grace, and thou more glory. Let it be food or bitter medicine if thou gives it me. Lord, I desire that which may be most for thy glory. Our blessed Saviour said, "not as I will, but as thou wilt." Matt. 26:39. If God might have more glory by his sufferings, he was content to suffer. John 12:28, "Father, glorify thy name."
(3.) We aim at God's glory when we are content to be outshined by others in gifts and esteem, so that his glory may be increased.
A man that has God in his heart, and God's glory in his eye, desires that God should be exalted. If this be effected, no matter whom the instrument, he rejoices. Phil. 1:15, "Some preach Christ of envy: notwithstanding Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice;" they preached Christ of envy, they envied Paul that concourse of people, and they preached that they might outshine him in gifts, and get away some of his hearers: well, says Paul, Christ is preached, and God is like to have the glory, therefore I rejoice; let my candle go out, if the Sun of Righteousness may but shine.
2. We glorify God by a frank confession of sin.
The thief on the cross had dishonoured God in his life, but at his death he brought glory to God by confession of sin. Lk 23:41, "We indeed suffer justly." He acknowledged he deserved not only crucifixion, but damnation. Josh 7:19, "My son, give, I, pray thee, glory to God, and make confession unto him." A humble confession exalts God. How is God's free grace magnified in crowning those who deserve to be condemned! The excusing and mincing of sin casts a reproach upon God. Adam denied not that he tasted the forbidden fruit, but, instead of a full confession, he taxed God. Ge 3:12. "The woman whom thou gavest me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat;" if thou had not given me the woman to be a tempter, I would not have sinned. Confession glorifies God, because it clears him; it acknowledges that he is holy and righteous, whatever he does. Nehemiah vindicates God's righteousness; Neh 9:33. "Thou art just in all that is brought upon us." A confession is frank when it is free, not forced. Luke 15:18. "I have sinned against heaven and before thee." The prodigal charged himself with sin before his Father charged him with it.
3. We glorify God by believing.
Ro. 4:20. "Abraham was strong in faith, giving glory to God." Unbelief affronts God, it gives him the lie; "he that believeth not, maketh God a liar." I John 5:10. But faith brings glory to God; it sets to its seal that God is true. Jn 3:33. He that believes flies to God's mercy and truth, as to an altar of refuge, he engarrisons himself in the promises, and trusts all he has with God. Ps 31:5, "Into thy hands I commit my spirit." This is a great way of bringing glory to God, and God honours faith because faith honours him. It is a great honour we do to a man when we trust him with all we have, when we put our lives and estates into his hand; it is a sign we have a good opinion of him. The three children glorified God by believing. "The God whom we serve is able to deliver us, and will deliver us," Da 3:17. Faith knows there are no impossibilities with God, and will trust him where it cannot see him.
4. We glorify God, by being tender of His glory.
God's glory is dear to him as the apple of his eye. An innocent child weeps to see a disgrace done to his father. Psalm 69:9, "The reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me." When we hear God reproached, it is as if we were reproached; when God's glory suffers, it is as if we suffered. This is to be tender of God's glory.
5. We glorify God by fruitfulness.
John 15:8. "Hereby is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." As it is dishonouring God to be barren, so fruitfulness honours him. Php 1:11. "Filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are to the praise of his glory." We must not be like the fig tree in the gospel, which had nothing but leaves, but like the pomecitron, that is continually either mellowing or blossoming, and is never without fruit. It is not profession, but fruit that glorifies God. God expects to have his glory from us in this way. 1Cor. 9:7, "Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit of it?" Trees in the forest may be barren, but trees in the garden are fruitful. We must bring forth the fruits of love and good works. Mt. 5:16."Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Faith sanctifies our works, and works testify our faith; to be doing good to others, to be eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, much glorifies God. Thus Christ glorified his Father; "he went about doing good." Acts 10:38. By being fruitful, we are fair in God's eyes. Je 11:16. "The Lord called thy name a green olive-tree, fair and of goodly fruit." And we must bear much fruit; it is muchness of fruit that glorifies God: "if ye bear much fruit." The spouse's breasts are compared to clusters of grapes, to show how fertile she was, Song 7:7. Though the lowest degree of grace may bring salvation to you, yet it will not bring much glory to God. It was not a spark of love Christ commended in Mary, but much love; "she loved much," Lk 7:47.
6. We glorify God by being contented in that state in which Providence has placed us.
We give God the glory of his wisdom, when we rest satisfied with what he carves out to us. Thus Paul glorified God. The Lord cast him into as great variety of conditions as any man, "in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft," 2 Cor. 11:23, yet he had learned to be content. Paul could sail either in a storm or a calm; he could be anything that God would have him; he could either want or abound, Phil. 4:13. A good Christian argues thus: It is God that has put me in this condition; he could have raised me higher, if he pleased, but that might have been a snare to me: he has done it in wisdom and love; therefore I will sit down satisfied with my condition. Surely this glorifies God much; God counts himself much honoured by such a Christian. Here says God, is one after mine own heart; let me do what I will with him, I hear no murmuring, he is content. This shows abundance of grace. When grace is crowning, it is not so much to be content; but when grace is conflicting with inconveniences, then to be content is a glorious thing indeed. For one to be content when he is in heaven is no wonder; but to be content under the cross is like a Christian. This man must needs bring glory to God; for he shows to all the world, that though he has little meal in his barrel, yet he has enough in God to make him content: he says, as David, Psalm 16:5, "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance; the lines are fallen to me in pleasant places."
7. We glorify God by working out our own salvation.
God has bound together his glory and our good. We glorify him by promoting our own salvation. It is a glory to God to have multitudes of converts; now, his design of free grace takes, and God has the glory of his mercy; so that, while we are endeavouring our salvation, we are honouring God. What an encouragement is this to the service of God to think, while I am hearing and praying, I am glorifying God; while I am furthering my own glory in heaven, I am increasing God's glory. Would it not be an encouragement to a subject, to hear his prince say to him, You will honour and please me very much, if you will go to yonder mine of gold, and dig as much gold for yourself as you can carry away? So, for God to say, Go to the ordinances, get as much grace as you can, dig out as much salvation as you can; and the more happiness you have, the more I shall count myself glorified.
8. We glorify God by living to God
2Co 5:15, "That they which live should not live to themselves, but unto him who died for them." Ro 14:8, "Whether we live, we live unto the Lord." The Mammonist lives to his money, the Epicure lives to his belly; the design of a sinner's life is to gratify lust, but we glorify God when we live to God.
Q. What is it to live to God?
A. When we live to his service, and lay ourselves out wholly for God.
The Lord has sent us into the world, as a merchant sends his agent beyond the seas to trade for him. We live to God when we trade for his interest, and propagate his gospel. God has given every man a talent; and when a man does not hide it in a napkin, but improves it for God, he lives to God. When a master in a family, by counsel and good example, labours to bring his servants to Christ; when a minister spends himself, and is spent, that he may win souls to Christ, and make the crown flourish upon Christ's head; when the magistrate does not wear the sword in vain, but labours to cut down sin, and to suppress vice; this is to live to God, and this is glorifying God. Phil. 1:20. "That Christ might be magnified, whether by life or by death." Three wishes Paul had, and they were all about Christ; that he might be found in Christ, be with Christ, and magnify Christ.
9. We glorify God by walking cheerfully.
It brings glory to God, when the world sees a Christian has that within him that which can make him cheerful in the worst times; that can enable him, with the nightingale, to sing with a thorn at his breast. The people of God have ground for cheerfulness. They are justified and adopted, and this creates inward peace; it makes music within, whatever storms are without, 2 Cor. 1:4. I Thess. 1:6. If we consider what Christ has wrought for us by his blood, and wrought in us by his Spirit, it is a ground of great cheerfulness, and this cheerfulness glorifies God. It reflects upon a master when the servant is always drooping and sad; sure he is kept to hard commons, his master does not give him what is fitting; so, when God's people hang their heads, it looks as if they did not serve a good master, or repented of their choice, which reflects dishonour on God. As the gross sins of the wicked bring a scandal on the gospel, so do the uncheerful lives of the godly. Psalm 100:2, "Serve the Lord with gladness." Your serving him does not glorify him, unless it be with gladness. A Christian's cheerful looks glorify God; religion does not take away our joy, but refines it; it does not break our viol, but tunes it, and makes the music sweeter.
10. We glorify God by standing up for his truths.
Much of God's glory lies in his truth. God has entrusted us with his truth, as a master entrusts his servant with his purse to keep. We have not a richer jewel to trust God with than our souls, nor has God a richer jewel to trust us with than his truth. Truth is a beam that shines from God. Much of his glory lies in his truth. When we are advocates for truth we glorify God. Jude 3, "That ye should contend earnestly for the truth." The Greek word to contend signifies great contending, as one would contend for his land, and not suffer his right to be taken from him, so we should contend for the truth. Were there more of this holy contention God would have more glory. Some contend earnestly for trifles and ceremonies, but not for the truth. We should Count him indiscreet that would contend more for a picture than for his inheritance; for a box of toys than for his box of title deeds.
11. We glorify God by praising him.
Doxology, or praise, is a God-exalting work. Psalm 50:23, "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me." The Hebrew word Bara, to create, and Barak, to praise, are little different, because the end of creation is to praise God. David was called the sweet singer of Israel, and his praising God was called glorifying God. Psalm 96:12. "I will praise thee, O Lord my God, and I will glorify thy name." Though nothing can add to God's essential glory, yet praise exalts him in the eyes of others. When we praise God, we spread his fame and renown, we display the trophies of his excellency. In this manner the angels glorify him; they are the choristers of heaven, and do trumpet forth his praise. Praising God is one of the highest and purest acts of religion. In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels. Believers are called "temples of God." I Cor. 3:16. When our tongues praise, then the organs in God's spiritual temple are sounding. How sad it is that God has no more glory from us in this way! Many are full of murmuring and discontent, but seldom bring glory to God, by giving him the praise due to his name. We read of the saints having harps in their hands, the emblems of praise. Many have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouths, but few have harps in their hands, blessing and glorifying God. Let us honour God this way. Praise is the quit-rent we pay to God: as long as God renews our lease, we must renew our rent.
12. We glorify God, by being zealous for his name.
Nu 25:11, "Phineas hath turned my wrath away, while he was zealous for my sake." Zeal is a mixed affection, a compound of love and anger; it carries forth our love to God, and our anger against sin in an intense degree. Zeal is impatient of God's dishonour; a Christian fired with zeal takes a dishonour done to God worse than an injury done to himself. Re 2:2, "Thou canst not bear them that are evil." Our Saviour Christ thus glorified his Father; he, being baptized with a spirit of zeal, drove the money-changers out of the temple, John 2:14, 15, 16, 17. "The zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up."
13. We glorify God, when we have an eye to God in our natural and in our civil actions.
In our natural actions; in eating and drinking. 1 Cor. 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God." A gracious person holds the golden bridle of temperance; he takes his meat as a medicine to heal the decays of nature, that he may be the fitter, by the strength he receives, for the service of God; he makes his food, not fuel for lust, but help to duty. In buying and selling, we do all to the glory of God. The wicked live upon unjust gain, by falsifying the balances, as in Hosea 12:7, "The balances of deceit are in his hands;" and thus while men make their weights lighter, they make their sins heavier, when by exacting more than the commodity is worth, they do not for eighty write down fifty, but for fifty eighty; when they exact double the price that a thing is worth. We buy and sell to the glory of God, when we observe that golden maxim, "To do to others as we would have them do to us;" so that when we sell our commodities, we do not sell our consciences also. Acts 24:16. "Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence towards God, and towards men." We glorify God, when we have an eye to God in all our civil and natural actions, and do nothing that may reflect any blemish on religion.
14. We glorify God by labouring to draw others to God; by seeking to convert others, and so make them instruments of glorifying God. We should be both diamonds and loadstones (magnetic rocks); diamonds for the lustre of grace and loadstones for attractive virtue in drawing others to Christ. Gal. 4:19, "My little children, of whom I travail," etc. It is a great way of glorifying God, when we break open the devil's prison, and turn men from the power of Satan to God.
15. We glorify God in a high degree when we suffer for God, and seal the gospel with our blood.
Jn 21:18,19, "When thou shalt be old, another shall gird thee, and carry thee, whither thou wouldest not: this spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God." God's glory shines in the ashes of his martyrs.
Is 24:15, "wherefore glorify the Lord in the fires." Micah was in the prison, Isaiah was sawn asunder, Paul beheaded, Luke hanged on an olive tree; thus did they, by their death, glorify God. The sufferings of the primitive saints did honour to God, and made the gospel famous in the world. What would others say? See what a good master they serve, and how they love him, that they will venture the loss of all in his service. The glory of Christ's kingdom does not stand in worldly pomp and grandeur, as other kings; but it is seen in the cheerful sufferings of his people. The saints of old "loved not their lives to the death."
Rev. 12:11. They embraced torments as so many crowns. God grant we may thus glorify him, if he calls us to it. Many pray, "Let this cup pass away," but few, "Thy will be done."
16. We glorify God, when we give God the glory of all that we do.
When Herod had made an oration, and the people gave a shout, saying, "It is the voice of a God, and not of a man," he took the glory to himself; the text says, immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory, and he was eaten of worms." Acts 12:23. We glorify God, when we sacrifice the praise and glory of all to God. 1 Cor. 15:10, "I laboured more abundantly than they all," a speech, one would think, savoured of pride; but the apostle pulls the crown from his own head, and sets it upon the head of free grace: "yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." As Joab, when he fought against Rabbah, sent for King David, that he might carry away the crown of the victory, 2 Sam. 12:28, so a Christian, when he has gotten power over any corruption or temptation sends for Christ, that he may carry away the crown of the victory. As the silkworm, when she weaves her curious work, hides herself under the silk, and is not seen; so when we have done anything praiseworthy, we must hide ourselves under the veil of humility, and transfer the glory of all we have done to God. As Constantine used to write the name of Christ over his door, so should we write the name of Christ over our duties. Let him wear the garland of praise.
17. We glorify God by a holy life.
A bad life dishonors God. 1Pe 2:8, "Ye are an holy nation, that ye should shew forth the praises of him that hath called you." Ro 2:24, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you." Epiphanus says," That the looseness of some Christians in his time made many of the heathens shun their company, and would not be drawn to hear their sermons." By our exact Bible-conversation we glorify God. Though the main work of religion lies in the heart, yet our light must so shine that others may behold it. The safety of a building is the foundation, but the glory of it is in the frontispiece; so the beauty of faith is in the conversation. When the saints, who are called jewels, cast a sparkling lustre of holiness in the eyes of the world, then they "walk as Christ walked." 1Jn 2:6. When they live as if they had seen the Lord with bodily eyes, and been with him upon the mount, they adorn religion, and bring revenues of glory to the crown of heaven.
Use 1.-This subject shows us that our chief end should not be to get great estates, not to lay up treasures upon earth; which is the degeneracy of mankind since the fall. Sometimes they never arrive at an estate, they do not get the venison they hunt for; or if they do, what have they? That which will not fill the heart any more than the mariner's breath will fill the sails of the ship. They spend their time, as Israel, in gathering straw, but remember not that the end of living is to glorify God. Eccl 5:16, "What profit hath he that laboureth for the wind?" These things are soon gone.
Use 2.-It reproves such, (1) As bring no glory to God; who do not answer the end of their creation; whose time is not time lived, but time lost; who are like the wood of the vine, Ezek. 15:2; whose lives are, as St. Bernard speaks "Either sinfulness or barrenness. A useless burden on the earth." God will one day ask such a question as King Ahasuerus did, Esth. 6:3, "What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai?" What honour has been done to me? What revenues of glory have you brought into my exchequer?
There is no one here present but God has put in some capacity of glorifying him; the health he has given you, the parts, estate, seasons of grace, all are opportunities put into your hand to glorify him; and, be assured, he will call you to account, to know what you have done with the mercies he has entrusted you with, what glory you have brought to him. The parable of the talents, where the men with the five talents and the two talents are brought to a reckoning, evidently shows that God will call you to a strict account, to know how you have traded with your talents, and what glory you have brought to him. Now, how sad will it be with them who hide their talents in a napkin, that bring God no glory at all! "Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness." It is not enough for you to say that you have not dishonoured God, you have not lived in gross sin; but what good have you done? What glory have you brought to God? It is not enough for the servant of the vineyard that he does no hurt in the vineyard, that he does not break the trees, or destroy the hedges; if he does not do service in the vineyard, he loses his pay; so, if you do not good in your place, do not glorify God, you will lose your pay, you will miss of salvation. Oh, think of this, all you that live unserviceably! Christ cursed the barren fig tree.
(2.) It reproves such as are so far from bringing glory to God, that they rob God of his glory. Mal. 3:8, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me." They rob God, who take the glory due to God to themselves. 1. If they have gotten an estate, they ascribe all to their own wit and industry, they set the crown upon their own head, not considering that, Deut. 8:18, "Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth." 2. If they do any duty of religion, they look to their own glory. Matt. 6:5, "that they may be seen of men;" that they may be set upon a theatre for others to admire and canonize them. The oil of vainglory feeds their lamp. How many by the wind of popular breath have been blown to hell! Whom the devil cannot destroy by intemperance, he does by vainglory.
(3.) It reproves those who fight against God's glory. Acts 5:29, "Lest ye be found to fight against God."
Q. Who are those who fight against God's glory?
A. Such as oppose that whereby God's glory is promoted. His glory is much promoted by the preaching of the word, which is his engine whereby he converts souls. Now, such as would hinder the preaching of the word fight against God's glory. 1Th 2:16, "Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles, that they might be saved." Diocletian, who raised the tenth persecution against the Christians, prohibited church meetings, and would have the temples of the Christians to be razed down. Such as hinder preaching, as the Philistines that stopped the wells, stop the well of the water of life. They take away the physicians that should heal sin-sick souls. Ministers are lights, Mt. 5:14, and who but thieves hate the light? They directly strike at God's glory; and what an account will they have to give to God, when he shall charge the blood of men's souls upon them! Lk 11:52, "Ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." If there be either justice in heaven, or fire in hell, they shall not go unpunished.
USE 3.-Exhortation. Let every one of us, in our place, make it our chief end and design to glorify God. (1.) Let me speak to magistrates. God has put much glory upon them. Psalm 82:6, "I have said, Ye are Gods;" and will they not glorify him who has put so much glory upon them? (2.) Ministers should study to promote God's glory. God has entrusted them with two of the most precious things, his truth, and the souls of his people. Ministers, by virtue of their office, are to glorify God. They must glorify God, by labouring in the word and doctrine. 2Ti 4:1, "I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead: preach the word, be instant in season, out of season," etc. It was Augustine's wish, "that Christ, at his coming, might find him either praying or preaching." Ministers must glorify God by their zeal and sanctity. The priests under the law, before they served at the altar, washed in the laver; so such as serve in the Lord's house must first be washed from gross sin in the laver of repentance. It is a matter of grief and shame to think how many who call themselves ministers, instead of bringing glory to God, dishonour him. 2Chr 11:15. Their lives, as well as their doctrines, are heterodox; they are not free from the sins which they reprove in others. Plutarch's servant upbraided him, by saying, "he has written a book against anger, et ipse mihi irascitur, yet he falls into a passion of anger with me." So is a minister who preaches against drunkenness, yet he himself is drunk; he preaches against swearing, yet he himself swears. Masters of families must glorify God, must season their children and servants with the knowledge of the Lord; their houses should be little churches. Gen. 18:19, "I know that Abraham will command his children, that they may keep the way of the Lord." You that are masters have a charge of souls. For want of the bridle of family discipline youth runs wild.
It will be a great comfort in a dying hour, to think we have glorified God in our lives. It was Christ's comfort before his death: John 17:3, "I have glorified thee on the earth." At the hour of death, all your earthly comforts will vanish: if you think how rich you have been, what pleasures you have had on earth; this will be so far from comforting you, that it will torment you the more. What is one the better for an estate that is spent? But to have conscience telling you that you have glorified God on the earth, what sweet comfort and peace will this let into your soul! How will it make you long for death! The servant that has been all day working in the vineyard longs till evening comes, when he shall receive his pay. How can they who have lived, and brought no glory to God, think of dying with comfort? They cannot expect a harvest where they sowed no seed. How can they expect glory from God, who never brought any glory to him? Oh in what horror will they be at death! The worm of conscience will gnaw their souls, before the worms can gnaw their bodies.
If we glorify God, he will glorify our souls for ever. By raising God's glory, we increase our own: by glorifying God, we come at last to the blessed enjoyment of Him. (For the entire paper see Man's Chief End is to Glorify God)