Saturday, April 15, 2006

Glorifying God

Glorifying God

In salvation God not only redeems His people from eternal punishment of hell but He works in them to do good works “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) The Holy Spirit works in all who believe for a new way of living. The purpose of God in salvation is not only to justify you but also to sanctify you. You are redeemed and since you are owned by God you are set apart for holy living. Justification is the declaration of God whereby we are declare forgiven of our sins, by the shed blood of Christ, and therefore brought into the family of God and treated as if we had never sinned. Sanctification however is the work of God in every believer’s life, whereby the Holy Spirit is working in each one enabling them to “work out” their “own salvation with fear and trembling”. The Holy Spirit energizes the people of God “to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phi 2:12-13)
The Holy Spirit works in the believer so that they are Christ centered and follow Him in whatever the circumstances may lead. The Christian’s commitment goes even to the denying of oneself (Matt 16:24). Believers understand that they are not their own but belong to God by way of redemption. It is the love of God, by the blood of Christ which bought us. It is that love which compels us to live for His glory and honor. “For the love of Christ constrains us that ….they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Cor.5:14-15) “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

The good works which we are “recreated” to do are simply the things God has commanded in the Bible, particularly the moral law given in the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). In them God teaches His people to love God and their fellow man. These good works are things such as doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly before the Lord (Mic. 6:8; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 13:20-21). Fellowship, communion with, and obedience to God is the greatest desire in the believer’s life. Living holy before the Lord becomes a religiously joyful duty (Ps. 16:11). For, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee”(Ps. 73:25). Because of this desire given to us by God himself we are quick to confess our sins, seek forgiveness, and have continued fellowship with the Triune God and our fellow brothers in Christ. On the other hand while one can never be saved by the works of the law those that claim to be believers yet live to themselves give no evidence that they are saved people of God. They just do not show that they are in fellowship with Christ and His church. “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 1:3).

Glorifying God is the purpose of the Christian life. So how does a believer glorify God? The Christian that has put on the new man and is being renewed “in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: Colossians 3:10. The believer is being renewed in thought and in actions in order to do all for God’s glory. Their desire and goal is to glorify God. This desire to please God is not burdensome to us but is a desire, and an ambition that the Holy Spirit works in us: Philippians 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. We are a new creature in Christ and old things are passed away and things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17). Therefore by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, we can produce fruit that glorifies God by first offering praise to Him. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:23). And secondly, we can live a sanctified life being obedient to the principles and precepts of the law of God. The Apostle Paul taught that all of our life, whether family, work, worship, or social events are to be done for the glory of God. In doing so God is glorified. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever……..Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 10:31). It is in the sanctification process that the believer begins to produce fruit that brings honor and glory to God.
.God is glorified when His people carry forth his commandments. The commandments contain how we are to live life. The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is a directing and energizing of the believer to love God with all the heart (first four commands) and a loving of all individuals or neighbors as they love themselves (last six commandments). In being obedient to our loving God and loving our neighbor is to glorify God.
.The Ten Commandments have been called the moral law of God. The believer is to obey the moral law of God. The obedience to them in no manner merits favor with God nor salvation. The Holy Spirit, however, gives the direction and power to perform righteous living. The moral law of God is a guide and a delight to God’s people since obedience glorifies the Lord God. In being obedient to the commands of God we show our love to God. Living according to the commandments of God is the goal, living morally and ethically before a holy God is the call of Christianity. In lovingly being obedient to God’s word shows an “attitude of gratitude” toward God since he has so loved us.

.Psalms 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

.John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.1 John 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

.John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.Listed below are the Ten Commandments. Many churches read these responsively in their weekly liturgical worship service along with the responses. It is important to notice that for every commandment there is a call from the New Testament to respond. It is no wonder then that Jesus said “...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matt. 22:37-39

The First Commandment: Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

.The New Testament Response:

.1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

.Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

.The Second Commandment: Exodus 20:4-6 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

.The New Testament Response:

.John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The Third Commandment: Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

.The New Testament Response:

.Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

.Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

.Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

.The Fourth Commandment: Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

.The New Testament Response

.Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:

.1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

.1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

.The Fifth Commandment: Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

.The New Testament Response

.Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

.Colossians 3:20-21 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

.The Sixth Commandment: Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

.The New Testament Response

.Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

.Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

.1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

.The Seventh Commandment: Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

.The New Testament Response

.Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

.Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

.Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

.The Eight Commandment:

THE RULE OF PROPERTY: Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.

.The New Testament Response

.Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

.The Ninth Commandment: Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

.The New Testament Response

.John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

.Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

.Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

.The Tenth Commandment: Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

.The New Testament Response.

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

.Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

.Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

.Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

.When understood and obeyed the commands provide and protect the people of God. They provide a righteous way to live and they protect God’s people from the hardships of sin. In each commandment there are requirements, restrictions, and prohibitions.

You cannot live a life of love and devotion to God in your own strength. Be diligent to read the word of God and pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to work in your life to glorify God. When we live sinful lives we forget that “sin will take us farther than we want to go, keep us longer than we want to stay, and cost us more than we want to spend.” The word of God, applied in the power of the Holy Spirit provides a righteous way to live and protects God’s people from those hardships of sin.

.Finally, they can only be lived in the power of God. Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (Jn. 15:5). Only as you are linked to the vine will you grow in sanctification and kill the works of the flesh thereby glorifying God. Therefore let us remember that it is essential to read God’s word diligently, heeding the commands, and seeking in prayer the power from Christ to make application to our life. It is from Christ that we have the strength to live holy and glorify God. Remember, you can “do all things through Christ” who gives strength (Phil. 4:13).


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