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1 Corinthians 10:31 How to Glorify God

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Sermon outline and notes: Dr. Stephen Felker, Pastor Swift Creek Baptist Church.com, Branders Bridge Rd., Colonial Heights, VA /19/ Corinthians 10:31 How to Glorify God Intro. Have you
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Sermon outline and notes: Dr. Stephen Felker, Pastor Swift Creek Baptist Church.com, Branders Bridge Rd., Colonial Heights, VA /19/ Corinthians 10:31 How to Glorify God Intro. Have you ever experienced what it s like to have someone glorify you, or glorify your name? Perhaps in your presence your husband or wife said some really wonderful things about you. Perhaps your child or grandchild said something wonderful about you. Parents often praise their children when they have done something good. Perhaps you have received praise at work. Or perhaps your child achieved success in sports or in some other endeavor, and someone mentions their accomplishment to you. As a parent you share in their glory. How does it feel to receive glory & praise? It feels pretty good, doesn t it? Well I want to tell you that God is pleased when we glorify Him. I have been preaching a series of messages on the subject of worship, and isn t it true that our worship should glorify God? As we recognize the glory of His person and the glory of His works, we ought to praise Him, thank Him, and glorify His name. In our public worship we ought to cause others to recognize the glory of God, and give Him glory. The life of a true worshiper is a life of actively seeking to glorify God in practical ways. We do so in public worship, but we should also do so in our daily lives. Our opening Scripture for today is, Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Likewise, 1 Cor. 6:20 says, For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body. So I want to share some of the ways we are to glorify God in both our public worship and in our daily lives. These ways should be considered acts of pure, acceptable worship. I will not include the ways we have already talked about in this series, such as giving praise & thanksgiving to God. Instead, I will focus on other ways we are to glorify God. After all, this is one of the reasons God created us, to glorify Him. Let us fulfill our purpose. First of all, we are to glorify God: I. BY EXPRESSING AN UNWAVERING FAITH IN GOD God is glorified, first of all, when we trust Him without vacillating. Romans 4:20 says of Abraham, He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. Then 2 Cor. 1:20 says, For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Expressing & exercising faith in God brings glory to Him. That s because we are declaring that He is trustworthy. He is faithful. You can count on God! Faith glorifies God. A good example of unwavering faith is the account of the three young men in the fiery furnace. Daniel 3 tells us that before Nebuchadnezzar cast them into the white-hot furnace he gave them a chance to recant their faith in God and worship a golden image of the king instead. Verse 17 is their answer to Him: If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. Then they added in v.18, But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. They were in an extremely difficult position. No child of God on record had ever experienced the threat of a fiery furnace. If they had succumbed to the king s intimidation and worshiped the idol, they would not have glorified their God. Instead, they took a confident stand of faith in the goodness, justice & protection of God. Their faith was vindicated when He delivered them, and God was glorified in the eyes of an entire nation. Nebuchadnezzar himself professed the greatness of our God (3:28-4:3). He said in 4:3, How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation. On the other hand, unbelief dishonors God. 1 John 5:10 says, He who does not believe God has made Him a liar. In other words, when you doubt God, you question His character, specifically, His trustworthiness. For some reason, we think of doubt and worry as small sins. But when a Christian displays unbelief or worry, he is saying to the world, My God cannot really be trusted; and that kind of disrespect makes one guilty of the sin of dishonoring God, and failing to give Him the glory that is due His name. That is no small sin. So look for opportunities to express unwavering faith in God, especially in the presence of others. By the way, that is one reason why God allows us to face difficulties in life. Our faith is put to the test, and when we trust God, He is glorified. Secondly, we are to glorify God: II. BY EXPRESSING CONFIDENT PRAYER This, of course, is one of the primary ways we express our faith in God. Such prayer can glorify God in public worship, or in the presence of just a few individuals. What Jesus said in John 14:13 is a clear statement that answered prayer glorifies God: And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. That verse does not say we can ask God for anything and He will give it to us. The prerequisite is that our requests must be in Jesus name and that does not mean we can simply tag every prayer with the words in Jesus name amen. Praying in Jesus name means praying on behalf of Jesus, making requests that are in line with what He desires. What we ask for must be in accordance with His will. It is not possible to pray in Jesus name for something He does not want. The more specific our prayers, the more clearly His glory will be revealed in the answer. And ultimately, His glory is more important than the answer to the prayer. If you pray, God, heal the sick, and then someone recovers from a serious illness, God is hardly glorified. But if you and others join hearts and hands in praying for an individual by name, and then God heals them, God is glorified. The same is true of praying for someone s salvation, or someone s deliverance from addiction, or so forth! So when we gather for worship, let us express confident, believing prayer, and especially when that prayer is answered by God, He will be glorified. He is also gloried when we share testimonies of answered prayer! Next, we are to glorify God: III. BY PRODUCING AN ABUNDANCE OF FRUIT Bearing much fruit glorifies the farmer or gardener. Even so, believers who bear much spiritual fruit glorify God, who enables them to be fruitful. In John 15:8, Jesus said, By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. Bearing spiritual fruit, then, is an essential part of true worship. Philippians 1:11 confirms that spiritual fruit glorifies God, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. The fruit we bear to His glory is the fruit of good works, as well as the fruit of Christian character produced by the Holy Spirit. As for good works, Jesus said in Mt. 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. As for the fruit of Christian character, Galatians 5:22-23 says, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Likewise, Ephesians 5:9 says, for the fruit of the Spirit [or of the light] is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. Such spiritual fruit glorifies God because only God can produce such fruit, and such fruit reflects the glorious character of God! This reminds me of 2 Cor. 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Just as literal fruit on a tree is a genetic reproduction of the characteristics of the parent tree, so spiritual fruit is a reproduction of the characteristics of Jesus Christ, who said, I am the true vine (John 15:1). Heinrich Heine, the famous German philosopher and skeptic, said, You show me your redeemed life and I might be inclined to believe in your redeemer. 1 So let us glorify God by manifesting the fruit of good works. Will you work in our upcoming Bible school? Will you help with our upcoming community outreach? And let us glorify God by manifesting the fruit of Christian character. Yet such fruit only results from a saving & growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and being filled with the Holy Spirit. A cheap imitation produced by the flesh will not glorify God! Furthermore, we are to glorify God: IV. BY A WILLINGNESS TO SUFFER We worship God by loving Him enough to suffer for Him. John 21:19 says of Peter, This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. When we suffer, we ask Why? Well here is one reason. We can be a witness to God through our suffering, and bring glory to Him. Peter wrote quite a bit about the relationship between suffering and glorifying God. He said in 1 Peter 4:16, Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. How does our suffering glorify God? I believe we can give glory to God in our suffering in the following ways. First, we can: A. By Giving Witness that God s Grace Is Sufficient in Suffering In 2 Cor. 12:9 God said to Paul regarding his suffering, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Then Paul wrote, Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. I ve known saints of God who have suffered greatly, and yet they had peace and joy. How? It was because of God s grace sustaining them. Thus, they gave glory to God. B. By Giving Witness of Patience in Suffering By nature we are not patient in suffering. We think that God is supposed to remove suffering immediately. But one way we suffer for the glory of God is to manifest the kind of patience that only God can give. 1 MacArthur, pp You ve heard of the patience and perseverance of Job (James 5:11). In spite of incredible losses and suffering, Job said in Job 1:21, The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD. His devotion to God was not affected by his suffering, but he patiently bore it. C. By Giving Witness of Praise in Suffering I have recently mentioned what happened to Paul and Silas in Philippi. They were beaten and thrown into prison, and locked in the stocks. Yet, at midnight they sang praises to God (Acts 16:25ff). An infidel can sing when everything is going well, but only God can cause a person to sing in the midst of suffering. Paul and Silas were great witnesses to those in jail, and they brought glory to God. The jailor got saved that night, and gave glory to God. I m sure some of the other prisoners gave praise and glory to God for what they had witnessed and experienced. We also should give witness of our hope in suffering (1 Peter 3:15). Our suffering gives us abundant opportunity to glorify God! So don t get down in the dumps about your suffering. Look for opportunities to glorify God in your suffering. God has a purpose in allowing you to suffer. Furthermore, we are to glorify God: V. BY CONFESSION OF SIN This is one element of the worship service that I have not discussed, but I do want to discuss this as part of this message. We worship God and give Him glory when we confess our sin. 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The word confess in that verse (homologeo) literally means to say the same thing as, or, to express complete agreement. Confession is fully agreeing with God that what we have said or done is wrong and we accept full responsibility for it. By confession of sin we glorify God by declaring that He is right and we are wrong. We don t often think of the confession of sin as worship, but it is. When we confess our sins, we are humbling ourselves before God, acknowledging His righteousness, experiencing the grace of His forgiveness, accepting any chastisement He may give, and thereby glorifying Him. In fact, confession serves the dual purpose of being an act of worship itself and of preparing the repentant sinner to worship. Hebrews 9:14 says cleansing purifies the conscience to serve the living God. The Greek word for serve in that verse (latreuo) refers to the service of worship. The purifying that takes place in confession and forgiveness is an important preparation to worship. Then in Luke 7:29-30 we read, And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. Sinners who confessed their sins and submitted to the baptism of repentance justified God in the sense that they declared that God was right and they were wrong. But the self-righteous Pharisees and law experts refused to acknowledge their sin, and so they never acknowledged the glory of God s righteousness. The Old Testament account of Achan is an example of how God is glorified in confession of sin. Achan disobeyed God by stealing treasure from the city of Jericho. He thought if he buried it in his tent, no one would ever know. But God saw right through the dirt, and He was so displeased with Achan that the entire nation of Israel suffered because of it. They were defeated in battle at Ai, and many Israelites died in a graphic illustration that God cannot bless our sin. When Joshua realized what had happened and Achan s sin was about to be revealed, He said to Achan in Joshua 7:19, My son, I beg you, give glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me. Joshua made the logical connection between the confession of sin and glorifying God. Confessing sin is glorifying God; it exonerates God and acknowledges that He is holy when He acts in judgment against evil. That preserves Him from any accusation of evil in chastening and thus gives Him glory. Excusing sin, on the other hand, is impugning God. Refusing to acknowledge our responsibility for sin is blaming God, and thus dishonoring Him. After Adam sinned, he tried to lay the blame elsewhere. He said, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. (Genesis 3:12, emphasis added). At first sight it seems like he was blaming the woman, but a closer look shows that he was actually implying that God, who made Eve and gave her to Adam, was ultimately responsible for the situation in which Adam found himself. He was casting aspersions on the character of God, but fully confessing his sin would have glorified God. The apostle John records an interesting statement in his description of the plagues that are to be poured out on the earth during the tribulation. Revelation 16:8-9 says, Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. To acknowledge their sin and repent would have glorified God, for it would have been an admission that He did what He had to and all His ways were right. So have you come to the place in your life where you have confessed that you are a sinner in need of a Savior? Have you submitted to the baptism of repentance? If not, you will have the opportunity today to confess that you are a sinner in need of a Savior, and you can present yourself for baptism. They may also be times when one who is already a Christian should glorify God by a public confession of sin. [Do a responsive reading that gives a confession of sin?] Finally, we are to glorify God: VI. BY CONFESSING CHRIST AS SAVIOR & LORD The apostle Paul said in Php. 2:11, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. It is not enough to recognize Jesus as a man. He is the Christ. He is Lord! Jesus said before His ascension, All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Mt. 28:18). Peter said in Acts 2:36 that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Rev. 19:16 says of Jesus, that He is KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. If you have never made a public profession of your faith, declaring that Jesus is Savior & Lord, why not do it today! Give glory to Him today! Conclusion: Now let us review how we are to glorify God: Express Faith in God; Pray with Confidence; Be Fruitful; Give Him Glory in Suffering; Confess Sin; and Confess Christ as Savior & Lord. God will enable you to do what brings glory to Him. Will you make it your purpose in life to bring glory to His name? Sources: Dr. Stephen Felker, Devotional & Explanatory Notes on the Entire Bible (Col. Hghts, VA: Published by Author), 2014; Stephen Felker (notes from his expository sermons on the Scriptures cited); John MacArthur, Worship, the Ultimate Priority (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012), ; Larry Pierce, Online Bible [Ver. 4:23] (Ontario: onlinebible.net, 2012). Other sources listed in the footnotes. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982). ABOUT THESE SERMON NOTES Dr. Stephen Felker. These notes may be used and even shared for personal study or ministry, but not for commercial purposes. The author credits the sources listed above and footnotes for much of the content. Since Dr. Felker s sermons are generally preached without notes, the live recording of this sermon will be more completely in the author s own words. To obtain an audio recording of this message, you may listen free at Dr. Felker s address is (remove signs).
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