Summary: Exposition of 1 Corinthians 10 regarding we are exhorted to live for the purpose that we were created for. How do you bring glory to an all-sufficient, perfect, infinitely beautiful, infinitely wise, infinitely powerful, overflowing God?
Text: 1 Cor 10:31, Title: The Meaning of Life, Date/Place: NRBC, 8/14/11, AM
A. Opening illustration: Up until 450 years ago, everybody believed that the universe, and the sun, and the planets revolved around the earth. THEN, in 1543, Copernicus told them that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe. 50 years later, Galileo said that the planets revolved around the sun. They were so opposed to this idea, that they threw him in prison, and kicked him out of the church. The very IDEA that WE weren’t the center of the universe, was unthinkable! Over 40% of moms surveyed by Parents.com said they would rather lose 15 lbs than have their child be smarter, and that they would rather have a raise than more time with their children. The lyrics to the song “Talk about Me” below
B. Background to passage: Paul is recapping his argument as to why not to eat meat offered to idols, so we won’t rehash much of that, but he gives us a verse that very much transcends its contextual situation. And this verse is a key to much of life, and that’s what we want to focus on today.
C. Main thought: in this text we are exhorted to live for the purpose that we were created for.
A. Fulfills Purposes
1. No really deep word meanings in Greek, not fancy constructions, just plain straightforward language: do everything that you do to the glory of God. Whether you are drinking orange juice, finishing a paper for school, or driving to work, the reason that you do it and your foundational goal in doing it is to make much of God. The glory of God is His inherent value, worth, splendor, perfections, and excellencies. And one cannot add to that, for there is no deficiency in Him. None of us could ever add to infinite beauty and holiness or power. But we are called to do what we do to hold up a magnifying glass to God for those near us to see the excellencies that we have seen. This fulfills God’s purpose in creating you, and your purpose for living: making much of Jesus. In fact, the reason that God does everything He does is to glorify Himself.
2. Isa 43:7, 20-21, 44:23, 48:9-11, Zech 7:6, 1 Pet 4:11, Col 3:17,
3. Illustration: “The glory of God is the beauty and excellence of his manifold perfections. It is an attempt to put into words what God is like in his magnificence and purity. It refers to his infinite and overflowing fullness of all that is good. The term might focus on his different attributes from time to time—like his power and wisdom and mercy and justice—because each one is indeed awesome and beautiful in its magnitude and quality. But in general God's glory is the perfect harmony of all his attributes into one infinitely beautiful and personal being.” –Piper, if you know that a skillet is made for cooking instead of ditch-digging, you will be much happier in your culinary and your occupational life, ,
4. Why did God create the universe? Psalm 19:1 - “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showed his handiwork.” Why did God choose the Jews? Isaiah 43:7 – “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Why does God allow troubles in our life? Psalm 50:15 – “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify me.” Why did God send Jesus to earth? John 17:4 – “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gave me to do.”
5. This is the reason that many people are searching for purpose in life. This is the reason that many people find what they are looking for, but still feel empty. This is the reason that there is so much unhappiness in the world in general: people are not living for the purpose for which they were created. When you begin to put this principle into practice in your life, you will be fulfilled, complete, satisfied. When you do this, it points to the centrality of God in your life. When you think of Him as you enjoy a glass of orange juice, you testify that God is central to your life.
B. Demonstrates Love
1. Not only does it fulfill God’s purposes and yours, but it demonstrates love. It is relatively easy to see how if you live for God’s glory it will show love to others. God is pleased when you love each other, lay your life down for each other, etc. The context of these verses is a good example: if the Corinthians are living for God’s glory, they will abstain from eating meat in the temple of idols, and thus keep their brothers and unbelievers from stumbling. But some may ask, why is it necessarily good to have a God who main focus is Himself? Two reasons (there’s probably more, but these are central): 1) God would not be God if He didn’t value most what is most valuable; if He didn’t love what was most lovely; if He didn’t honor that which is most honorable; if He didn’t praise what is most praiseworthy. And there is nothing more valuable, lovely, honorable, and praiseworthy as God Himself. 2) To glorify Himself is of the most benefit to people. Why? When God is exalted as the most worthy being, people are drawn to Him (we are simply drawn to greatness). And when people are drawn to Him and begin drinking of the fountain of living water, they become more satisfied, fulfilled, happy, and this happiness becomes an eternal happiness. So in short, people are the most happy when God and His beauty and sufficiency is magnified. So it is the most loving thing that God can do to advance our joy: glorify Himself.