‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.’ — 1 Corinthians 10:31
After his own positive example in chapter nine, Paul proceeds to give the Corinthians the negative example of the Israelites. They all experienced great guidance, deliverance, protection and provision, yet many of them failed to enter into the promised land (v.1-5). They missed out on the place of God’s blessing through covetousness, idolatry, fornication, doubt, and discontentment (v.6-10).
The Corinthians were in danger of similar mistakes, as are we (v.11-13). God has been so good to everyone one of His children. He has blessed us, delivered us, protected us, provided for us, yet we often do not appreciate His blessings and we go after other things.
We need to be on guard against ungratefulness and the ‘lust of evil things’ (v.6). We need to guard against pride that makes us think we will never fall (v.12). We need to avail ourselves of God’s ways of escape (v.13). We need to flee anything that would lead to idolatry (v.14).
Even in those areas that may technically be ‘lawful’ (v.23), we need to understand that something that is not intrinsically wrong may not necessarily…
- Be the best thing (‘expedient’) (v.23),
- Build others us (‘edify’) (v.23),
- Bring glory to God (v.31),
- Cause no offense (v.32), or
- Be beneficial and pleasing to all men (v.33).
There are many questions to ask and many things to consider as we make decisions about what we do. We need to realise that our actions and our choices can lead us into sin or keep us from sin. They also affect other people. Ultimately, they impact the glory of God. And our main desire ought to be for God to be well pleased with us (v.5).