As a pastor, I get asked quite often about matters of conscience and conviction. Questions such as, “Pastor, is this ok?” Or, “Is this considered a sin?” And sometimes I even get questions like, “What do you think God thinks about this particular thing?” Well, there’s not always a clearcut answer to every situation. We are inundated with all sorts of choices in life but how do we know which way to turn? I suppose I could simply tell you to go search the Bible but where specifically should you look?
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As Christians, it is our biblical mandate to live differently than the norm. We have been called to be set apart from the world in ways that many times does not make sense to many.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV 1900)
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: – 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV 1900)
This is part of a 4 part series dealing with just that. What should my response be in questionable matters. It is my sincere prayer that you may take these four simple questions and apply them to every questionable situation presented to you.
QUESTION #1: DOES IT GLORIFY GOD?
8 I am the Lord: that is my name:
And my glory will I not give to another,
Neither my praise to graven images. – Isaiah 42:8 (KJV 1900)
The ultimate priority of all creation is the glory of God. Everything in creation bears the fingerprint of the Almighty Himself. Therefore, every decision we make must follow that understanding.
There are multiple titles associated with God’s glory throughout the Bible.
- Psalms 24 He’s the King of glory.
- In Psalms 29 He’s the God of glory.
- In 1 Corinthians 2 He’s the Lord of glory.
- In Ephesians 1 He’s the Father of glory.
Now, we must apply this understanding to anything questionable in our lives. Will this bring glory to God? Ultimately, EVERYTHING exists for His glory.
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Colossians 1:16–18 (KJV)
WHAT IS “GLORY”?
The word glory, typically in scripture, deals with the “heaviness” or “weightiness” of God. The “weight” of His presence. His splendor and majesty. I have know people who could walk into a room and change the entire atmosphere. People would change their demeanor at the entrance of such people. In many circles or occupations there are individuals whose words and decisions carry more “weight” than others because of their position or influence. That’s a very scaled-down illustration of God’s glory.
So will my decision or involvement bring attention to God’s splendor and beauty or will it tarnish His image through my life? We need only to look at Jesus who is our ultimate example to find direction.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2 Corinthians 4:5–8 (KJV)
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Hebrews 1:3 (KJV)
Are there some areas that need evaluation in your life? What are some things you’ve had to adjust because they didn’t glorify the Lord?