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Wednesday: Giving Glory to God — 15 Comments

  1. Has anyone heard from Mr. Maurice Ashton? I hope he's ok.

    We use our bodies to glorify God in our dressing, conversations, in our walk, our overall conduct and modus operandi. Whatever message is being sent, must be in alignment with the will of God.

    • Last week (Friday?) he said he would be gone for a week - he's off on a birding trip. But he also said that if you clicked on his name at the top of his post, you would be directed to lots of his bird photos. I went, and it's a slideshow of pictures (and there are many YouTube entries for him). You can be blessed with mainly Australian birds. (We don't have any yellow breasted robins in North America that I know about.)


    • Thank you, everyone. I am back home and in the commenting business again. I had a great time away and photographed some awesome birds. I will let you know when I post the photos - probably at the end of the month.

  2. As I read today's lesson, what came to mind was the thought of secular businesses. Many companies require a certain behavior from their employees, and some even require a particular attire, including a uniform. Here in the USA, we have UPS, United Parcel Services. They deliver packages all over the United States. UPS drivers are recognizable by the vehicles they drive and the uniform they wear. You can see a UPS driver walking anywhere, and you will know exactly whom they work for. It may seem like a simplistic example, but I have to ask myself, when people see me, or watch my behavior, do they instantly know Whom I work for? 1 Corinthians 10:31 gives me the idea that they should know exactly Whom I work for.

    • Karen, I like your comparison with the UPS delivery employees. Not only that they are recognizable by their outfits but I also notice that they are very friendly and seem to have joy in handing out to you the proper parcel, which may reflect a certain loyalty to the business owner.

      Are we also reflecting friendliness and joy when we interact with people, handing out spiritual tidbits?

  3. ‘Giving glory and honor to God’ is not just a mere directive coming from a position of authority, it is much more than that; it directs the honor and glory to the correct source – God. We know that all good things come from God – James 1:17. This means that the follower of Christ experiences that which is physically and spiritually ‘good’ as actually being generated by/through God.

    The mind of man might ascribe, without consciously noticing it, ‘honor and glory’ to himself. I think this is the reason why we are admonished to recognize to Whom the honor and glory will need to be directed.

    I find 1 Cor. 6:19-20 to get to the heart of the matter:

    “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

    Seeking understanding, and becoming aware that the body/somata is for the residency of the Spirit of God in man changes everything. Paul, in Rom. 12:2, admonishes the believer:

    ”And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the ‘renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    I think that, essentially, this ‘transformation of mind and heart’ is the only way we can honor God in all things we do. We are being shown, understand, and experience that all 'good things are of God, (this includes correction), acknowledging this with our love and devotion as we glorify our heavenly Father with our life.

  4. Just a small comment - I Corinthians 3:16, 17 is talking about the church, not our individual bodies. We can know this both from context and from the fact that the "you" in those verses is plural. It's one of those texts that gets used to promote being healthy that really doesn't fit. Not that we shouldn't honor God with our physical health, but that's not the best verse to promote it.

    • Hi Christina, I think not only does it refer to treating our bodies in a healthy way; it also, and maybe even more so, gives me the idea that our salvation is personal; each person has to have a relationship with God. Jesus described this in the parable of the 10 virgins. I think, if you read the preceding verses, at least for me, it gives us the idea that it is individuals that are each the temple of God.

      In 1 Corinthians 6:19 he repeats this idea. I’m not trying to make you look wrong, I just think it’s an important thing for us to understand.

  5. "The New Testament Greek word for bodies in this passage is somata, which is better translated the collective sum of who you are — body, mind, and emotions."


    Although, at the same time, we have several individualized body parts, one part will influence the other as a single organism. Thus, taking good care of our whole somata means glorifying God in our bodies! Our bodies are gifts given to us. However, some may feel enclosed and desire freedom from their bodies. But, regardless of our physical, mental, or emotional conditions, God has the key to balance all and provides us with the right attitude, regardless of the situation we are involved in.

  6. I think we need to be very careful about how we use Biblical passages. 1 Cor 6:19-20 is a case in point. I see it used in all our books and magazines in a very flippant manner, as the proverbial proof text for living healthy lifestyle. While the words of passage ring true, the context is simply something totally different. Starting with verse 12 the context is dealing with sexual purity, in particular, the more immediate context concerns sex with prostitutes. The old adage rings true, "a text without a context is a pretext." Surely, our esteemed brethren can do better than that. Proof-texting has created countless problems regarding proper Biblical exegesis. I would have hoped we might have learned by now, but I'm not so certain.

  7. I must say, this is turning into a rather interesting conversation. First, Christina points out that 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 doesn't make it clear that there is an individual application to the concept of the "body" being the temple of the Holy Spirit, and thus something not to be defiled in any way.

    Next, Karen shows that 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 makes just that individual application.

    Thirdly, Dennis points out that, in the latter passage, Paul's point has to do with fleeing sexual immorality, and Dennis strongly suggests that this passage should not be used to encourage healthy living.

    Now, I come along to question: Why not use it in that way? Even in making his point, Paul employs an idiomatic metaphor for the attitude that he is trying to correct:

    "Foods for the stomach and the stomach for food."

    Clearly, Paul is implying that sex was created by God for the purpose of serving the institution of marriage, and those entitled to its benefits. And thus sex should serve the body, not vice versa. But I'm thinking that his very choice of a metaphor brings to mind the thought that food should also serve the body, and not vice versa. Furthermore, Paul's concluding remark, in verse 20, rather broadly exhorts us to glorify God in our body and in our spirit. Can unhealthy living, whether through bodily or emotional indulgence, glorify God? Of course not!

    Would it be more helpful, if our "esteemed brethren" were to be more careful to clarify the context of the texts they quote, and explain how they believe they can justify the application that they are making? Absolutely.

    • Okay, I'm by no means saying that we shouldn't honor God with our bodies. I think the principle is there in many places. However, I do stand by what I said about I Corinthians 3. The plural "you" and the comments about building a foundation and divisions in the church make it clear that the body being talked about is the church, collective. Thus applying this verse to health is out of context.

      I Corinthians 6 is definitely talking about individuals and I can see how one might apply its conclusions to healthful living, but at its core, it is about sexual integrity. That doesn't mean that applying it to health is bad, just that it's not the best interpretation. And when all's said and done, likely just as many Adventists are struggling with sexual sin (given the prevalence of pornography) as eating healthfully. Perhaps that should be emphasized using this verse, since it is the main focus.

      I know I'm going against the traditional Adventist interpretations of these texts, but I feel we have to be careful how we present things. People can see through it. We have many good, logical reasons to appeal to living a healthy life, but we should use texts that fit in context. Otherwise we look sneaky.

      • Thank you, Christina. I totally agree with you that we need to be more careful in how we use texts. If we are drawing principles that go beyond the immediate context, beyond the main point being made by the Bible writer, then we need to be clear about that.

        If I am partially defending what you call the "traditional Adventist interpretations" of those texts, I am appealing to a broader concept of context than one that would limit us to consideration of immediate context only.

        For instance, 1 Corinthians 3 and 1 Corinthians 6 are part of the same letter. So, when I see Paul using virtually identical language in both places, and he makes an individual application of the concept in chapter 6 -- one that clearly has ramifications for every area of our lives -- I find this relevant to my understanding of chapter 3 as well.

        I agree that both you and Dennis have made valid points. We really do need to improve our teaching methods, and the need for sexual morality is very pertinent to today's church. I'm only suggesting that, once we've acknowledged the significance of the immediate context of a Bible verse, we should be free to apply its principles more broadly, if the broader context can truly support it.


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