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September 19, 2022 4:00 am
The message of Jesus Christ is clear. The light has been turned on and we can look with an unobstructed view right at the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. And as we look at the glory of God and focus on the glory of God revealed in Christ, we are moved from one level of glory to the next by the Holy Spirit is moving us into the image of the very well. The simple answer is to glorify God. But exactly how simple is that to do. Consider that today as John opens the book of second Corinthians, and shows you how to live for God's glory.
That's the title of his series here on grace to you and John Charles Spurgeon said you're not acting as you ought to do when you're moved by any other motive than the one motive of your Lord's glory so John that the study are about to begin, takes dead aim at that primary motive. The glory of God. The apostle Paul said, whatever you do, and then went to the most mundane thing you do whether you eat or drink knew all to the glory of God.
From that which is the most mundane to that which is the most exalted form of worship.
Everything is for the glory of God in this takes to backfill as you would know really the first book I ever wrote was featuring the study of the glory of God, because once I got a grip on that it had such a profound and lifelong effect on me that it was his, where I started my ministry just as a kid in seminary coming to grips with that. And here we are all these many, many decades later and it still shines maybe brighter than any of the elements of Scripture. Everything ultimately is for the glory of God and that so often overlooked, so this is going to be a really powerful and important series how to live for God's glory.
That is the issue, glorifying God is the ultimate purpose for everything for everyone and for your life for your living. It's the top and it's sweeping in its scope. It covers absolutely everything were going to come to condense it. The short series takes the guesswork and the mystery out of what it means to glorify God along the way were going to make it practical. In fact, you're going to learn seven practical steps to living a life that glorifies God. So many things these days conspire to distract us from our chief and to glorify the Lord. This is going to be a very very important reminder. I hope it's as life-changing for you as it was for me when I first began to discover these truths will stay with us, focus on how to live for God's glory great days ahead, right, and I can't wait for it. If you're Christian you know you're supposed to glorify God, but exactly what does that look like when you're at church on Sunday or at work on Monday.
Whether you're a student, a great grandparent or somewhere in between. Find out now. As John MacArthur begins his study how to live for God's glory. I want you to turn in your Bible this morning to second Corinthians chapter 3 look at that 18th verse that ends that great chapter on the superiority of the new covenant and let me remind you what it says. By reading it. Second Corinthians 318 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, justice from the Lord, the spirit, the culminating reality of the new covenant is that it is a transforming covenant, but in the new covenant we look at the glory of the Lord revealed in the face of Jesus Christ.
Unobstructed we see Christ in all his wonder and all is beauty in all his glory is described down in chapter 4 verse six light shines out of darkness, the one who has shone in our hearts gives us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. So as we look at the face of Christ we see the glory of God revealed nothing obscures us. We don't have a veil over her face like Moses did is nothing oblique or obscure.
There's nothing hidden or darker shadowy new covenant. The gospel message of Jesus Christ is clear. The light has been turned on and we can look with an unobstructed view right at the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. And as we look at the glory of God and focus on the glory of God revealed in Christ, we are moved from one level of glory to the next by the Holy Spirit who is moving us into the image of the very glory we behold this is what progressive sanctification is all about. This is Christian growth.
This is the process of becoming like Christ moving from one level of glory to the next.
As we gaze at the glory of the Lord. We as believers who have come to participate by faith and by grace in the new covenant, have been put into a relationship with God by which we can see his glory radiated through Jesus Christ. As we look at him unobstructed on the pages of Scripture and in so looking can literally be transformed into his image from one level of glory to the next. All that simply to say we are to live to the glory of God. We are to live, to move from one level of glory to the next level to the next level to the next level evermore and more like Jesus Christ increasingly devoted to the glory of God increasingly manifesting the glory of God poses, at least for me and I trust for you. A very practical question. If we say we are going to glorify God.
We are going to aim at the glory of God. We are going to focus on the glory of God were going to gaze on the glory of God. We are going to glorify God with our lives. We do that we really move from one level of glory to the next. What is specifically and practically involved in that will only give you some very clear things of the Bible teaches about glorifying the Lord how to move from glory to glory to glory to glory in your life but let's begin at a very obvious point, nobody hit a target without aiming at it not going to get there. If you're not moving in that direction so point number one is if you want to glorify God, you have to aim your life at that purpose. You have to aim your life at that purpose.
In other words, the very goal of your life is the glory of God. That's the focal point. That's what you are about. That's what you direct your life toward Jesus certainly did that, according to John 850 he said I came not for my own glory, but the father's.
He didn't live for his own glory. He didn't live to fulfill his own agenda, but rather that which honored and exalted and pleased and lifted up God.
Even if lifting up God men humbling himself, even if exalting God meant debasing himself even if setting God in the place of worship meant putting himself in the place of cursing. He was willing to do that because he was always focused on the glory of God.
God being glorified was his purpose and so it is in our lives that we must live to glorify God stating that in very simple terms we read to first Corinthians chapter 10 verse 31, and you perhaps know this verse but let me put it to you and maybe give it some richer context in first Corinthians 1031 we read this, whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God is a very simple verse, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all the glory got in other words, it's a light focus isn't so much talking about eating and drinking and talking about all of life going down even to that which is as mundane as eating and drinking when that's about the commonest thing we do, you would you think that might get left out glorify God when you speak glorify God when you act and behave glorify God when you do ministry glorify God when you worship glorify God when you meet people's needs glorify God and in spiritual and religious ways and ways of behavior but eating and drinking. That's pretty mundane stuff. That's the whole point.
At the very basest point of human existence, eating and drinking when you just meeting biological need do it.
The glory of God that becomes the focal point of everything you do in your life. That's the focus you ask yourself, as I have for many many years does it glorify God will glorify God will bring honor to his name will exalt him. Whatever it is matter how apparently are superficially mundane, it has inherent in it. A capacity for you to honor God, even the simplest behavior like eating and drinking. Now you have to aim your life at that. That has to be the all-consuming purpose of your life. The all-consuming direction of your life that you're never going to do anything willfully and knowingly that does not bring honor that does not bring glory to God.
You want to honor him with every single thing you do you want exalt him. Praise him, lifting him up worship him, glorifying, let me take a little deeper because that's pretty general. How does that sort of flesh out well let me give you some things you can look at okay do little inventory in your life and you can ask yourself a few questions that will help you know whether you're aimed at that purpose. If you want to find out where your aimed these questions will will answer that for you. Number one.
Do I prefer the glory of God above everything else do I prefer the glory of God above everything else. And that's a very simple question. And yet it has profound implications is the very purpose of my life to bring glory to God so much that his glory transcends any of my own personal desires, relationships, goals, dreams and ambitions.
It can be very costly to aim your whole life glorifying God.
We give you some illustrations go back to Exodus chapter 32 this is a pricey commitment and if you go back to Exodus 32 you get a little bit of an idea of just how pricey it is when you make the commitment to glorify God as a way of life. There may be some serious ramifications Moses in Exodus 32 come down to find the people of Israel worshiping a golden calf. He'd been up getting the law of God. He came down and found that the they were worshiping a golden calf. Not only were they worshiping a golden calf, but they were engaged in horrific iniquities sins gross sins and he had to confront this. I guess the saddest point of all was that his own brother Aaron who was supposed to be in charge of spiritual leadership was leading the people in this lascivious, lewd, and moral idolatry. The fact that what was going on was a violation of the first half of the Decalogue that was being given on the mountain was very defiant happening at the very time God was giving his law is law was being violated verse 25 of Exodus 32 brings us into a most fascinating incident when Moses saw that the people were out of control, or literally cut loose for Aaron had cut them loose or let them get out of control to be at derision among their enemies as it was, was a terrible dishonor to the God they claimed was there God for them to behave in such a terrible way. What glory did it bring to God for them to be acting like that none detracted from his glory for her. They were worshiping and conducting themselves in immoral ways which was blasphemy against his holiness and so they were causing themselves in God to be derided or mocked among their enemies and Aaron and led them into this out-of-control behavior.
So Moses stood in the gate of the campers 26 and he said whoever is for the Lord, come to me on the issue here is the honor of God. The issue here is the glory of God. The issue here is to exalt the character of God is over against this debauchery. So who is on the Lord side to be another way to say this. Who wants to glorify God and all the sons of Levi, gathered together to him, the priestly tribe came those who were responsible for the spiritual side of things, the worship they came over and said were with you where you were willing to glorify God to take our stand an unpopular stand as all the rest of the people were happy to be doing what they were doing.
Believe me sin as its pleasure.
But the people from Levi came and said, will stand with the Lord in verse 27 a most incredible thing is asked of them, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel says Moses to them.
We want to be put to his sword upon his thigh, back and forth from gate to gate in the camp and kill every man his brother, every man his friend and every man his neighbor. You say you want to glorify God.
Good put your sword on go kill everybody go kill your brother go kill your friend. Go to your neighbor is not asking to go kill some enemy nodding asking them to go kill strangers.
He single ran a sword to the heart of your friend ghost with the jugular of your friend or your neighbor or your brother are you really devoted to the glory of God. So much so that you will take this kind of action against those who are closely related to you. God's glory is at stake here is name is being dishonored. This is a very pivotal moment in redemptive history. A lot is at stake you been let out of captivity. You now in the wilderness God is giving you his law he is reconstituting you as his people is for the first time ever in history, giving you the Decalogue, giving you the Mosaic law you're coming into a new relationship with God. Based upon that this is a new day and God wants to make something very clear. Disobedience is intolerable. This is a pivotal moment and God wants to lay down the message that he doesn't tolerate disobedience just like you laid it down analyzes the fire in the early days of the church and so God wants these people killed a representative number of them slaughtered God is gracious and he doesn't always do this, and even in this case you didn't kill everybody in the midst of his wrath. There is always mercy, but he wanted a very clear lesson given to people that there is a blessing and cursing tied with this law and if you disobey, there's going to be a high price if you will bet you'll be blessed.
So this is really put in on the line folks you want to glorify God. Do you put on your sword go kill your family, friends and acquaintances in verse 28. Amazingly shows you the level of devotion of these Levites sons of Levi did as Moses instructed in about 3000 men of the people fell that day. Now you know those guys didn't just roll over and let their head get chopped off, you know, they didn't just lie there will summary ran a sword for them you can't even imagine the chaos in the debacle. You can imagine what was going on the campus. These people trying to escape from Levites were trying to carry out the will of God by slaughtering them by the time 3000 were dead children, hand-to-hand combat, God said that's enough made my point. Sin is a very serious thing, then verse 29 Moses said dedicate yourselves today to the Lord for every man has been against his son against his brother in order that he may bestow a blessing upon you today. Dedicate yourself to the Lord now so he can bless you with obedience comes what blessing this is a graphic early on demonstration of blessing and cursing coming with obedience or disobedience in a came about. The next day that Moses said to the people you yourselves have committed a great sin. These people had worshiped an idol. The price for that is high for some of them death, but the issue here that I want you to focus on is the people who were willing to glorify God, even if it meant a severing in their family a severing in their friendships, severing among their neighbors. That's how it is all I don't think God is asking us to do this, but I do believe that if you say I am going to live my life to the glory of God. There may be a price to pay in your family. There may be a price to pay among your friends, and there may be a price to pay among your neighbors. You may generate a great hostility and I'm not just talking about non-Christians here. Let me tell you something, there's enough carnality and enough compromise in the Christian church that if people decide they're going to live solely and only to the glory of God. They might find might find themselves losing Christian friend who are willing to live in a compromising level they might find themselves being severed from acquaintances that have been long time acquaintances who aren't willing to live at that level of spiritual devotion. They might even find that they become the oddity in their own Christian family because they are so totally devoted to the glory of God.
I mean if you're in your family of sort of lethargic compromising or apathetic Christians and you decide to live to the highest level of spiritual devotion Juergen to become a rebuke to that whole environment. Even though it's nominally Christian or even though it's really Christian, but if you aim your life at the glory of God and you're going to live that way then you will prefer him above everything and everyone no matter what, even if it cost to a family. Jesus said it did me. I can bring a sword to divide families even if it cost you a friendship even if it costs you alienation from your neighbors can do that it will do that. It's sort of like taking a Nazirite value just stick out your just kind of odd. John 21. Let's see how it might even go further than that. In John 21 Jesus meets the disciples in Galilee in a post-resurrection appearance is told him to stay in the mountain and wait for him to the Lord comes and asked him three times if he loves it a fair question because Jesus had taught Peter if you love me will keep my commandments and here Peter had disobeyed and therefore his love could rightly be questioned. Peter replied three times. You know I love you, and then at the end of this little dialogue about love. We come to verse 18 Jesus responded to the affirmation of Peter's love says truly, truly, I say to you when you were younger we used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wish. In other words, you control your own life you called the own sheer own shots.
He did which one do it on your own" on your own sash and determine the days agenda and you are in charge. But when you grow older you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you and bring you where you do not wish to go you made in control of your life and you call the shots and you've had a great amount of independence the day is coming in your old age. Peter when somebody's gonna tie you up and haul you off or you want to go, what you talking about verse 19 he said this, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God he saying to inferior glorify me in death you die because you're so focused on glorifying the Juergen honor me to the point of death. Now that must've been good news to Peter because every other time he faced death.
He chickened out every other time life was at stake. He vacillated right when confronted by little girl and asked if he knew the person from Galilee named Jesus, he denied it, Peter had been a classic coward and I think the Lord told him that the day would come when he be a hero just to sustain them through life with the confidence that in the end he wouldn't fail the day would come when somebody would say to Peter look. Do you deny Jesus Christ were going to kill you and Peter would say, kill me, I will glorify him at any cost.
That's new for Peter. He has been like that in the past must've been wonderful to know he'd be like that in the future. Tradition tells us they crucified him, and that he didn't want to be crucified like Jesus. He didn't think he was worthy, so we asked the crucified upside down, which they did. But that's how he glorify God. It cost him his life. He could cost you your life could cost you your neighbors could cost you your friends could cost you your family.
I mean just aim your life at that purpose is definitely going to isolate you from the crowd. But if you are a person who is completely committed to the glory of God is a price to pay. It was Peter who, by the wonderful grace and power of God was willing to pay that price you wrote this in first Peter four if anyone suffers as a Christian, verse 16. Let it not feel ashamed, but in that name, but in glorify God if you have to suffer to glorify God suffer spirit of grace and glory rests on you. What a great promise. So what does it mean aim your life at that purpose.
It means to be consumed with the glory of God so that you preferred above all else, really doesn't matter to you what the consequences are at all you know it's a lot like those people in Hebrews 11.
Who verse 37 and following says were verse 36 experience mocking scourging's chains imprisonment were stoned sawn in half tempted put to death with the sword went about in sheepskins goatskin's destitute, afflicted, ill treated wondering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the compound.
What did they do it because he cared more about the glory of God than anything else. What makes the apostle Paul hear people say to him you go to Jerusalem and know what's gonna happen to you. You going to put in prison you could die and he says none of these things move me because I don't count my life dear to myself.
I just want to finish the ministry Christ is given me. That's the compelling issue when you live your life to the glory of God. You really are willing to sacrifice family, friends, neighbors, your own life your own life. We are not liable to die or not level to get martyred in this culture, but you are liable to have to give up your ambitions.
You may be asked by God to give up your goals, your dreams, your plans, your possessions therein lies a grave measure of self-sacrifice you want to move from level of glory. The level of glory and become more more like Christ. You want to become all that God wants you to be the name your life. It glorify God and confess your sin what's bound father again.
This is so practical and so basic and helpful for our lives.
We pray that you will apply it to us will pray that you will grant us grace to be the kind of people you want us to be to live to your glory to ask that ubiquitous question that constant ever present query will this bring you glory may be the controlling question in our hearts we know the Lord. One other thing to that no one gives you glory who doesn't confess Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God confessing you is Lord of the glory of God's word all starts if we don't confess Jesus is Lord, and there can be nothing else we could do to glorify you. You said this is my beloved son, listen to him.
If we don't do that, we dishonor you from the start. I pray Lord for those here who have not glorified you by confessing Jesus as Lord, who have not accepted your testimony concerning Christ who have not accepted his sacrifice on their behalf who have rejected your son thus spurned your grace and spurned your love and mercy. I pray that this may be the day they would confess Jesus is Lord and thus bring you honor and bring you glory for the gift of Christ on their behalf. That's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary showing you how to live for God's glory.
That's the focus of the Christian life and it's the title of John study here on grace to you and friend to help you more fully understand all that God has revealed about himself. Let me recommend John's book called our awesome God.
It's an attribute by attribute encounter with the reality of who God is and what he is like. It's great for your own personal devotions or to read with a small group. The title again our awesome God. Order yours today.
You can call 855 grace or go to GT Y.org God's holiness, sovereignty and goodness and wrath are just a few of his characteristics that you learn about in this book. It will give you a passion for God.
Perhaps like nothing you've ever read.
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GT Y.org or when you call us 855 grace now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson with an important question for you.
What is the most effective way to get rid of pride. Find out tomorrow when another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time comes your way on grace