What God wants, first of all, is attitude fruit and then action fruit.
Listen to this little thought. If you have action fruit in your life without attitude fruit, that's hypocrisy. You're just doing things on the outside that don't come from the heart. What God wants is that you walk in the Spirit. The Spirit produces attitude fruit. Attitude fruit results in action fruit. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.
I'm your host, Phil Johnson. How can I glorify God? There's really not a more important question to ask yourself in any situation. So how can you be confident you're truly honoring the Lord, not just when you're praying or telling others about Christ, but when you're driving the kids to school or heading off to work? John MacArthur provides biblical answers today on Grace to You as he continues his practical series, simply titled, How to Live for God's Glory.
And now, here's John with the lesson. We were saved to bring glory to the Lord. There are some very practical ways in which we accomplish that by His power. We glorify the Lord by aiming our life at that purpose. 1 Corinthians 10, 31 says, Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God. And then secondly, we glorify God by confessing sin. When we confess our sin, take responsibility for our evil, our wickedness, our violation of God's law, our disobedience, when we take responsibility for that and God chastens us, then He appears rightly to be just and holy and do what is to be done, for a holy God should indeed have a holy reaction against sin. And if He chooses not to chasten but to be gracious, then He receives glory for being gracious to one who is so utterly unworthy.
But let's move to another point. We glorify God by trusting Him. Faith glorifies God. Let me give you a fourth principle. We glorify God by fruitfulness.
What are we talking about? What do you mean fruit? Two kinds of fruit, action fruit and attitude fruit. Action fruit is what you do, righteous deeds.
But behind that action fruit, there is attitude fruit, and what is that? Fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Where you see a life filled with love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, there is evidence that God is there. If I say Christ lives in me and my life is without love, without joy, without tranquility, then who's going to believe that my God is a transforming God, right? God doesn't need that kind of press. That's what He got from Israel, and the result was they blasphemed His name. What God wants, first of all, is attitude fruit and then action fruit.
Listen to this little thought. If you have action fruit in your life without attitude fruit, that's hypocrisy. You're just doing things on the outside that don't come from the heart. What God wants is that you walk in the Spirit. The Spirit produces attitude fruit.
Attitude fruit results in action fruit. And when your life is characterized with much fruit, then God is glorified. You know people like that whose lives are godly. You look at their life and you honor Christ for what He's doing in their life. You can see Christ in them. You can see God in them. That's what we call a godly person.
Number five in our little list. We glorify God. We move from one level of glory to the next by praising Him, by praising Him.
And this is a very simple but a very important and basic concept. Praise is fitting, Scripture says. It is a noble expression on the part of every Christian. We should be engaged in it and are if we're faithful to the Lord at all times. Listen to what it says in Psalm 50 verse 23.
And I'm going to quote it from the old Authorized because I think it's such a clear quote. Whoever offers praise glorifies Me. Whoever offers praise glorifies Me.
Simple principle. That's true worship. When you offer God praise, you're glorifying Him. You're honoring Him.
Glorifying means to honor, to show respect, to lift up, to exalt. In Psalm 86 we read, verse 9, All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and they shall glorify thy name. It's a form of worship.
They'll worship by glorifying your name. Verse 12, I will give thanks to thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart and will glorify thy name forever. It's a matter of worship. It's a matter of giving thanks. That's praise. That's glorifying to God.
In Psalm 92, just at the very beginning of that Psalm, the first two verses, we hear an echo of similar things. It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to thy name, O Most High, to declare thy lovingkindness in the morning and thy faithfulness by night. That's just part of glorifying God. Every time you praise God, thank God, exalt Him, glorify Him, you are doing what pleases God. In fact, remember, don't we, in John 4, how the Father has sought true worshipers who would worship Him in spirit and in truth, and a part of that, of course, is lifting Him up and giving Him glory. As Psalmist says in Psalm 95, come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. We need to bow. We need to praise. We need to worship.
We come together on the Lord's Day to do just that, to offer our praise and to offer our worship to our worthy Lord, our worthy God. 1 Chronicles chapter 16, sing to the Lord all the earth, proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day, tell of His glory among the nations, ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name. That's praise.
Now, let me just give it to you very simply. Praise has three components, three simple components. Number one, reciting God's wonderful works. Reciting God's wonderful works, that's praising.
Just the litany of what God has done. It's sort of like Habakkuk did in the third chapter of that little prophecy, where in the midst of his trouble, nothing really changes circumstantially, but he just starts to remember what God has done. He just starts to look back and recite all of the incredibly mighty, delivering acts that God achieved and accomplished. And here he is in the midst of this little time of fear and anxiety, and he starts to say things like, God comes from Teman and the Holy One from Mount Paran, and he's reaching back and remembering some of the historic events. His splendor covers the heavens and the earth is full of his praise. His radiance is like the sunlight.
He has rays flashing from his hand and there is hiding of his power. Before him goes pestilence and plague, comes after him he stood and surveyed the earth. He looked and startled the nations, yet the perpetual mountains were shattered, the ancient hills collapsed.
His ways are everlasting. I saw the tents of Kushan under distress, the tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling. He talks about the Lord raging against the rivers and against the sea, and he talks about the Lord riding on thy horses, on thy chariots of salvation.
The bow was made bare, the rods of chastisement were sworn. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers, the mountains saw thee and quaked, and he goes on with all the stuff that God has done from creative history right on and when it's all done, and he's recited all this litany of God's achievements. He says this, though the fig tree shall not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive shall fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no cattle in the stalls. In other words, though everything in the world goes haywire, everything in the earth goes wrong, though everything you can count on, everything that's dependable, everything that's fixed stops, yet I will exalt in the Lord.
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds or goats' feet and makes me walk on my high places. I can tread the precipices with the same security and safety as a mountain goat, no matter how dangerous the times, because I trust my God. If everything in the world goes awry, I will trust Him.
Why? Because in reciting the history of what God has done in the past, He remembers the tremendous power and deliverance of God. That's the benefit of praise. When you begin to recite everything that God has done, your problem seems fairly small. Secondly, you not only in praising God recite His works, you recite His attributes, and you see this in the Psalms, you see this in the prophets, the recitation of God's attributes, Psalm 46, Psalm 66, Psalm 90, Psalm 96, many other places. And you just begin to run down the record of all of God's great attributes. Here you are in the middle of your little problem, and you remember that God is absolutely powerful, that God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, that God is immutable, never changes, that God is all-wise, perfectly just, holy, righteous.
You just go all down those attributes. He is gracious. He is filled with a loving kindness. His mercy reaches higher than the heavens, and you begin to go through all of these things that are true about God. And as you recite all of that, it changes your focus. It changes how you view life.
You'll begin to trust God in a greater way. Praising God has a tremendous built-in benefit to the one who does it. So we recite God's wonderful works.
We recite His attributes. And the third component is we say thanks for both. We say thanks for both. Having a thankful heart. It is a sin not to be thankful, isn't it?
It is. It is a sin to be ungrateful to God. And I think of that, I always remember, and I hadn't planned to say anything about it, but I always remember that amazing account in the seventeenth chapter of Luke where Jesus healed those ten lepers. And they were all crying, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. In verse 14, He saw them, He said to them, Go and show yourself to the priests.
And it came about that as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, not ten, nine, eight, seven, just one, when He saw that He had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice. How did He glorify God? He fell on His face at Jesus' feet and gave Him thanks.
And Jesus said, Were there not ten cleansed, where are the nine? Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God except this foreigner? He was a Samaritan. And He said, Rise and go your way. Your faith has saved you. Ten were healed, one was saved.
He came back and said thanks. How sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child, certainly an ungrateful child of God. As Joab, when he fought against Reba, sent for the king, that he might carry away the crown of victory. So the Christian, when he wins any battle, sends for Christ that he may wear the victor's crown, gives him all the praise and all the glory. As the silkworm, when she weaves her wonderful work, hides herself under the silk and is never seen, so when we have done anything praiseworthy, we give the praise to God. That's living to the glory of God. We glorify Him when we recite His record of deeds and His attributes and thank Him for both.
You know, if this is a way of life for you, if this is a pattern of living for you, it's going to have a dramatic effect on how you view your circumstances and how you handle your trials, no matter how severe they are. Number six, we glorify God by prayer. We glorify God by prayer. John 14, one of the most wonderful sections in Scripture because it is the legacy of Jesus given to those who belong to Him just before He left. And I want you to know that in this particular section, the disciples were greatly distressed because Jesus was leaving and they were frightened about that realization. Where would they turn when He wasn't there? He had given them food when they needed food. He had calmed the storm when they needed the storm to be calmed. He had provided safety when they needed safety, truth, and their ignorance.
He had given them everything. And now He was leaving, and He said, don't worry about it. John 14, verse 13, Because whatever you ask in My name, that will I do. Just because I'm not here physically doesn't mean I'm not here. Just because I'm not around to do what you need done doesn't mean it won't get done. Whatever you ask in My name, I'll do it.
Why? In order that the Father may be what? Glorified in the Son. You know why the Lord answers prayer? You say, yeah, to give us what we want, no? You say, well, to give us what we need, no? No, that's superficial.
That's just the beginning. The real reason that He answers prayer is to put Himself on display. He answers prayer so you can glorify Him. When you've prayed for someone to be saved, and you've prayed long and passionately, maybe for years, and God awakens that dead heart, and that person embraces Jesus Christ, your first response is to cry out to God with gratitude, isn't it? To thank Him.
And so you glorify Him. And when you're in a situation where your resources are limited and you don't know where you're going to turn, and the Lord wonderfully and graciously provides for you your immediate response, having prayed for His provision, is to thank Him and praise Him for what He has made available to you. You see, the person who doesn't pray isn't necessarily going to be destitute. God is still gracious.
The person who doesn't pray may have everything he needs. He just won't praise God for giving it to him. He just won't understand that this is all from the Lord.
He's just really not a part of that process. I mean, imagine you go to a Bible study and somebody gets up and says, I want to tell you that Robert so-and-so was saved. And you hear somebody say, Oh, thank the Lord, how wonderful. Oh, isn't God wonderful?
Isn't He good? And you know that person had been praying for that individual. While another person who sat there and listened to the person say Robert so-and-so was saved just kind of looks around and wonders where the refreshments are.
Why? Because they're not involved in the prayer process, so God didn't put Himself on display in their life because He never gave them the opportunity to do that because they weren't a part of the petitioning. Prayer is really designed so that when God acts, you're going to know He acted.
That's why we're not fatalistic even though we believe in a sovereign God who will work His own purposes. The reason we pray is not so we can change God's mind about what He's going to do, but so that we can give Him glory when He does it because we're involved in that process. When you pray in my name, based upon my merit, in union with my person and my purpose and for my glory, I'll do it. God will put His glory on display.
He'll put His power on display. I remember years ago as a guy here in our church who used to make prayer requests and write them in a notebook. He came to me one Sunday and He said, I'd like to know, Pastor, if you have any prayer requests.
I'd like to pray for four or five things and took out his little spiral notebook. And I mentioned them and he wrote them down and wrote them down and wrote the date in the left-hand column that they were written in his little book. And then it was a few weeks later he came back to me with the same little book, more things written in it now, and he said, I'd like to just check off those requests. I've been praying.
Could you tell me how they all worked out? And I gave him a series of answers and he wrote a little date in the right-hand column with a little note about what the Lord had done. And I asked him, I said, How long have you been doing this?
He said, This is Book 19. Now, there was a man who had seen God display himself. I mean, if you said to him, Has God ever really shown Himself powerful in your life? He'd say, Yes, would you like to see my shelf?
And just start filing through. See, if you're not engaged in that kind of petition, then you're not engaged in that kind of experience of seeing the power of God manifest. Prayer glorifies God because it puts Him on display. And then you glorify Him in response to that display. Well, so many other things could be said.
I'm going to mention one more. We glorify God by bringing others to Christ. We glorify God by bringing others to Christ. Look at 2 Corinthians 4.15.
And by the way, there are many others that are specifically stated as means of glorifying God we don't have time for. In 2 Corinthians 4, verse 15, Paul again here defending the legitimacy and integrity of his apostleship among the Corinthians because it's under assault by the false teachers, says, For all things are for your sakes. If you think I'm in this for myself, you're wrong.
And that's exactly what they were accusing him of. If you think I'm in it for the money or power, prestige, or some kind of favors, you're wrong. Everything I do is for your sakes. All things are for your sakes.
What is it do you want? In order that the grace, saving grace, which is spreading to more and more people, may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Now there are perhaps a number of facets to what he's saying, but let me put it as simply as I can. He is saying, everything I do is to provide an opportunity for saving grace to spread to more and more people so there will be more and more people glorifying God. Paul is saying, I do what I do in order to add one more voice to the Hallelujah chorus. Every time you lead someone to Christ, another voice is singing Hallelujah. Another is praising and glorifying God. I can glorify the Lord in my own life. I can lead someone else to Christ by God's grace, and that means two are glorifying Him. We continue to do that through life and we multiply the Hallelujah chorus. So the Apostle Paul says, you'll glorify the Lord when you spread the message of saving grace and God in His mercy saves. And more and more people will express their thanks to God's glory. Now in fact, that has to be the most potent way to glorify God because it's a multiplication.
It gets beyond me to someone else and doubles the potential of glorifying Him. As you think about how you use your life, keep this in mind that everything you do in the end should be so that the grace of God which saves could spread to more and more people so more and more people will be able to glorify Him. And God is most glorified in the salvation of a soul because that really puts His power on display. So, we all with an unveiled face, the obscurity removed, looking at the glory of the Lord shining to us in the face of Jesus Christ through the pages of Holy Scripture, seeing that blazing glory and moving from one level of glory to the next and being changed into the very image of Christ by the Holy Spirit.
This is fitting. The Lord wants glory in His church. He wants to reveal and manifest His glory in His church even as He did on the face of Moses.
Let's close with a couple of Scriptures. Ephesians 3.21, a benediction. To Him be the glory in the church.
Boy, what a mandate. He wants glory from His church. To Him be the glory in the church, even in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever and we all ought to say amen to that. In Philippians 4.20, now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Father, we thank You for the reminder again of this foundational principle of Christian living to give You glory.
And there are many things we did not say. We glorify You by our unity. We glorify You by our obedience.
We glorify You by our moral purity. Father, in every way possible we want to live to Your glory. We want to reflect the glory of Christ and be transformed into His image by the Holy Spirit. This is our prayer. This is our desire.
Oh, to be like Thee, dear Jesus, my plea, just to know Thou art formed fully in me. That's our prayer. And we pray that You will fulfill it in us by Your Spirit. In Christ's name. Amen. more eternally valuable than giving the gospel and bringing other people to Christ. And so with that in mind, can you give our listeners some practical encouragement? Talk about how you typically would start a gospel conversation with someone. What do you say?
And is there anything that you're careful not to say? I don't have a formula for that. If you look at the New Testament and you follow Christ as He, you know, gave the message of salvation, there are never two occasions where He approached it the same way. So you have to sort of find the entry point. And the same would be true in the Apostles in the Book of Acts. They sometimes would start with the Old Testament when they're dealing with Jews, or they would start with the creation narrative if they were dealing with Gentiles.
But in every setting that you have in the New Testament where there's actually evangelism or even evangelistic preaching, there seems to be a different entry point. But it doesn't take long to get through that sort of entry point to the real issues. And whatever it is that prompts the conversation, maybe you say to someone, do you have issues in your life that disturb you or stress you?
If you recognize somebody's depressed or struggling, how can I help you to better understand a solution for that? Or if you say to someone, do you feel guilty? Do you feel fearful? Do you feel anxious about the future?
Are you unfulfilled and satisfied? Why do you think that is? I think if a person is sick and near death, you start, are you ready to face death? Do you understand the reality of that eternal future that you're facing squarely in the eyes?
So I think it depends on what it is. But as soon as you can, you get to the issue of sin. And I think that's exactly what the Apostle Paul did in the book of Acts. He spoke, remember, to Felix, of sin and righteousness and judgment. Those, I think, are the three components of an effective evangelistic approach. The verdict will be rendered based on whether you're still in the category of those who are under the power of sin or whether you're in the category of those who have received the imputed righteousness of Christ granted to them by faith in him.
So the conversation can follow a lot of pathways. But I think if you kind of work with the idea of sin, that deals with the sinner and all that is involved there. Righteousness, that deals with God and his word and his law. And you come finally to judgment and sinners will be judged a certain way and the righteous will be judged a different way.
You've covered the ground. Thank you, John. And friend, let me remind you that John has written a book on evangelism called Nothing But the Truth. It examines foundational truths about your salvation with an eye toward equipping you to bring others to Jesus Christ. To help cement in your mind the essentials of the gospel, pick up John's book Nothing But the Truth when you contact us today. Call our toll-free number, 855-GRACE, or go to gty.org. This book is great to review with a small group or to put in a friend's hands or just to study on your own so that you can be ready to share the gospel whenever you have the opportunity.
The title again, Nothing But the Truth. To order, call 800-55-GRACE or go online to gty.org. And while you're online, make sure you tap into the thousands of Bible-related resources that we have available free of charge. You can read articles on a wide range of issues at the Grace To You blog. You can catch episodes of this broadcast that you may have missed.
Or you can download and listen to any of John's 3500 sermons free of charge. Our web address again, gty.org. And to keep you up to date on the latest news and resources from Grace To You, make sure you follow us on social media. You'll find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson inviting you back for our next broadcast when John answers practical questions about how to live the Christian life. Don't miss that helpful Q&A. It's 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace To You. .
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