Do You Know What Diminishes The Glory Of God?

1 Corinthians 10:31 is a commonly spoken verse:

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

In my experience, when that verse is spoken, there is a message that is usually implied.  The implied message is this:

If we *don’t* do what we do to the glory of God, then God’s glory is diminished.

But is that biblical?

I didn’t think so, so I dragged out my old 15-pound Concordance…

Just kidding.  I simply surfed to my favorite online Bible search engine at

http://olivetree.com/cgi-bin/EnglishBible.htm?version=nasb&help=search

to do a search of “glory” in the Bible.

Here’s what I found, or rather couldn’t find.  I couldn’t find a single verse in the Bible where there was *anything* that could diminish the glory of God.  Nothing that could tarnish His glory.  Nothing that could in the slightest way keep Him from being glorious.  Nothing that in any way could subvert or undermine His glory.

In fact, I found plenty of evidence that His glory is not only intrinsic to His being, but that in His very creation, through the fall of man, and on into His Providential future, He is glorified even by that which is in opposition to Him!

I won’t belabor you with all the verses.  Look them up 🙂 

By the way, one of the most wonderful things that glorifies the Lord is His Grace:

“…to the praise of the GLORY of His grace…” — Ephesians 1:6

So, what diminishes the Glory of God?

Nothing.

“…to whom be the glory forevermore.” — Galatians 1:5

5 thoughts on “Do You Know What Diminishes The Glory Of God?

  1. Eh, I’m unconvinced. Why? Well yes, in that sense everything is ultimately for God’s glory.

    Correct. The presence of sin in the universe does not diminish the glory of God. Many would argue that in fact brings Him more glory.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can carry this idea into 1 Corinthians 10:31. For then it would leave it meaningless. If everything we do glorifies God, then why not go out and live like the rest of the world? (Obviously I am aware of the answer to this question, I am simply pointing out what the problem would be with such in interpretation 🙂 )

    (Oh, and by the way this is PriclesEternity, I’ve been following you on twitter for quite some time)

  2. dkkev,

    You wrote,

    “But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can carry this idea into 1 Corinthians 10:31. For then it would leave it meaningless.”

    On the contrary, it enhances the meaning, in this way:

    It becomes a matter of intent, expressing our love and caring for our Lord and Savior.

    Intention kicks in and we not only recognize the Glory that cannot be diminished, but we do what we do for that express purpose (among others, perhaps).

    His glory is intrinsic to Him, and since He is unchangeable, so is His glory (though He can manifest or withdraw the expression of that glory at will — as in “Ichabod”, “the glory has departed”).

    Why can man not diminish His glory?

    Because He didn’t get it from man to begin with.

    “I do not receive glory from men;” – John 5:41

    Good to hear from you PriclesEternity!

  3. But doesn’t the very command which Paul gives imply that it can be broken? If He commands men to, whatever you do, whether you eat, or drink, to do all for the glory of God — it implies that you can do things in a way that do not glorify God.

    If every action, no matter whether it is good or bad, glorifies God, then why would Paul even give such a command (if it could not be violated)?

    When men sin against God, it is their intention to dethrone God (and thus not bring Him glory). When these men intend to dethrone God, those in the world (who are unconverted) perceive God to be less glorious. Thus men temporarily perceive that God is not being glorified through their sinful actions. So in this way God’s name is debased and not glorified in this world. All the unbelieving in this world temporarily think they are dethroning God, but will one day discover that they were merely fulfilling the role of a vessel of wrath (Romans 9:22).

    I think it comes down to the intention, the heart. If you drink a glass of water intending to glorify God, then you are fulfilling this command. If you drink a glass of water intending to debase God’s great Name, then you are not fulfilling this command because you are attempting to not glorify God.

  4. “I think it comes down to the intention, the heart.”

    I agree, as far as 1 Cor. 10:31 is concerned.

    “If you drink a glass of water intending to debase God’s great Name, then you are not fulfilling this command because you are attempting to not glorify God.”

    True, you are not fulfilling the command, but God’s glory is not diminished.

    Consider this for a minute. If, let’s say, 10% of the world is Christian, and 90% unregenerate, that would by your measurement mean that God’s glory was diminished by 90%. And even that is assuming the Christians lived perfect lives to the glory of God.

    In actuality, as I previously pointed out, His glory is intrinsic to (built-in part of) His being.

    How do you diminish that?

  5. True, you are not fulfilling the command, but God’s glory is not diminished.

    I am in agreement with you then. Thus the command in 1 Corinthians 10:31 can be broken by men. However, it does not mean that God’s glory is diminished.

    To clarify, you stated, “If we *don’t* do what we do to the glory of God, then God’s glory is diminished.”

    I would simply add onto this to state:

    If we don’t do what we do to the glory of God, then we are in disobedience. However, our disobedience does not diminish the glory of God.

    Paul seems to deal with this very issue directly in Romans 3:3-5.

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