If someone were to ask you, “why are you here, that is, why have you been put on this earth,” what would you answer? The Bible gives us the true answer. Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:5-6, “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace.” Those in Christ have been chosen in Christ to the “praise of the glory of His grace.” We have been chosen in order to glorify God. Both Jew and Gentile have been saved in Christ to the praise of His glory: “That we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you [lj: Gentiles] also trusted…in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:12-14). Hear Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:11: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” To glorify is to magnify, extol, to praise, to honor. What is involved in glorifying God?
Glorifying God begins with reverence for Him. Reverence is deep respect, paying homage to one having divine character. “He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name,” writes the psalmist in Psalm 111:9, demonstrating an attitude of honor and deep respect.
We glorify God when we worship Him. “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me” (Psalm 50:23). Of the ten who were healed, the one leper who returned to Jesus “with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks” (Luke 17:15-16). He glorified God by worshiping Jesus. God is not glorified by those who refuse or fail to worship Him and fail to give Him thanks.
Using Body and Spirit for Him
God is glorified when we use our body and our spirit for Him. “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 with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Before we do something with this body of ours, we need to ask ourselves whether it is morally clean, pure, and holy before God. We are to present our “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). If you use your body or mind for unclean, impure, unholy passions and desires, you cannot glorify God!
Suffering for being a Christian
Suffering for being a Christian glorifies God: “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified…Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:14,16). Suffering for Christ is faith-building and faith-refining. But suffering is not only about us. Suffering for the name of Christ brings glory to God.
Bearing Much Fruit
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:8). Bearing fruit is required of disciples of Christ. While bearing the Spirit’s fruit benefits others and self, it is above all yet another way that our Father in heaven is glorified.
Ministering to Others
God is glorified when we use the abilities God has given us to minister to – serve – others: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11). When we rightly use our God-given abilities, others are served and we are proven good stewards, but in all things God is glorified.
Speaking According to Divinely Revealed Truth
Read again 1 Peter 4:11 from the previous point. God is glorified when we teach and preach the “oracles of God,” whether sharing the good news with the lost or teaching the saved. On the other hand, God is not glorified with the teaching of human opinions and creeds.
Respecting & Submitting to Divine Authority
“Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Our duty is fulfilled when we fear God and do His commandments. But let us see also, with Nadab and Abihu, that God is glorified when we do His will. These priests offered profane fire which God had not commanded them, and fire went out from the Lord and devoured them. Regarding this event, the Lord said, “By those who come near Me, I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified” (Leviticus 10:3). God is glorified when men follow His revealed commandments and respect His silence; Nadab and Abihu failed in that. Who is glorified when operating outside the authority of God? Man, not God.
Glorified in His church
Finally, God is glorified in His church. He is glorified by the saved. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). Peter said to saints, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Those who are not saved need to be saved so that they can fulfil that purpose for which God made man – to glorify Him.