April 04, 2024

What Does It Mean to Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever?

Nathan W. Bingham & Joseph Pipa Jr.
What Does It Mean to Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever?

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, the Apostle Paul instructs Christians to “do all to the glory of God.” Today, Joseph Pipa outlines six principles from Scripture that can help us glorify God and enjoy Him in our daily lives.


NATHAN W. BINGHAM: We’re joined this week on the Ask Ligonier podcast by Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr., president emeritus and professor of systematic and applied theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Dr. Pipa, what does it mean to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?

DR. JOSEPH PIPA: Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:20 that we are to glorify God in all that we do: “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” And then in 10:31: “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” So, we have this commandment. We’ve been redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ. We belong to God. And because of that, we then are to live for His glory and honor.

To glorify God, we don’t add anything to God. He’s perfect in Himself, but we ascribe to Him, by our words and our lives, His beauty and glory and splendor. Now, obviously the place where we do that best of all is in corporate worship, and that is the great end of corporate worship—is that we come to praise and to glorify God. But the practical question is, then, How in the world do we, whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, glorify God?

And I have six principles that I think help us here. Each one we could summarize by one word: scriptural, motivation, service, dependence, thankfulness, and wholeheartedness. So, we glorify God as we seek to shape our lives completely by the Word of God, recognizing that He is the Lord of our lives. The ceremonial law of the Old Testament was designed to do that. So, it governed people’s clothing and food and sex lives and everything else to teach the church in its infancy that whatever a believer did had to be according to God’s Word, thus for God’s glory. So, the standard.

The motivation, Paul says in Ephesians 6:5 is that we’re to do it to be God-pleasers and not men-pleasers, and addressing slaves, Ephesians 6:5: “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”

And so, our motivation then is to serve God in all that we do, whatever our calling is, which leads to service. And that is that in what we do, we must always have in mind our neighbor. So, in Philippians 2:3–4, Paul will write, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” And so, we govern our lives by always thinking about those around us. That’s a very practical thing. We want to drive in a proper, safe way for the sake of our neighbor who is driving. And everything else—we keep our yard for the sake of our neighbors so that we keep an orderly house place.

And then dependence is the fourth word. And as Paul summarizes the wonder of the ways of God in Romans 11, he then concludes: “For from Him, through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever”—and that we do everything in a conscious dependence upon God, trusting the Holy Spirit. So, not just in our spiritual exercises as we read the Bible or teach or make a recording or whatever, but if we’re changing a light bulb, washing dishes, whatever the calling is that we consciously are asking the Spirit of Christ to enable us to do that.

And then, a fifth principle is thankfulness. And so many of Paul’s exhortations to prayer will include this matter of thankfulness. So, for example, in Philippians 4:6, when he says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.” So, we thank God for our lives, for the privileges of our lives, for our competent portion, but for everything before us—we thank Him for it.

And then wholeheartedly. Colossians 3:23, again addressing those that were enslaved at that particular time, and Paul says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” So, it ties into not being men-pleasers, but being God-pleasers—motivation. But whether it’s work or play, whatever, do it with all of our might.