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Volume 10 - Page 16 of 162 Index | Zoom | |
Do all to the glory of God. Give none offence.
(I Cor. 10: 31, 32).
pp. 14 - 16
If Christian doctrine and practice were simple issues, the problem of the believer's
walk would not be a difficult one; as it is, the most bewildering complexity is the
character of our pathway. We ourselves have, since we believed, dual natures; we
possess the old man (crucified indeed), and the new man. We are continually being acted
upon by the flesh and the spirit which are contrary the one to the other; added to this we
have around us that marvellous and magnetic world, which in all its grades and varieties
finds a ready response from the old nature. Nor is this all, the confused state of
professing Christendom, its multiplied factions and sects, its snares and errors, but add to
the problem of the believer whose desire is to live to the glory of God.
The passage of Scripture with which we have headed our article gives a command,
which nothing less than the grace of God can enable us to obey. To some natures it is not
difficult, when once the mind is made up, to pursue a given course regardless of
difficulties, and equally regardless of the effect upon others. Such find in the words, "Do
all to the glory for God", a scriptural reason for an unbending, uncompromising, clear-cut
course. If weaker brethren are stumbled, it is their affair, the glory of God must come
first and cannot be bartered for the feelings of others. There are others who are just the
opposite, the idea of giving offence often dissuades them from persisting in a given line
of conduct, and while they may often feel that there are many things that are unscriptural,
a native timidity, or a desire to avoid unpleasantness, compromises their testimony; these
would cling to the words, "give none offence". In both cases, there is room for the flesh
to make some kind of fair show. The combined precept, however, which is the true
pathway, is beyond the power of the flesh; bigotry and roughshod methods are not to the
glory of God. Mr. Pliable, on the other hand, is not the pattern for our imitation.
The reader should ponder the example of the apostle as set forth in I Cor. 9: 19-23.
He should observe the obedience to this two-fold precept in the apostle's attitude towards
circumcision in Acts 15: and 16: 3. A man of smaller spiritual power would have
considered the idea of circumcising Timothy as pandering to human weakness; he would
probably have thought of the charge of inconsistency. The apostle, however, pursues the
higher law. There are some who have concluded that the unscriptural character of the
churches of Christendom compels them to avoid any appearance of fellowship, while
there are others whose disposition is to make no distinction, and who adopt the other
extreme. The Scripture gives us a middle path; sometimes we give up our privileges and
become as weak, as Jews even, or as those under law, or without law. Many doubtless
condemned the apostle for being "made all things to all men". Sometimes we may
appear to be sacrificing a real principle as superficial critics may have fancied Paul did in
Acts 16: 3. It will by no means prove an easy task to "Do all to the glory of God", and