1 Corinthians 1:31
That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.
here is an irresistible tendency in us to glory in something or other. All classes of men glory. Good people have the tendency to glory, and sometimes they glory in unworthy objects, and therefore God has prepared a cure for it — not by repressing the instinct, but by giving it a worthy subject. The prevention or cure of glorying in men, in riches, and in self, is glorying in the Lord. Let us —
I. GLORY ONLY IN THE LORD. Because —
1. The theme is too great to admit of another. If God fills all in all, there can be no other god; and if the glory of God be infinite, then there can be no second glory.
2. Any other object highly provokes the Most High. He has said, "My glory will I not give to another, nor My praise to graven images." Where the ark of the Lord is, Dagon must come down. God will be all, or nothing. Think of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Herod.
3. There is no other fit ground for glorying.
(1) If there were some other object in which we thought we could glory, yet since it came from Him it would be idle to glory in the streams, we had better boast in the fountain-head from which the stream descends.
(2) Moreover, all things in this world are fleeting, and wherefore should we glory in that which to-day is, and to-morrow will pass away? Let your glory be in that which will last as long as your own being.
(3) Besides, there is nothing in this world worth glorying in, in comparison with God. He is the sun; the stars must hide their heads when He appears. Let us bless the eternal ocean of all-sufficient glory and goodness, and not turn aside to magnify our little Abanas and Pharpars.
4. When we do so we shall be in accord with the true order of the universe.
(1) With creation "The heavens are telling the glory of God." "All Thy works praise Thee, O God." Creation is a temple in which every one speaks of His glory.
(2) With Providence. "For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be the glory for ever."(3) With the angels. What is their song? "Glory to God in the highest."(4) With the Divine Trinity; for what does the Father do but glorify the Son? What does the Son aim at when He says, "Father, glorify Thy Son" ? It is, "that Thy Son also may glorify Thee." What does the Holy Spirit do when He takes of the things of Christ, and shows them unto us? Has not Jesus said of Him, "He shall glorify Me" ?
II. GLORY HEARTILY IN THE LORD. Because of —
1. His love. Glory in —
(1) Its antiquity. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love!"(2) In its wonderful benefactions.
(3) In its freeness. He loved us because He would love us; not because we were lovely, but because He was love. Glory in it, therefore, all the day long, for well you may. "He loved me, and gave Himself for me."
2. His faithfulness. Whom once He loves He never leaves, but loves them to the end.
3. His holiness. "Bless the Lord, O my soul," and "All that is within me, bless" — His gracious name, is it? No. His loving name? No; but "His holy name," because the whole includes all the parts, and the holiness, or the wholeness of God is a grander thing than any one of the distinct attributes which make up His character. Glory in the holiness of God, for there is none holy as the Lord. It is this which angels glory in, for as they veil their faces, they say, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts."
4. His all-sufficiency, and the liberality with which He distributes His mercies among His chosen. In Christ Jesus is not one good thing given to us, but every good thing. Do we need to be instructed? Christ is oar wisdom. Do we need to be clothed in the sight of God with a righteousness that shall render us acceptable? Christ is our righteousness. Do we need to be purified and cleansed? Christ is our sanctification. And do we need to be set free and delivered from all bondage? Christ is our redemption.
5. The nearness and dearness of the relationship which God holds to us. The mar, who can bow his knee, and say from his heart, "Our Father," has more to glory in than the emperor of the grandest nations. Is Christ my Brother? I am ennobled by that relationship.
III. GLORY IN THE LORD GROWINGLY. That is to say, we should glory in God in proportion as we learn more of Him, and receive more from Him. Glory growingly in the Lord as you know more of Him —
1. By revelation. And as you see more of Him, go and tell abroad more of Him, and let others know what a glorious God you serve.
2. By experience. Never let a special season pass without praising Him; and as answers to prayer increase, as grace is given to you in times of need, and as you see converting work going on in others glorify Him more. By and by, as time rolls on, we shall know more of the Lord, and get to be more like Him, and approach nearer to the glory itself. Beholding that glory, as in a glass, we are changed from glory to glory, as by the image of the Lord.
IV. GLORY IN THE LORD PRACTICALLY.
1. By owning that you belong to Him. A man does not hide away that which he glories in. Charge a veteran with having been at Waterloo, and he will glory in it. Accuse an artist of being a Royal Academician, and he will own the charge. Abuse me for loving my wife and children, and I smile at you. Why, then, blush to be called a follower of Jesus?
2. By talking about Him on all fit occasions. We are too reticent in our piety. As the rose betrays itself by its perfume, and the glowworm by its shining, so should our glorying in the Lord discover us to all observers. A foreigner may speak English well, but he is known by his accent, and the accent of grace is quite as marked as that of nature.
3. By standing up for Him when He is opposed. If you hear the proud ones ridicule His gospel, and despise His people, put in a word for Jesus.
4. By being calm under your troubles.
5. By having a contempt for those things which others value so much. Do not be greedy after the world.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.