What does 1 Corinthians 10:31 mean?
ESV: So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
NIV: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
NASB: Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God.
CSB: So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
NLT: So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
KJV: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
NKJV: Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Verse Commentary:
Paul has provided some specific guidelines in the previous verses about when Christians should eat and refrain from eating food that has been offered to idols. Those answers gave broad freedom to those who are spiritually "strong" and recognize that God gives a good purpose for everything He has created (1 Timothy 4:4). Scripture has also provided careful warnings that moderate how that freedom can be used. Here, Paul boils everything down to a single principle that should drive all our choices.

Believers should be motivated to bring glory to God in everything we do, or choose not to do. This includes our choices to eat or drink, or to refuse. Paul adds this to a list of motivating factors for the use of our freedom in Christ. Will this activity be helpful to me or will it cause me to be "mastered" (1 Corinthians 6:12)? Will doing this build up others and be good for my neighbor as well as for myself (1 Corinthians 10:23–24)? And now, will this choice to eat or drink or do anything else bring glory to God?

In all cases, the question of whether this activity will bring me pleasure, material gain, or status should not be the deciding factor alone even for those who are free in Christ. Just as anything done without conviction is sin (Romans 14:23), Christians should not participate in anything they don't feel brings glory to God.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 10:23—11:1 shows that merely asking, ''Is this lawful?'' is the wrong question for Christians. Instead, we must continue by asking, ''Will this glorify God?'' and ''Will this build up our neighbors?'' Paul instructs them to act on this by refusing to eat meat they know has been offered to an idol. The reason is to avoid causing anyone to think Christians approve of idol worship in any way. They are free, though, to eat any meat they don't know to have been offered to an idol, with a clear conscience, and with thanks to God. The key message of this passage is that our intent, and the effects of our actions on others, are more important than the physical things involved.
Chapter Summary:
Idol worship is an extremely serious sin. Paul reminds the Christians in idol-saturated Corinth of that by referring to the history of the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness. Though blessed by God, they worshiped false idols. God killed many of them for it. Paul commands his readers to flee from idol worship. To participate with idol worship in any way is to participate with demons. God always provides some way to avoid sin. So, they must avoid giving anyone the idea that they approve of idol worship, even by knowingly eating food offered to idols. Their first question must always be, ''Will this glorify God?''
Chapter Context:
The previous chapter concluded with Paul's commitment to continue to control himself. He exercises discipline so he does not become ineffective in his ministry. He begins chapter 10 by reminding the Corinthians of how the Israelites brought consequences on themselves in the wilderness. Among their many sins was worshiping idols, and God killed many of them for it. The Corinthians must flee idol worship and any appearance of supporting the demonic practice. They are free to eat meat if they don't know that it is idol food. However, they should be ready to set aside their own freedoms and rights whenever doing so will glorify God and win others to Christ.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 7/18/2024 11:13:33 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com