God-Glorifying Lives

Paul’s conversion was so great that even believers that had never met him glorified God for the radical change in his life. This indirect way of bringing praise to God by a changed life is what should motivate Christians in a new year (Ps 40:1-3; Matt 5:16).




“And they glorified God in me.”

Galatians 1:24


  1. This is the last Sunday of 2019. Wise men that fear God will examine how they lived.
  2. We began 2019 with, Do Great Things for God, from Joshua replacing mighty Moses.
  3. We are three days away from 2020. Wise men that fear God will plan what to change.
  4. Proverbs 16:4 and Revelation 4:11 teach that each person was made for God’s glory.
  5. And the Bible goes on to teach from various angles that our lives should glorify Him.
  6. A God-glorifying life is a choice: wise men that fear Him examine and change to do so.
  7. How about your life in 2019 … how much did others glorify God because of your life?
  8. How about your life in 2020 … how much will others glorify God because of your life?
  9. Do Great Things for God (sermon outline).
  10. Three Basic Rules (slides).

The Theme

  1. Glory … 10 ways … glory (371), glorified (49), glorious (44), glorify (22), glorying (4), gloriously (3), glorifying (3), glorieth (3), glorifieth (1), gloriest (1) for 501 total uses.
  2. Glory. Resplendent beauty or magnificence. An effulgence of light such as is associated with our conceptions of heaven. The majesty and splendor attendant upon a manifestation of God. Exalted praise, honor, or admiration accorded by common consent to a person or thing; honorable fame, renown.
  3. David wanted to give God an exceeding magnifical palace fit for Him (I Chr 22:5; 29:1).
  4. Anything less than that is unacceptable to our great God and King (Malachi 1:8,14).
  5. God is glorious (Psalm 19:1-6; Ezekiel 1:28; Acts 7:55; Revelation 15:8; 21:23). Glory!
  6. God created us for His glory (Prov 16:4; Isaiah 43:7; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11).
  7. God demands/deserves we glorify Him by worship (Ps 50:14-15,23; 86:12; Rom 15:6), which is so important that He calls your tongue your glory (Ps 16:9; 30:12; 57:8).
  8. God is worthy of our glorying in Him (Ps 44:8; Jer 9:23-24; I Cor 1:31; II Cor 10:17).
  9. God is glorified by others seeing our godly changes and exploits (Gal 1:24; Num 23:23).

The Context

1-5 … Paul saluted the Galatian churches by the sovereign will of God and gave Him glory.
6-9 … Paul opened his rebuke for accepting Jewish legalists by teaching curses for heretics.
10-14 … Paul needed no human approval – Jesus saved him from the Jews and taught him.
15-17 … God had chosen Paul to be an apostle before he was born and taught him in Arabia.
18-20 … he only visited Jerusalem for 15 days after 3 years and saw only Peter and John.
21-23 … Jewish churches had no knowledge or instruction of Paul beyond his conversion.
24 … All they could do was glorify God for the total transformation of Paul by God’s work.

Much more detail about Galatians 1

The Text

And … believing Jews in Judea, though only knowing Paul by reputation, had one response.
They … the converted Jews, hearing his incredible conversion story, did a thing themselves.
Glorified … they praised and worshipped God for turning their enemy into a mighty apostle.
God … there is only one Being or Person capable of such a conversion, God and His Son.
In … the cause, motive, and reason for glorifying God was due to another’s work for God.
Me … though Paul was the one converted with exploits; others were affected by his change.

The Doctrine

  1. God’s powerful grace changes men’s lives, though none can quite match Saul of Tarsus.
    1. None of us were likely killers of Christians before believing the gospel and baptism.
    2. However, the Bible does make him an pattern of God’s great mercy (I Tim 1:16).
  2. Regeneration – new birth – quickening – resurrection from death – is a powerful event.
    1. It takes the same power to regenerate a sinner as raising Jesus from death (Eph 1:19).
    2. We know regeneration is like the wind blowing, but the wind has effects (John 3:8).
  3. Conversion – changing from one lifestyle to another – is also powerful and very visible.
    1. Real Bible conversion requires repentance, which is repudiation of sin for godliness.
    2. Real Bible conversion requires visible change others can see (Matt 3:8; Acts 26:20).
    3. Repentance – repudiation of sin to grow in godliness – moves angels (Luke 15:10).
  4. Salvation results in changed lives with internal motivation and power to change more.
    1. If any man is in Christ – take it vital or practical – he is a new creature (II Cor 5:17).
    2. Jewish ceremonialism or Arminian decisionalism is not a new creature (Gal 6:15).
    3. More about a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5.
    4. More about same : The Love of Christ Constraineth Us.
  5. Salvation, inspiration (God’s spirit in), and revelation (God’s word out) changes men.
    1. The change in attitude, actions, choices, lifestyle, passion, and priorities is visible.
    2. The more a person conforms his/her life to the Bible will be more and more obvious.
    3. Even Ahab, and that was no salvation to honor, was visible to Elijah (I Kings 21:29).
    4. We must grow in grace (II Pet 3:18), and growth in grace is visible like body growth.
    5. We must provoke one another to love and good works for visibly more (Heb 10:24).
  6. There are 7.8 billion souls… 7.795 billion are worthless … 5 million try to glorify God?
    1. The only lives that glorify God do exploits in things He has specified and honored.
    2. Corinth, after a rebuke, gave generously for glory of God by others (II Cor 9:12-14).
    3. Think! Average, mean, ordinary, or usual conduct by you or by others is worthless.
    4. God is gloriously exceptional in all He is and does … average anything is inadequate.
    5. Think! It is only Bible fruit or godliness that counts (Gal 5:22-23; II Pet 1:5-8; etc.).
    6. Working hard on the job only brings God’s glory if they know you are a Christian.
    7. Alaskan sled dogs work hard, and they bring Him glory by creation, but not actively.
    8. Even $200k brings God no glory without known Christian profession and godliness.
    9. God’s mercy in salvation should turn your life upside down for Him (Rom 12:1-2).
  7. God created you, saved you, and taught you, including today, to glorify Him by others.
    1. Recall the text – they glorified God in me – these were not Paul, nor known by Paul.
    2. You miss the text trying to glorify God yourself, for others must glorify Him by you.
    3. Jesus taught for our good works to be seen that others might glorify God (Matt 5:16).
    4. Review the theme section above for its five components – this is the last component.
    5. Peter taught the very same thing about Jews living among the Gentiles (I Pet 2:12).
    6. Those living aggressively for God have a real effect on others (Ps 40:1-3; 34:1-2).
    7. If you do not like this doctrine, tell us how you will provoke us (Hebrews 10:24-25).
  8. The world criticizes Christians for hypocrisy, though usually misguided and misapplied.
    1. Let us shut their mouths as the Bible says by visible good works they cannot deny.
    2. This aspect of glorifying God is to shut their mouths (I Tim 5:14; 6:1; Tit 2:5; etc.).
    3. Let the warning of Malachi provoke everyone to hate less than their best (Mal 1:14).

The Illustration

  1. David was exceptional in all ways before and after anointing (I Sam 16:18; 18:1-5,30).
  2. God killed David’s baby for his adultery causing others to blaspheme (II Sam 12:14).
  3. Jesus declared glorious truth of salvation at Zacchaeus’s great change (Luke 19:1-10).
  4. Tabitha, by interpretation Dorcas, was full of charity and good works (Acts 9:36,39).
  5. The gospel in Ephesus led to burning magic books for gospel growth (Acts 19:18-20).
  6. Phebe was commended first and very highly to surely glorify God (Romans 16:1-2).
  7. Aquila and Priscilla (a power couple) had served all Gentiles churches (Rom 16:3-4).
  8. The family of Stephanas was addicted to serving saints like Paul was (I Cor 16:13-17).
  9. Timothy had a great reputation very young and added to it (Acts 16:1-2; Phil 2:19-22).
  10. Philemon’s love and faith for Christ and all was known and spoken (Philemon 1:4-6).
  11. John loved Gaius for good reasons – his love of truth and visible service (III Jn 1:1-8).

The Application

  1. Your life is about Him, not you; He did not create or save you for you (I Cor 6:19-20).
    1. What of your life in 2019 … how much did others glorify God because of your life?
    2. What of your life in 2020 … how much will others glorify God because of your life?
    3. Hate … self-serving lives … loner-loser lives … I-glorify-God-in-my-heart lives. No!
  2. Did you cheat and steal glory from God in 2019 – by neglecting these example areas?
    1. Was your marriage visibly superior to others by living out the Bible? Deny thoughts.
    2. Did you clearly and unashamedly let others know you fear God? Christians do so.
    3. Was your brotherly love of all in the church visible to others? It is greatest measure.
    4. Did you make the fatal mistake that your personality is likable and ignore soft skills?
    5. Are you a loner at work so you cause dysfunction and grief not being a team player?
    6. Did you use speech so well that men wanted to kiss your lips and none dismiss you?
    7. Did your attendance, passion, and participation encourage and convict all others?
    8. Did your verbal love of God and His Son stir up others to love them much more?
    9. Is your humility such that you got down and served all others to their amazement?
    10. Did your encouragement and support of your pastor and wife cause them to rejoice?
    11. Did your secret giving to others (after the church) cause the widow’s heart to sing?
    12. Did you have any kind of moral failure this year that mocked your Christian faith?
    13. Did you cheerfully, joyfully, positively endure a trial with constant praise to Christ?
    14. Were you aloof from others, proving your pride, selfishness, or social dysfunction?
    15. Were you given to hospitality and ready to entertain strangers to please recipients?
  3. Will you consider how you can bring new glory to God from others by changes in 2020?
    1. Will your marriage visibly provoke us and our children to great love? Deny thoughts.
    2. Will you clearly let others know you fear God and then walk the walk like no other?
    3. Will your brotherly love of all in the church be visible to all? It is greatest measure.
    4. If you are not crushed by friends vying for attention, learn soft skills for God’s glory.
    5. What can you do on the job to be most helpful team player ever to show a difference?
    6. Will your speech be sweet so men want to kiss you? Gracious men rule (Pr 22:11).
    7. How can you alter attendance, passion, and participation to encourage all others?
    8. Will you tell verbal love of God and His Son to stir up others to love much more?
    9. Where can you show humility by getting down to serve others to their amazement?
    10. How might you encourage and support your pastor and wife to cause them to rejoice?
    11. Avoid any sins or even faults this year that make a stinking savor to prudent noses.
    12. Trials will come, so can you show Christianity by cheerfully enduring it with joy?
    13. If you are proud, selfish, or socially dysfunctional, what can you do to join in better?
    14. Why not commit to hospitality and entertainment at least once a quarter in 2020?
    15. Can you pick a personal enemy that you might forgive and befriend for God’s glory?
    16. Habits are made to be broken, when habits are just your foolish way of doing things.
    17. Why not plan to attend one pastor’s prayer meeting a quarter to provoke others?
    18. If your children are less than the best, just think of God’s glory by you training them.
    19. If your house is not clean, neat, and orderly, give God the glory and give it a redo.
    20. How might you honor parents and/or grandparents that would cause them to shout?
    21. What could you do between Sundays to encourage others to be great Christians?
    22. How can you show more passion and participation around meetings (II Sam 6:14)?
    23. If you drive too aggressively, will you change driving habits to bring God glory?
    24. If you have never counseled or mentored another spiritually, why not start this year?
    25. If you should be more temperate in food or drink, then to it mightily for God’s glory.


  1. This is the last Sunday of 2019. Wise men that fear God will examine how they lived.
  2. Will you take the days until 2020 to choose ways to bring glory to God by others seeing?
  3. A God-glorifying life is a choice: wise men that fear Him examine and change to do so.
  4. How about your life in 2020 … how much will others glorify God because of your life?
  5. We cannot build an exceeding magnifical temple of David’s kind, but of the N.T. kind.
  6. We cannot offer 120,000 sheep and 22,000 oxen like Solomon, but what will you give?
  7. There are individual reasons to glorify God this way, but what if the whole church did?
  8. The goal throughout this study is not worship directly, but godly lives that thrill others.
  9. Let the warning of Malachi provoke everyone to hate less than their best (Malachi 1:14).

For Further Study:

  1. Do Great Things for God (sermon outline).
  2. Lights in the World (sermon outline).
  3. Reflecting God (sermon outline).
  4. Actions Speak Louder (sermon outline).
  5. A Good Name (slides).
  6. A Good Name (sermon outline).
  7. A Good Name (Proverbs 22:1 commentary).
  8. Living Epistles (sermon outline). 
  9. Lip Service (sermon outline).
  10. Reprove the World (sermon outline).
  11. Power Couples (slides).
  12. Three Basic Rules (slides).