Everybody has a job description. Regardless of who you are—a pastor, a church member, or a student—you have a job description. We all do. And they are nothing new. They’ve been with us since the beginning of history. Adam and Eve had a job description. Noah had a job description. Abraham, Moses and Saul too. They all had job descriptions.
But sometimes we get so immersed in fulfilling the details of our divinely-given job description, that we lose sight of the big picture. From time to time, we need to remind ourselves of the biblical pillars of our raison d’être, those structural pylons of the Christian life that give us a wide-angle view of the biblical mandates and help us to refocus and reenergize our efforts.
When it comes to summarizing biblical mandates, no one did it better than our Lord. He was able to get right to the core of things. Jewish history said that there were 613 laws that needed to be obeyed, but Jesus reduced them to two: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself“ (Matt 22:37, 39).
In the midst of the tyranny of our commitments, we would do well to boil down the plethora of our commitments to the very basics of God's job description for us. In many respects, it’s not a job description, but a job prescription—a prescription mandated for us by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:31 – 11:1. Cautioning the Corinthians about misusing their Christian liberties, he admonishes: "Whether then you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to Jews or to Greeks or to the Church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ."
Seek the glory of God
"Whether then you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (10:31)
God made mankind and the rest of creation for the purpose of giving Him glory. How do we ascribe glory to God? When Moses prayed, “Show me your glory" (Exo 33:18-19), the LORD responded by showing him His attributes. That is how we glorify God. By reflecting His attributes. It's like the moon reflecting the light of the sun. We reflect the glory of God by reflecting His attributes. There should be no solar eclipse in our lives, nothing that would obstruct God's glory or tarnish the reflection. Everything we do should reflect His glory, even in the little things like eating and drinking.
Seek the benefit of others
"Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God" (10:32)
The three groups mentioned basically covers all people. In other words, give no offense in the use of your Christian liberties, but rather pursue the benefit of others. What does that look like? Paul answers this elsewhere in this way: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference to one another in honor” (Rom 12:10).
There's a proverb that says it well: “When the feet are slow, the heart's not in it.” Giving preference to one another is not always easy, but God never asks something of us that He will not also give us the strength to carry out.
Seek the salvation of the lost
"Just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many so that they may be saved" (10:33)
Yes, Paul’s ultimate objective is the salvation of the lost, but that is not the focus here; the emphasis is on the how. It’s not about flaunting your Christian liberties. It’s about being culturally and socially sensitive. The apostle Paul chose not to exercise his liberties. The constraints of Judaism were gone for the Apostle Paul, but the constraint of love for his own people was still there.
Seek the likeness of Christ
"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ" (11:1)
The sanctified life has its genesis in the heart. It all begins here, from the inside out. Without the pursuit of Christ-likeness, the other prescriptions cannot be accomplished.
Our job is to glorify God. This must be our purpose in life, whatever we do, do all to the glory of God. How are we to accomplish this? By placing the benefit of others ahead of ourselves, by foregoing our liberties so that the lost might be saved, and by pursuing the likeness of Christ.
Watch Dr. Irv Busenitz speak on this subject in chapel: Recalibrating your Job Description