Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 10:31

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink - As no general rule can be laid down in reference to the above particulars, there is one maxim of which no Christian must lose sight - that whether he eats or drinks of this or the other kind of aliments, or whatever else he may do, he must do it so as to bring glory to God. This is a sufficient rule to regulate every man's conscience and practice in all indifferent things, where there are no express commands or prohibitions.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Whether therefore ye eat or drink - This direction should be strictly and properly applied to the case in hand; that is, to the question about eating and drinking the things that had been offered in sacrifice to idols. Still, however, it contains a general direction that is applicable to eating and drinking at all times; and the phrase “whatsoever ye do” is evidently designed by the apostle to make the direction universal.

Or whatsoever ye do - In all the actions and plans of life; whatever he your schemes, your desires, your doings, let all be done to the glory of God.

Do all to the glory of God - The phrase “the glory of God” is equivalent to the honor of God; and the direction is, that we should so act in all things as to “honor” him as our Lawgiver, our Creator, our Redeemer; and so as to lead others by our example to praise him and to embrace His gospel. A child acts so as to honor a father when he always cherishes reverential and proper thoughts of him; when he is thankful for his favors; when he keeps his laws; when he endeavors to advance his plans and his interests; and when he so acts as to lead all around him to cherish elevated opinions of the character of a father. He “dishonorers” him when he has no respect to his authority; when he breaks his laws; when he leads others to treat him with disrespect. In like manner, we live to the glory of God when we honor him in all the relations which he sustains to us; when we keep his laws; when we partake of his favors with thankfulness, and with a deep sense of our dependence; when we pray unto him; and when we so live as to lead those around us to cherish elevated conceptions of his goodness, and mercy, and holiness. Whatever plan or purpose will tend to advance His kingdom, and to make him better known and loved, will be to His glory. We may observe in regard to this:

(1) That the rule is “universal.” It extends to everything. If in so small matters as eating and drinking we should seek to honor God, assuredly we should in all other things.

(2) it is designed that this should be the constant rule of conduct, and that we should be often reminded of it. The acts of eating and drinking must be performed often; and the command is attached to that which must often occur, that we may be often reminded of it, and that we may be kept from forgetting it.

(3) it is intended that we should honor God in our families and among our friends. We eat with them; we share together the bounties of Providence; and God designs that we should honor Him when we partake of His mercies, and that thus our daily enjoyments should be sanctified by a constant effort to glorify Him.

(4) we should devote the strength which we derive from the bounties of His hand to His honor and in His service. He gives us food; He makes it nourishing; He invigorates our frame; and that strength should not be devoted to purposes of sin, and profligacy, and corruption. it is an act of high dishonor to God, when he gives us strength, that we should at once devote that strength to pollution and to sin.

(5) this rule is designed to be one of the chief directors of our lives. It is to guide all our conduct, and to constitute a “test” by which to try our actions. Whatever can be done to advance the honor of God is right; whatever cannot be done with that end is wrong. Whatever plan a man can form that will have this end is a good plan; whatever cannot be made to have this tendency, and that cannot be commended, continued, and ended with a distinct and definite desire to promote His honor, is wrong, and should be immediately abandoned.

(6) what a change would it make in the world if this rule were every where followed! How differently would even professing Christians live! How many of their plans would they be constrained at once to abandon! And what a mighty revolution would it at once make on earth should all the actions of people begin to be performed to promote the glory of God!

(7) it may be added that sentiments like that of the apostle were found among the Jews, and even among pagans. Thus, Maimonides, as cited by Grotius, says, “Let everything be in the name of Heaven,” that is, in the name of God. Capellus cites several of the rabbinical writers who say that all actions, even eating and drinking, should be done “in the name of God.” See the “Critici Sacri.” Even the pagan writers have something that resembles this. Thus, Arrian Ephesians 1:19 says, “Looking unto God in all things small and great.‘ Epictetus, too, on being asked how anyone may eat so as to please God, answered, “By eating justly, temperately, and thankfully.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
There were cases wherein Christians might eat what had been offered to idols, without sin. Such as when the flesh was sold in the market as common food, for the priest to whom it had been given. But a Christian must not merely consider what is lawful, but what is expedient, and to edify others. Christianity by no means forbids the common offices of kindness, or allows uncourteous behaviour to any, however they may differ from us in religious sentiments or practices. But this is not to be understood of religious festivals, partaking in idolatrous worship. According to this advice of the apostle, Christians should take care not to use their liberty to the hurt of others, or to their own reproach. In eating and drinking, and in all we do, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honouring him. This is the great end of all religion, and directs us where express rules are wanting. A holy, peaceable, and benevolent spirit, will disarm the greatest enemies.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 84

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Here is a principle which lies at the foundation of every act, thought, and motive; the consecration of the entire being, both physical and mental, to the control of the Spirit of God. The unsanctified will and passions must be crucified. This may be regarded as a close and severe work. Yet it must be done, or you will hear the terrible sentence from the mouth of Jesus: “Depart.” You can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth you. You are of that age when the will, the appetite, and the passions clamor for indulgence. God has implanted these in your nature for high and holy purposes. It is not necessary that they should become a curse to you by being debased. They will become this only when you refuse to submit to the control of reason and conscience. Restrain, deny, are words and works with which you are not familiar by experience. Temptations have swayed you. Unsanctified minds fail to receive that strength and comfort that God has provided for them. They are restless and possess a strong desire for something new, something to gratify, to please and excite the mind; and this is called pleasure. Satan has alluring charms to engage the interest and excite the imagination of the youth in particular, that he may fasten them in his snare. You are building upon the sand. You need to cry earnestly: “O Lord, my inmost soul convert.” You can have an influence for good over other young people, or you can have an influence for evil. 3T 84.1

May the God of peace sanctify you wholly, soul, body and spirit. 3T 84.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 65

Tea and coffee do not nourish the system. The relief obtained from them is sudden, before the stomach has time to digest them. This shows that what the users of these stimulants call strength is only received by exciting the nerves of the stomach, which convey the irritation to the brain, and this in turn is aroused to impart increased action to the heart and short-lived energy to the entire system. All this is false strength that we are the worse for having. They do not give a particle of natural strength. 2T 65.1

The second effect of tea drinking is headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling of the nerves, with many other evils. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” God calls for a living sacrifice, not a dead or dying one. When we realize the requirements of God, we shall see that He requires us to be temperate in all things. The end of our creation is to glorify God in our bodies and spirits, which are His. How can we do this when we indulge the appetite to the injury of the physical and moral powers? God requires that we present our bodies a living sacrifice. Then the duty is enjoined on us to preserve that body in the very best condition of health, that we may comply with His requirements. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 2T 65.2

You have a work to do to set your house in order. Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. You should make earnest efforts to discover your errors, and in the fear of God, relying upon His strength, put them away. Dear brother and sister, you need to reform in the matter of order. You should cultivate a love for neatness and strict cleanliness. God is a God of order. He will not sanction slack and disorderly habits in any of His people. In your dress, in your house, in all things, manifest taste and order. We are looked upon as a peculiar people. The dress reform is a striking contrast to the fashion of the world. Those who adopt this dress should manifest good taste and order and strict cleanliness in all their attire. The dress should not be adopted unless it is made right and arranged neatly. For we should seek not to disgust unbelievers by carelessness and slackness in our apparel, but should dress modestly, with reference to health and neatness, that our dress may commend itself to the judgment of candid minds. 2T 65.3

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 265

Begin Reform at the Foundation—Liquor drinking encourages the vilest debauchery and strengthens the most Satanic propensities.... As we face these things, and see the terrible consequences of liquor drinking, shall we not do all in our power to rally to the help of God in fighting against this great evil? At the foundation of liquor drinking lie wrong habits of eating. Those who believe present truth should refuse to drink tea or coffee, for these excite a desire for stronger stimulant. They should refuse to eat flesh meat, for this too excites a desire for strong drink. Wholesome food, prepared with taste and skill, should be our diet now. Ev 265.1

Those who are not health reformers treat themselves unfairly and unwisely. By the indulgence of appetite they do themselves fearful injury. Some may think that the question of diet is not important enough to be included in the question of religion. But such make a great mistake. God's Word declares, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” The subject of temperance, in all its bearings, has an important place in the working out of our salvation. Because of wrong habits of eating, the world is becoming more and more immoral.—Letter 49, 1902. Ev 265.2

Personal Labor for Intemperate—Missionary work does not consist merely of preaching. It includes personal labor for those who have abused their health and have placed themselves where they have not moral power to control their appetites and passions. These souls are to be labored for as those more favorably situated. Our world is full of suffering ones. Ev 265.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 114

After Christ rose from the dead, He proclaimed over the sepulcher, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Christ, the risen Saviour, is our life. As Christ becomes the life of the soul, the change is felt, but language cannot describe it. All claims to knowledge, to influence, to power, are worthless without the perfume of Christ's character. Christ must be the very life of the soul, as the blood is the life of the body.... 1SM 114.1

Those who are connected with the service of God must be purified from every thread of selfishness. All is to be done in accordance with the injunction, “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all” (Colossians 3:17) “to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). God's laws of justice and equity must be strictly obeyed in the transactions between neighbor and neighbor, brother and brother. We are to seek for perfect order and perfect righteousness, after God's own similitude. On these grounds alone will our works bear the test of the judgment.... 1SM 114.2

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