Saturday, September 27, 2008

God's purpose

We hear a lot about what our personal purpose is. Especially in Evangelical congregations over the past several years we've had a lot of "purpose-driven" activities to learn our purpose.

Rick Warren made this popular with his book. His book begins, "It's not about you." That's true. It's about the "bride of Christ." As the Apostle's Creed calls it, the "catholic church."

But our contemporary Evangelical worldview is very much centered around the individual. God's purpose is for you. He made the world for you. He sent his Son for you. He saved you. All of this is for you.

This is contrary to the Biblical story, which is about God. All things are by Him and for Him. From Him, through Him and to Him.

Israel was His nation, called by His name, set apart for His glory. The new Israel, the Church of the Lamb, is also called for His works, for His adoration, for His pleasure.

I think with a tweak in our language we can learn to better serve God rather than our own self-interests. Christ, as our example, gave up his position of authority, and became the servant of man, identified with man (Son of Man), and died for man. This example is given to us so that we would serve one another.

The greatest commands, according to the Savior, is to love God. The second command is to love your neighbor. These two commands are so intertwined in the example of Jesus that we should be willing and ready to serve God by serving each other.

Paul said we should submit to one another, in godly love.

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