Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Christ's Goals, Our Purpose, God's Glory (Part 2)

As I stated in my previous post, one of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 2:12-13.  You might remember that I referenced two questions that could and should be asked about this text when considering the surrounding context.  They are, "What does it mean to work out your salvation?" and "What is the purpose of working out your salvation?"  It is this second question to which I would like to speak.

So, "What IS the purpose?" 
To answer this I want to look at the three concepts listed in the title of this post: Christ Goals, Our purpose, and God's Glory.  I will probably break these up into three posts with a fourth post that will hopefully reconcile them all under an emphasis on God's enabling grace.  This is in order to flesh them out appropriately and still strive to keep the length that I have committed to aim for.

Purpose in Christ's Ministry
We'll start with what Christ's goal in ministry were.  When Jesus began his ministry, it is recorded in Luke 4:18-19, that he opened the scrolls and read from Isaiah 61 which states, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good new to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  This scripture is, in essence, Christ's purpose statement for His whole ministry. However, it does not sum up the purpose of His death and resurrection.

Purpose in Christ's Death and Resurrection(Our Redemption)
One obvious purpose of Jesus's death and resurrection was to pay the price for the sins of the world and remove the guilt of that sin by becoming the object of God's wrath toward that sin(Romans 3:25, Romans 5:9-11, Isaiah 53:4-6) so that we might have eternal life through Him(John 3:16, 1 John 4:9).  In this God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us(Romans 5:8)  

Purpose in Christ's Death and Resurrection(God's Glory) The other purpose for Christ death and resurrection was to return back to God, the Glory of His name that had been defamed by the disobedience of generations past, in addition to Jesus himself being glorified(John 12:27-28, 17:1-5).  This is right because Christ and the Father are one(John 10:30).

The most blatant expression of God foreshadowing our salvation through Christ, for the primary purpose of defending the glory of His own name, is Ezekiel 36:16-32.  One of the central passages of the expression of God's purpose for redemption, that is  found in the previous reference, is Ezekiel 36:22-23.  In it God declares, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.  And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations and which you have profaned among them.  And the nations will know that I am the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes."
In Summary
So, Christ's goals and purposes in life were, disciple making and gospel proclamation and demonstration of the truth of His gospel.  Christ's goals and purposes in death are eternal life made available as an expression of God's love via the price Jesus paid for our sins and; the satisfaction of God's wrath toward those sins by Christ on the Cross. The other purpose, of equal importance, for of Christ's death and resurrection is the vindication of the holy name of the one and only true, living, and holy, God. 

I pray you will really meditate on these facts, study the scripture references provided, and perhaps gain a new, if not fresh revelation of what Christ did for you on the cross and just how important it is for you to glorify God the Father and Christ the Son in all that you say and do.

In Jesus name,


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