~ Agathos Church is a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio. This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Pastor Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, What is our purpose?, by clicking here.
What is our Purpose?
God’s will for your life is reconciliation, transformation, and duplication. The vast majority of us are not living inside of this truth and as a result are robbing ourselves of the great joy that God has for us. It is of great importance that we understand what our purpose is to be and then to step into it! So . . . What is our purpose? Why are we here?
- To glorify God!
- To be filled with His joy!
- To love people!
Even though God’s purpose for us is clear, we can choose if we will walk in it. You are born. You live. And you die. But God has given us great freedom – such that we can choose however we want to live our life. But with that great freedom comes great responsibility. We can choose how we want to live our lives, but our eternity will be determined by how we chose to live our life. Even where we will spend eternity (Heaven or Hell) is determined by how we live our life . . . if we have chosen to accept God’s salvation plan into our lives. If we have made that wise choice – to receive Jesus – nothing is going to ever take that away.
That said, even those who have received salvation will receive differing degrees of rewards for their work here on earth. This is what the judgment seat of Christ is for (2 Cor. 5:10). The judgement seat of Christ is not about going to Heaven or Hell – our full-access pass into Heaven is based completely and solely on the finished work of the Cross – and us accepting His work on our behalf. But the rewards we receive in Heaven (once we are there based on Christ’s work) will be based on our work as a believer! We must not forget this! The judgement seat of Christ is there to determine our position and situation in Heaven. The fire of God will come down from the judgement seat of Christ to determine which of our works will remain – will stand the testing with fire. We (ourselves) will of course be saved from that fire because we are actually Jesus’ workmanship (Eph. 2:10), but the rest of the works are up to us.
It is a beautiful thing to step into the life that God has for us! Glorifying God, being filled with His joy, and loving people is the greatest life any of us can experience. Any other life is a beggar’s element by comparison! Everything that is outside of God’s will for our life is similar to eating out of the trash can outside a fine restaurant. Anything that is based on the world’s provision is a beggar’s portion – compared to what God has for us! God created us with a purpose! God did not create us to DO – only. The principal reason He created us was for you – for Him to have relationship with you! But, He did not create you without a purpose! God has a plan for your life! Do you believe that? Let’s look a bit more at the elements of His purpose for you:
To Glorify God
Isa 43:7 says “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” God has created us for His glory! “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6:20) We can glorify God with even our physical body. Phil. 1:19-20 shares this heart of Paul “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” When Paul says “to magnify” is the same as saying “to glorify.” Paul is saying that the purpose of His life is that Christ would be glorified or magnified! Paul even wanted his death to bring glory to God.
1 Cor 10:31 makes it all the more clear: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” That just says it. Do ALL to the glory of God! The raising of your children, how you work with your co-workers, the way you treat the cashier, the man on the streets, your thought life on your own . . . whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God! It is easy when you are alone to let your guard down when you are talking to the tele-marketer, when you are driving in heavy traffic . . . but God said He will never leave you nor forsake you. The Lord is at hand – be gentle to everyone! (Phil. 4) No matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, the Lord is there. Loving you. He is there. Don’t ever forget that!
To be filled with His joy!
In John 15, Jesus was giving instructions to His disciples. And in verse 11, He tells them why He is giving them these instructions: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” God’s will for you walking in His ways is that your joy would be full!
John 15:7-8 says “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” God gets glorified when you get what you want! God gets glorified when we get what we desire! Ps 37:4 echoes this “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Think about this (as a parent): do you feel glorified / magnified when your children are depressed, dirty, etc.? Does that make you look good as a parent in the eyes of other people? On the other hand, if your child is full of joy, cleanly dressed, engaging of others around them, etc. . . does that make you look good or bad in front of other people? When your children are doing well, it glorifies the parent! When they do badly, it is disparaging to the parent. Look back at verse 7 . . . our desires have been purified because we are abiding in His Word. We are lined-up with His will. And when you are lined-up, ask what you will and it will be done for you! You will be healed, healthy, well! You will be prosperous; you will be filled with joy! You will be filled with wisdom, knowledge, understanding – able to counsel others – able to help others! You will be that oak of righteousness – that tree that birds can come and nest under your shade!
YOU HAVE in order TO GIVE!
Your life isn’t a life that is parasitical and constantly taking from other people because you haven’t received the provision that your Father has for you! No, you have a life that’s given to Him! A life that has been devoted to Him – spending time, getting to know Him. Fellowshipping with Him. You’re in agreement with Him. You say “Father, I ask You for this” and it’s done! You receive the Father’s provision. Your life is blessed and people see it on you. They see your joy, wisdom, and confidence and ask you such things as “what drugs are you on?” or “where do you get that wisdom?” or “how do you never get flustered by anything?” Do know what your life is doing for the Father when people are asking you questions like that?!?
YOU ARE GLORIFYING HIM!
This is why it is paramount that we spend our lives glorifying God. God is always aware of our thoughts, emotions, what you are watching, etc. It is not about legalism – it is actually a beautiful thing that God is always with us! He is smiling! God will not condemn us if we look at something we shouldn’t, because Jesus took care of that on the Cross. The trouble with it is that is our heart will condemn us. In 1 Jn 3 it says “And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (verses 19-22) We want to keep our conscience pure before God – because in so doing we are protecting our joy! Our joy is tied to our conscience and a pure conscience is the gateway to joy! When our heart is sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, we approach His throne with confidence! (Heb. 10:22) A pure conscience equals great confidence towards God and when we approach His throne, we are in His presence . . . and in His presence is fullness of joy!!! (Ps 16:11)
When our conscience is clear, it makes room for the joy of the Lord! When we harbor unforgiveness towards someone, we are actually constantly defiling our conscience. Now, if you are doing so, God is not condemning you – your heart is condemning you and you won’t have confidence towards God – which will rob you of your joy. Jesus has dealt with all of your sin. But, sin is not without consequence. We are feeling the effects of sin when we sin, so it is not wise to continue in sin and we need to be done with it so that our joy may be full!