Last week during our worship gathering we took time to discuss the purpose of the gospel. Most of our time was spent fleshing out the truth that God’s ultimate purpose is to restore all of creation to a place of sinless perfection. This will be a place where we will experience unadulterated truth, beauty, and goodness. A place, as the Jesus Storybook Bible perfectly describes it, “where everything that is sad becomes untrue.”
I heard at a mixure of at least twenty police, fire, and ambulance sirens over the the course of about 7 hours yesterday. Those sirens won’t have a place in the new heavens and new earth.
If we are in Christ, then this is our sure and certain future. The question then is: "How does that truth empower us to live today?"
C.S. Lewis says this:
“If you read history you will find out that the Christians who did the most for the present age were just those who thought most of the age to come . . . The conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in the present one."
Since God’s purpose is redemption, what does that mean for our purpose today? Based on your schedule this week, what was your purpose? What would others say your purpose is?
This week, we will continue this conversation. Because we have been given a new identity, we are now free to live our lives in a new way.
What is this new way?
I’m glad that you asked.
It’s the way that shows the world that:
WE ARE FAMILY.
Since God is our Father, we love one another as brothers and sisters.
WE ARE MISSIONARIES.
Since Jesus was sent by the Father to share and show the gospel, He sends us with the power of His Spirit to do the same, (and even greater things than He did!).
WE ARE SERVANTS.
Since Jesus is our King who serves us in our ultimate need, we serve Him by serving the least of these.
WE ARE DISCIPLES.
In times of joy, doubt, frustration, suffering and loss, following Jesus means that we are committing to trusting that He is the Lord over all. We follow, and bring all of our lives under his authority because He is good, right and perfect.
It’s not difficult to see that living our lives out of these identities would dramatically change the world around us.
If you are a follower of Jesus, which one of these gospel identities do you have the most trouble believing to be true about yourself? Further, who has the Lord providentially placed in your life that could be served by the overflow of your believing these identities actually describe you? (Think names and faces).
We will tread deeping into these waters this Sunday morning.
Until then, I’d love to hear your thoughts.