And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Rom 8:28 NKJV
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
Eph 1:11 NKJV
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
2 Tim 1:9 NKJV
according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Eph 3:11 NKJV
Throughout scripture we see that God has purpose, intent, and plans for His creation to fulfill His desire and passion. We can also see that this intentional purpose was there before man was created, before the fall, before sin wrecked havoc on God's perfect creation.
So much of the church (the institution, teaching and theology) over the later part of the 20th century and into the 21st century has focused on the need to get / be saved, to meet God. In fact sometimes it appears that God is there to :
And while none of these things are false, you will note they are all about us, rooted in the idea that it's all about man's (and woman's) need. The messages we hear revolve around us, our needs, and if we are more mature, about the needs of our neighbours.
There is an inbuilt desire, for us to know our purpose. Why do we exist?
The church and her various catechisms have sought to answer this question, yet they are still framed in a created being (i.e. human), centric fashion.
A study of the word "purpose" and "will" throughout the Bible will see that the topic comes up a lot.
The Godhead has a purpose, and will see it come to pass - His purpose(s) will happen!
Then the question is, has this purpose changed? Did the fall of man, sin entering into the world, mean that God the Father had to come up with plan B?
Given that mankind blew it in the garden, destroyed the relationship they enjoyed in the garden prior to eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, one may think that everything had to change in order to restore that which was now broken.
The Gospel of John, Ephesians, and Colossians in particular expose the "before the foundation of the world" aspect of God's plan. God was not caught by surprise, He knew before He breathed His breath into our lungs and we became a living soul, that we would exercise our free will and choose to go our own way.
With the cross as the central point of reference, we are oriented around the solution to the brokenness we each see and experience.
The coming of the Son of God, the Son of Man, His birth, death and resurrection, is the pivotal event that created the new covenant. This absolutely critical moment in time was already planned and agreed to by the Godhead, and perfectly executed in every detail by Jesus Christ, the first-born among many more to come, as the church age is ushered in.
This focus on the suffering saviour, has an impact upon our perspective. It colours how we view and filter all that transpires in our world and lives. The cross, the shedding of blood, the resurrection are all vital and absolutely necessary for reconciliation and the forgiveness of our sin problem. There is no other way!
Yet it puts us at the centre.
Let me suggest that important as all that Jesus did, is, it all points to a much bigger purpose.
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgement is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
John 5:30 NKJV
But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me.
John 5: 36-37 NKJV
As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats me, he shall also live by me.
John 6: 57 NKJV
Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
John 7: 16-18 NKJV
For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.
Galations 2: 19 NKJV
So Jesus only did the Father's will, he did what the Father has purposed. His life was entirely intertwined with the eternal purpose of God. He lives by the Father, in the Father, and for the Father.
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Rom 6:9-13 NKJV
He lives (un)to God - present tense. The focus and purpose is not His own, even as an intrinsic part of the Godhead, He submits to the Father's will.
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Rom 11:36 NKJV
Paul sums up his discussion about the natural branch being broken off and a new branch being grafted in, the mystery of God's eternal plan to have full representation of His Kingdom on planet earth, moving from a people group - Israel, to a new construct - the church, to ultimately become His Son's bride, full of His glory.
Wow, yet still quite some way to go I think, so let's make sure we are appropriately informed and oriented so that we can walk in all that He has purposed.
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
2 Cor 5:15 NKJV
So just as Jesus died to Himself and lives forever at the right hand of the Father, we to are to die to ourselves and now live entirely for Him - Jesus.
No other option is presented in the Bible, yet few embrace this reality in their lives by becoming the disciples we are called to be.
So much of our time and effort is spent on the here and now, the physical life and body we currently inhabit.
Yet we must realise the need, dare I say, imperative that we must prepare for our sojourn in Heaven.
The Bible talks about rewards, crowns, and these are entirely related to what we do whilst here on earth.
Our entry to Heaven, our reconciliation to God is entirely a free gift of the grace and mercy of God. We cannot earn it or achieve this on our own, we cannot enhance it, it is a complete and finished work done by the firstborn, for our benefit.
However, our place, responsibility and position in Heaven are a reward and acknowledgement by God of what we have done with our free will offering to Him while we have the choice.
The time is coming when every knee will bow - no choice about it. Until that time, the Father is looking for those that have embraced the cross, died to themselves and now freely choose to live entirely for Him. To allow Him to develop His nature and character into our lives so we can represent Him authentically and accurately to the world, those looking for the revealing of the sons of God (Rom 8:19)
So much of current (2022) Christianity is about adding Christ into our lives, enjoying the benefits of salvation and redemption, but life continues day by day living unto ourselves. Most seem to be barely distinguishable from those around them that do not know Him (yet).
May I submit to you that this is not, never was, and never will be, what God has always had in mind.
So much of the New Testament talks about transformation, old man, new man, recognisably different from before.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done .....
There is a King, and He has all the attributes and rights of an absolute monarch. He alone is worthy, the only one able to fulfil that role and achieve what He had in mind when He said "let us make man in our image, according to our likeness"
He has always had an intention, a plan, and a destination in mind. It will come to pass, and we get to choose if we want to join up and become an intrinsic part of what he intends.
This time / space world we inhabit, is constructed to enable God to identify and prepare those that will become His bride, suitable for His Son. Our only contribution to this, is our choosing obedience and walking day by day led by the Spirit, as so perfectly modelled and demonstrated by Jesus.
We must become like Him. All we need for this transformation to occur is furnished by Holy Spirit and the Word.
Going to join up?
Interested in some more details about Eternal Purpose?