Archive for March, 2010
Before a Christian can fully understand the significance of his calling and the impact of his service, he must answer 3 Big Questions. The answers to the first two questions are objective and based on Truth (i.e. the Scriptures), whereas the last one is subjective and based on circumstances. The 3 questions and their answers are as follow:
Q: What is a Christian’s purpose?
A: A Christian’s purpose is to glorify God:
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1Corinthians 10:31).
Q: How does a Christian glorify God?
A: One way which a Christian glorifies God is through the exercise of his or her gift(s) in the service of others:
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:8-11)
Since we’ve determined that our purpose in life is to glorify God through the exercise of our gifts, we now turn to the question which will help determine the particular context (i.e. church) of a believer’s ministry.
Q: Where can a Christian most effectively glorify God through the exercise of his or her gift?
A: A Christian can most effectively glorify God through the exercise of his or her gift within a local body of believers (i.e. body of Christ) who are united in mind & judgment:
“But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:24-27).
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Even a superficial reading of the Scripture reveals that God is more concerned with who we are and what we do than where we go. Therefore, before you determine the context of your service, ensure that you are united in “mind and judgment” with the prospective church. And when you join, remind yourself that God’s purpose for your life is to glorify HIM, and we accomplish this by exercising your gift in the service of others.
Kill Sin or Sin will Kill You
“If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell” (Jesus, Matthew 5:29-30)
“Either be killing sin or sin will be killing you” are the words penned by the great puritan writer of the 17th century, John Owen. Sin is destructive. Left untreated its contamination will consume and eventually destroy its victim. Dealing with sin is simple, as indicated by Jesus in Matthew 5:29-30. First, sin must be identified: “If your right eye causes you to sin.” Second, it must be destroyed: “pluck it out and cast it from you.” Jesus is not advocating the mortification of the body but rather the mortification of sin. If a man were to pluck out his eyes he could still lust in his mind, just as a man could steal with his left hand in the absence of his right.
Jesus’ teaching is simple; identify and destroy. Although we may fail to destroy sin, sin will not fail in destroying us: “it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”