PURPOSE SERIES INTRODUCTION NOTES
Everything God has ever made, he made with purpose. Although things can be misused, all things have a true purpose.
Take for example a fishing pole. If you cast it into a tree in an attempt to catch birds, you’re going to have a bad time right? It’s not being used for its intended purpose, sure you might snag a bird every once in a long while… but you would have a much less stressful much more enjoyable time by casting it into water to catch fish.
Or take for example a wooden bow and arrow. If you break the bow and arrow apart in order to use as fuel in a fire… you’ll get a fire from it but it could have been used for its original purpose and brought you many meals. In both of these cases, an in all cases with all things, we will be happier if we use things within the realm of their purpose.
Just as when a man creates something with purpose, that man gives instructions on how to use it and what it was made for… God too, when He creates something, gives instructions on how to use it and what it’s purpose is. God gives all things purpose.
Today we’re going to take a closer look at 4 major creations of God, and discover what their purpose is; The Word, The Christ, The Church, and The Christian. What you will find amazing is, although they each have their own various roles, they are unified in purpose. They all share a common goal.
New series, today is an overview, each week starting from our soft launch to our official launch will go into each topic in depth.
- The Word
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” – Rom 13:8-10
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Gal 5:14
Fulfilling the Law aka loving thy neighbor, defined:
Good Samaritan (instruction manual, purpose defined)
“25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:25-37
John provides further evidence of what true Love for thy neighbor looks like:
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”- 1 John 3:16-18
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12
So we see The Word, or The Law, is fulfilled by Loving Our Neighbors, we love our neighbors through acts of generosity and selflessness, treating them as we would want to be treated if we were in their shoes. Therefore Love Thy Neighbor in action is what God and His Word, The Law, calls “Good Works” or “Good Deeds”.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Tim 3:16-17
ALL SCRIPTURE’S PURPOSE IS TO EQUIP US FOR GOOD WORKS!
- The Christ
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it…
…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1-5, 14
So the Word became flesh, aka Jesus Christ, and if The Word leads us to do good deeds for others… what do you think Jesus did?
Well he came to save the world…
“…For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” – John 12:47
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:17
and how did He go about saving the world?
“[You know] how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” – Acts 10:38
He went about doing good deeds, truly loving His neighbors, to the point of His death on the cross.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:12-13
Therefore we must ask, what was the purpose of it all? Jesus became flesh, went about doing good deeds, acted out the greatest act of love mankind has ever seen on the cross… but what was it all for?
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” – Titus 2:11-14 NIV
“…to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” ESV
“…to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” NLT
Just like The Word, Jesus’ purpose for coming was to save and create a people eager to do good deeds.
- The Church
If only we had a book that kinda showed what the first church did right? What better place to find the purpose of the church than in The Book of Acts?
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” – Acts 4:32-37
In fact, good works were so important to the first church that when Paul was called to start gentile churches, the Disciples had one requirement for Paul and each church to practice…
“For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” – Gal 2:8-10
As Paul was charged by Peter, James, and John, so too Paul charged Timothy and the Church at Ephesus to remember their purpose.
“In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ…
… Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” – 1 Tim 6:17-19
When Paul wrote to Titus, he said this regarding the purpose of Jesus and His Church…
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.” – Titus 3:3-8 ESV
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT
The purpose of the church therefore is the same as The Word and The Christ… to do good works in order to help lead people to the love of Jesus and Our Heavenly Father.
- The Christian (The recipient of Grace)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” – John 15:5-17
See, we are branches, who must bear much fruit so that others will know we are disciples. The fruit we must bear is love. Love for God and Neighbor. The fulfillment of The Word. The Demonstration of Jesus to others. The proof of our Faith. Love.
From the verses earlier we know that love for God and neighbor is demonstrated by good deeds.
In fact, John teaches us that good works are how we act out love for others.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18
James shows us that our good works prove our faith in Jesus is genuine.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” – James 2:14-19, 24
Hebrews shows us that our good works please our Father.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” – Heb 13:6
Paul teaches us that our good works demonstrate our gratitude to God for salvation.
“ This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” – 2 Cor 9:12
Jesus teaches us that our good works bring glory to Our Father.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matt 5:16
And finally in Ephesians we discover, Good Works are our purpose now that we have been saved by Jesus.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Eph 2:8-10
Our purpose is to be loved and to love. Our love, just as Christ’s love towards us, is best demonstrated in doing good deeds for one another.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Rom 5:8
The Word, The Christ, The Church, and The Christian… we all have a common purpose. To love and to demonstrate that love by doing good deeds. Our good deeds then bring glory to God, leading others to Jesus, demonstrate our gratitude for Jesus, they please our Father, and finally they prove the authenticity of our faith.
You were created to do good deeds. It is your purpose, and if we will eagerly and enthusiastically fulfill that purpose… God will see to it to bless us and favor us for all of eternity as we build up our treasures in Heaven rather than on Earth.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain
GUARANTEE OF BLESSING FOR DOING GOOD WORKS
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” – 2 Cor 9:6-15
Why does/will Ormond Church talk about Good Works SO MUCH? Because…
All scripture leads us to it
Jesus commands us to do it
The church demonstrated doing it
The Christian is created and destined to do it
But ultimately, it is because it is the method God has chosen to demonstrate His love to others, to show them what Jesus is like, and to bring them to salvation through Christ. Good works glorify our Father, and help lead our neighbors to Jesus. That is their purpose. That is The Words purpose, that is The Christs purpose, That is The Church’s purpose, and that is The Christian’s purpose. That is yours and mines purpose… to love our neighbors by doing good works.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matt 5:14-16