The Gospel and God’s Purpose

Why are we on earth? Why were we created?

1. The desire for the Eternal

Ecc 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its own time; also He has planted eternity in their heart”

Deep inside every human being there is a deep longing to live for a higher purpose and have a life full of meaning. The Bible reveals that God planted eternity in the heart of man: a mysterious sense of divine purpose that nothing under the sun can satisfy except God. The longing for the eternal is like a deep craving in the depths of our being that causes us to feel empty inside until it’s satisfied. This emptiness leads human beings to fill their lives with material things: money, education, career, relationships, drugs, sports and many other things. However, the more they try to fill the crave within with material things the emptier they feel. This is because the vacuum within is God-shaped and nothing material will fit.

2. Man was designed to be a vessel

Gen 2:7 – “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” 1Th 5:23 – “And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God made man according to His image and likeness and intimately designed him with three distinct parts: a body, a soul and a spirit (1 Thes 5:23, Heb 4:12). Each part of man has a special function and is made to filled with specific content. The outward part, the body, contacts the physical realm and receives physical things (such as food). The soul, a deeper part of man which involves his personality and intellectual capabilities, was made to contact the phycological realm and has the ability to contain knowledge and substantiate feelings. The human spirit, the deepermost part of man, was made to communicate with God (John 4:24) and ultimately to receive God (1 Cor 6:17-19, 2 Tim 4:22, Rom 8:16) . The breath of life, mentioned in Gen 2:7, became man’s spirit (Prov 20:27) and is the gate through which God flows into our being and fills us with His life..

3. Sin corrupting man

Rom 5:12 – “Therefore just as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin, death; and thus death passed on to all men because all have sinned”

After creation man misused the gift of free will and chose to partake of a source which had been forbidden by God: the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God declared that the day we would eat of such tree we would surely die. While the disobedience of Adam was forgiven, the eating of the fruit brought in the foreign element of sin to the human race. This made man’s nature to be corrupted causing us do things contrary to God’s nature and our own desires (Rom 7:16-18). Sin created a separation between God and man: “your iniquities have become a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face” (Isa 59:1-2). This separation from God is the reason for the brokenness we see in the world such as disease, disasters, wars and pain.

4. God’s Redemption

While God’s original plan had been frustrated, He never gave up on His purpose for man. He made us for Himself and His love constrained Him to rescue us. This caused Him to give up his divine privileges and humble Himself in the form of man (John 1:14, Phil 2:7-8). He came on earth to show us His love, to serve us and to redeem us back to God’s original intention. For 33.5 years, Jesus lived a perfect life (1 Pet 2:22): He healed the sick, casted out demons and announced the gospel to the poor (Luke 7:22, Matt 9:27-33). His love captivated many hearts and His truth brought conviction to sinners. Many hearts were melted and people followed Him from everywhere. However, Jesus knew that unless He died men could not be saved (John 12:24). Without the shedding of blood there was no possibility for the forgiveness of sins (Heb 9:22). Thus, He willingly went to the cross to die and shed His blood. Through His work on the cross He took away the sin of the world (Eph 1:7, John 1:29) and redeemed His people back to God (Acts 20:28, Rev 5:9). His death removed the separation from God. Then on the third day He rose from the dead and “became” a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor 15:45). After His resurrection He soon visited His disciples to breathe into them the Holy Spirit (John 20:22) and thus fulfill the mystery of God’s eternal purpose which is to have union with man (Col 1:26-27).

5. The 4 steps of the Gospel: Salvation and Empowerment

Act 2:38 - And Peter said to them, Repent and each one of you be baptized upon the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Christ now calls us to take 4 steps in response to what He has done for us. They are are all summarized in Acts 2:36-38, the first time the gospel was preached shortly before His resurrection. The 1 st step is to believe that He is our Savior and call on His name from a pure heart ((John 3:16; John 1:12-13, Rom 10:9-11). After believing the 2 nd step is to repent of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38, Luke 5:32). Repentance means to regret our former ways, confess them to God and have a change in direction. After believing and repentance Jesus “commands” us to be baptized (Mark 16:16, Matt 28:19). Baptism is the 3 rd step into God’s salvation and the full entrance into the kingdom (John 3:5, 1 Pet 3:21). It is through baptism that we bury our old man, our past and we cut off the power of sin over us (Rom 6:4-6, Col 2:11-12). Through repentance and baptism we are fully transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God (Col 1:13, Exo 14). It is after we come out of the water that we are born again and we become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17, Rom 6:4-5, Gal 6:15). Baptism immerses us into a deep union with Christ (Gal 3:27) and His Body, the family of God (1 Cor 12:13). After obeying the command to be baptized God promises to give us His Holy Spirit as our power and authority to carry out the kingdom work (Luke 3:16, Acts 9:17-18, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:5-6). Believing and baptism bring us the life of God. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, the 4 th step, empowers us to flow out that life to the world and destroy the works of the enemy (John 7:38-39, Matt 4:1-11, John 16:33, Heb 2:14)

6. Transformation

Rom 8:28-29 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers;”

After following through with the 4 steps of the gospel, God lays a solid foundation in a believer’s life to begin a lifelong process of transformation. Salvation from hell is by faith and not out of works (Eph 2:8-9). However, the full salvation plan of God is not complete after the 4 steps of the gospel. That is just the beginning (Gal 4:19). God wants His life to fill us completely so that we are made to be just like Him (Rom 5:10, Rom 8:29, Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 3:18). For this to take place it requires that we obey His commands and cooperate with the leading of the Holy Spirit (Phil 2:12, John 14:15, 21; James 2:17). Every day the more we open to God, yield to His voice and learn to live in oneness with Him, the more His life spreads from our spirit to transform our soul. Every act of obedience affords God to gain more ground in our soul. Over time this cooperation with God will organically change us from within. His virtues of love, mercy, patience, joy, faithfulness and kindness will increasingly be formed in us until we are wholly conformed to His image and fully reflect His glory.

2 Co 3:18 - But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.