When it comes to asking what is God’s purpose for us, we could turn to just about any book of the bible to find the answer to that question. We have established throughout these messages that our main purpose is “to know him and the power of his resurrection…” (Philippians 3:10). This statement of Paul’s undergirded his own life, ministry and love for Jesus, and it can do the same for us.
Having purpose is our aim, goal, objective or plan. What do I need to do, to purpose, to live my Christian life daily so that “in all things, God might be praised”?
Four responses from Ephesians 4:
Our purpose is to Respond to His Grace
Our purpose as we attempt to comprehend grace should be nothing else than what translates into profound thankfulness in a life of worship; our lives being one big long thank you! It means that we should recognize how much our place in God’s favour deserves from us. How we live will be evidence of how much we appreciate God’s grace.
Our purpose is to Respond to His Grace in Unity
Paul says “make every effort”. Work and effort required on our part, even though unity is Spirit born. How are we to keep this Unity of the Spirit? Humility through patience, and gentleness through enduring. As Christians, we’re able to do this when we’re consciously aware of the enormity of the debt we owed God, were it not for his amazing grace.
Our unity is to be a reflection of the person of God himself. It was what Jesus himself prayed for, for us, it is complete unity, it is good and pleasant and that’s where God commands his blessing.
Our purpose is to Respond to His Grace in Ministry
Every member of the body of Christ is to minister to the body of Christ. Every Christian is gifted by Christ with various measures of grace. We are recipients of grace in salvation (we receive), but also for ministry (we respond). And this grace, given by Christ, is given in the ‘amount’ he chooses, according to his purposes to get HIS work done by the (His) body.
Our purpose is to Respond to His Grace in Growth
Jesus, is working, moving to build his church, and he is the supplier of power to the body. How, are we receiving that power, and working together as his body, to do what Jesus the head wants us to do? In our corporate prayer and praise, prayer gatherings, in our small groups, café connect, through our hospitality. These are all occasions where every one of us exercises our gifts, we minister to each other in the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the whole body is focussed on Jesus, the body matures and becomes more like Jesus. The effect is that the members of the body grow and are strengthened. Maturity in Jesus increases our awareness of sin, which results in the little, subtle, worldly and harmful ways and habits that creep into our lives being mitigated. e.g. ungodly ways we would have tended to handle issues between each other.
Ephesians 4:1-16 is a description of our God-ordained purpose, of how the body must work together. Be encouraged, see the Lord and what he has called you to. Begin today to appreciate his grace, activate his grace, respond to his grace, in your life; that’s your purpose – in unity, in ministry and in your growth.