A New Purpose

KEY VERSE: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” —Acts 1:8

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Mark 6:7-13; Acts 1:6-11

JESUS, even in his pre-human existence as the Logos, always had one purpose in mind and this was to do those things which were pleasing to his Heavenly Father. In Proverbs 8:30 the writer, moved by God’s Holy Spirit, wrote of the relationship that existed between the Logos and the Heavenly Father, “Then I was by him, as one brought up with him [a master workman, margin], and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.” His purpose did not change when the Logos came to earth as the man Jesus, who said of himself, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me;” and again, “He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” (John 6:38; 8:29) Then the Apostle Paul, speaking of Jesus and his ministry while here on earth, said, “Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, … that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Phil. 2:8-11

The real purpose of our Lord never changed, and this was true even in the suffering the Heavenly Father permitted him to endure. The prophet spoke of Jesus, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.” (Isa. 53:7) The Apostle Paul tells us why it was necessary for Jesus to have these experiences. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience [to be submissive under difficult and trying circumstances] by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect [complete] he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”—Heb. 5:8,9

To the Christian who elects to endeavor to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, there must be a profound change of purpose in his life. Unlike Jesus, who was perfect, all of Adam’s offspring are imperfect, and have by inheritance a deep desire for self-preservation. This is because of Adamic condemnation —they have been cut off from the source of life and security—the Heavenly Father. The desire for self-preservation finds expression in selfishness, greed and pride. To be acceptable to the Heavenly Father, this attitude of heart and mind must be reversed.

The Apostle Paul describes this change as follows: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” (II Cor. 5:17,18) The apostle tells us that we have been reconciled to God—justified—by the ransom price provided by Jesus. This means that from God’s standpoint we are considered as perfect, and even though we are unable to perform perfectly, the Heavenly Father graciously considers the will and heart’s desire for the deed. (Rom. 7:23-25) But he expects that we will make every effort to correct our faults and evil propensities of the flesh.—Rom. 12:2

Just as Jesus was required to suffer in order to prove his submissiveness under difficult and trying circumstances, so also his footstep followers are required to suffer for the same reason. The apostle states, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom. 12:1) To be a living sacrifice requires the complete yielding of the will, all personal aims, ambitions, desires, and accepting instead the will and purpose of God. When we have been accepted by the Heavenly Father and justified, he begets us of the Holy Spirit. The enlightenment of mind that results makes us know what God’s will is for us. (I Cor. 2:10,12) From the scriptures quoted above we learn that one of the new purposes we have is to preach the Gospel of reconciliation, but more than this, we have the responsibility of ministers—that is to be servants of the Lord in all things—especially to the household of faith.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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