The Purpose of the Christian Life

THE PURPOSE OF the Christian life is the doing of God’s will. Jesus himself came into the world to do the Father’s will; and he was so fully in harmony with the Divine will that he said, “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30) Again he said, “I came … not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38) The will of God in sending Jesus into the world was that he might become the Redeemer, and later, the Blesser of all the families of the earth, in harmony with the promise made to Abraham. The church has been called to association with Jesus in that loving purpose of blessing mankind during Christ’s millennial reign. Paul said: “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ … and if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Gal. 3:27-29

In order that Jesus might be fully capable of consummating the Divine purpose to bless all nations, he was highly exalted to the Divine nature, and to the right hand of the Majesty on high. And in order that members of the true church might enter into full association with Jesus in that same purpose of the Father, they, too, are invited to the same high position in the Divine realm. It is to this that the church is called—a holy service indeed!—to a sanctification, or setting apart to be ‘coworkers’ with God in the ministry of reconciliation.

Through our understanding of the Divine plan we know that the reconciliation of mankind, except one here and there, will not be accomplished until the establishment of the kingdom; nevertheless our ministry has its beginning now. The church is called to take part in that work by preparing herself for the work of the future. The Divine commission given to the church by Jesus himself was to witness to all the world to reach those whom God is selecting, and to build each other up in the most holy faith so they may ultimately be associated with Christ in his kingdom.—Mark 16:15; Jude 20; Acts 1:8

This imposes squarely upon every individual aspirant to the high calling a real test of unselfish love, the same deep love as that exemplified by God in the gift of his Son to be man’s Redeemer. Are we meeting that test? Surely it would be inconsistent to claim interest in God’s future program for blessing mankind, yet, at the same time, fail to be watchful for every opportunity to scatter blessings at the present time—especially for opportunities of laying down our lives for the brethren as the Holy Spirit has anointed us to do.


Much has been written in the past to define the word ‘love’, yet Jesus—by his life and death—has given us a practical illustration of love in such plain and unmistakable form as to make its meaning so clear that even the casual student of the ‘Christ life’ should be able to comprehend what true love is and does. Divine love, the supreme test upon the church, which the Apostle Paul declares to be the most important of all the Christian graces—being the sum of them all, and without which all else is futile—is not so much an emotional feeling, not a sentimental liking for someone who likes us. It is, rather, a plain, simple, practical manifestation of unselfish interest in all mankind, and especially in those whom God is preparing for a heavenly position in the kingdom. Jesus said: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”—John 15:13

Jesus did lay down his life, not only for his friends but for his enemies as well—even for the entire world of mankind. It was Jesus who said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) An even more specific and practical application of Divine love as it was manifested in the life and death of Jesus is found in the instruction that “we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (I John 3:16) In obedience to Jesus’ new commandment, and under the directing influence of the Spirit’s anointing, the disciples began at Pentecost the work of laying down their lives for the brethren.

Many devoted Christians throughout the Gospel Age have given us practical demonstrations of the fact that they met the supreme test which Jesus enjoined upon everyone who would claim to follow in his footsteps. They willingly put into practice that same Divine love which prompted the sending of Jesus into the world, and which inspired Jesus to adhere to his unswerving course of self-sacrifice from Jordan to the cross. This has been the inspiring spirit back of all the sacrifice and service of true Christians from that day to this.

As already noted, God’s purpose in calling the church, and anointing her to be associated with Jesus in the kingdom, is that she, together with Jesus, might be the channel of blessing to the sin cursed and long lost world. How reasonable it is, therefore, that the test of unselfish love which is involved in true Christian service is, and should be, the supreme test upon all who are aspiring to be associated with Jesus in his kingdom.


But how can we help our brethren? How can we lay down our lives for them? The answer is clear. Every feature of God’s purpose concerning the church has been accomplished by proclaiming the Gospel message. The apostles and others found this to be the Lord’s way of gathering saints, setting them free from human bondage and headships. This same Gospel will reach our brethren who need help now. It must, of course, be the entire Gospel, including those ‘exceeding great and precious promises’ which belong exclusively to the church.

It is difficult to grasp the magnitude of the opportunities for loving service that are now before the saints—the anointed. It is not a matter of attempting to accomplish some ‘wonderful work’. It is a plain, practical opportunity to lay down our lives for the brethren. Does not the anointing which we have received inspire us to do what we can?

But some will ask, What can we do? How can these brethren of ours be reached and helped? Today there are many avenues of service available—many ways of extending spiritual aid to those in need of it. Perhaps one of the most effective and direct means of assisting our brethren is by getting into personal contact with them. Let no one hastily conclude that personal contact is impossible. In many cities and towns there are isolated brethren to be found who will be glad to have opportunities to discuss the truth with others who have cause to rejoice therein.

Local newspaper notices advertising weekly Bible study meetings have in some instances been successful in reaching seekers for truth wishing to contact others also interested in Bible study. Mailing of “Hope” booklets to families of deceased listed in daily newspapers, and later inviting any responses to local Bible Studies, public meetings, or Sunday meetings. Ads addressing timely events, and offering comfort for disaster victims—those afflicted by such catastrophes as floods, earthquakes, or of man’s inhumanity to fellowman—wars, bombings, murders, and the like placed in newspapers offering booklets on such subjects as, “Why God Permits Evil,” “God’s Remedy for a World Gone Mad,” “Hope for a Fear-filled World,” “Life after Death,” etc.

To assist those who are in a position to engage in this direct method of service, an abundance of literature both for the consecrated and for the unconsecrated is available. Every other month The Dawn magazine carries a listing—two pages of books and booklets offered for very small prices, some even free of charge—given in the center pages of “The Dawn” magazine. Also the back inside cover advertises books available for Bible study classes from The Dawn, East Rutherford, NJ 07073. These are priced so all can afford them.

The radio and television programs, as well as public meetings have proved to be effective in reaching new brethren. But all of these means call for Christian cooperation by advertising them in local newspapers; assisting financially smaller classes which do not have the means for public witness efforts; placing tracts on store bulletin boards; typing articles, books, booklets on truth subjects for computer Web Sites; building up individual brethren through fellowship via E-mail, regular mail, or telephone visits; cards and letters are always welcome, especially at times of difficult trials such as the loss of a loved one, accidents, ill health, old age, etc. Every brother and sister in the Lord is needed and privileged to devote his or her entire being, while it is called day, to the task for which we were chosen—to the holy service of preaching the truth—using whatever methods suit us best.

A crisis is upon us! Many of the Lord’s people need help, having become bewildered and confused by events in the world, or by losing contact with the brethren. Some have temporarily lost sight of simple truths of the Divine plan, yet still love the Lord. We must not hesitate to throw our entire being, our time, talents, means, strength—our all—in to the accomplishment of the Divine purpose for us of encouraging our brethren in these ‘last days’.

Any little sacrifice to comfort the brethren—and all mankind—is a glorious privilege! There is one effort which we each can make every day of our lives. It is to remember at the throne of grace each prospective member of the church throughout the world. Pray without ceasing!—I Thess. 5:17

Dawn Bible Students Association
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