Have you ever wondered why you are on planet earth?
Why were you born in the United States, rather than a Pacific island or a desert in Africa?
Why do you have the physical and mental attributes that define who you are?
I don’t know about you, but I believe that few people ask themselves these questions. Even though most of us don’t take time to reflect on the meaning of life, Paul does.
Grace and Purpose
Paul’s central message is the awesome message of God’s grace. Within the message of grace, we answer the question to why God has created us.
Ephesians 2.8-10 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God —
Not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we may walk in them.
We are what God has made us.
In a letter to the church in Corinth, Paul counseled people to accept their lives as given to them by God.
— 1 Corinthians 7.17-20 and 24 – However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you. This is my rule in all the churches.
Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision.
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but obeying the commandments of God is everything.
Let each of you remain in the condition in which you were called.
In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.
The message Paul gave to Jews and Gentiles was applied throughout his letters to people in various states of life.
How can we be free from envy? We can declare, “I am what God has made me.” The same belief will free us from pride and self-sufficiency.
Created in Christ Jesus for good works
Why did God create us? Why did he shower us with his abundant grace?
When Dallas Willard challenges people to live a Jesus-kind-of-life, he recognizes that this is logical fulfillment of why God has created us.
Many influential servants of the Lord read the Gospels every day. It is there that we learn from the teaching and behavior of Jesus what “good works” look like.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” is a famous saying attributed to Socrates. It is worth our time and energy to examine our lives.
We do well to seriously consider our place in the world. Why has God created us? What sort of contribution does God intend for us to have?
I think it is more important to read the Gospels and learn from Jesus’ teaching and actions what “good works” actually are.
The good news is that we don’t have to choose one or the other. We can think deeply about our lives and strive to live a Jesus-kind-of-life at the same time.
Rudy Ross and I have produced a YouTube video on this subject. You will enjoy Rudy’s thoughts on this passage. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.
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