What distinguishes us, humans, from other biological entities is that mankind does have a higher purpose. If we do not search out that purpose, understand and fulfill it, then we would have lived a life no different from that of any ordinary beast.
THROUGHOUT HISTORY, many have asked the philosophical question “What am I here for?” If we were to examine what people spend their time and energy on, we could see that a great amount of resources is spent simply on sustaining their lives by doing everything to ensure that food, clothing, and shelter are provided for. Animals and human beings alike pursue their instinctive needs daily. The pursuit of such physiological needs is not a bad thing at all. However, what distinguishes us, humans, from other biological entities is that mankind does have a higher purpose. If we do not search out that purpose, understand and fulfill it, then we would have lived a life no different from that of any ordinary beast.
Unlike animals, man does have a higher purpose. That purpose is clearly stated by Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, thus:
“God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10 Good News Bible)
The higher purpose that God planned for mankind is that we should live to do good works.
The purpose of man’s existence
But many may have their own perception of which works or deeds are considered good. Hence, let us consult the Bible to determine what is good in the eyes of our Creator. What good works have we been created to do?
“So then, the Law itself is holy, and the commandment is holy, right, and good.” (Rom. 7:12 GNB)
What is good are God’s laws; thus, it is through understanding and fulfillment of such laws that we can serve our higher purpose. As human beings, we were created with the capability to be taught and to understand God’s laws, and to choose to obey and be guided by them as we live in this life. But why did God create mankind, give them understanding and then laws to follow? What did He intend man to be?
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Eph. 1:4-5 New King James Version)
His purpose is for us to become holy and perfect before Him in love.
Fulfilling our purpose
Someone might interject, “How could that purpose be fulfilled, when mankind is full of weaknesses and prone to commit sin?” People do have shortcomings and, on their own, are far from perfection; yet, God does expect mankind to become holy by fulfilling His purpose for us. Is God then asking something that is impossible for us to accomplish? Not at all, for His plan includes a way through which we can fulfill our purpose in spite of all our own human shortcomings:
“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.” (Eph. 1:5 New Living Translation)
His plan included our adoption as His children, that we may be brought near to Him and thus, be holy in His sight. But what is very noticeable in this verse is that this will be made possible not by ourselves, rather, through His Son, Jesus Christ. This brings up several questions such as: How can we be adopted as God’s children through Jesus Christ? Why must we be adopted through Jesus Christ? What does that have to do with fulfilling our higher purpose? How would it change our condition of being imperfect or our being sinners in the eyes of God? Notice the answer of Apostle Paul here in the Bible:
“All things are done according to God’s plan and decision; and God chose us to be his own people in union with Christ because of his own purpose, based on what he had decided from the very beginning. Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son!” (Eph. 1:11, 6 GNB)
Once being chosen in union with Christ, God’s purpose for us since the beginning can be fulfilled in us because through this, we receive the free gift of grace. What is this free gift of grace He has given those chosen to be in union with Jesus Christ? It is the wonderful gift of forgiveness, thus making us holy and enabling us to fulfill God’s purpose and original plan for us.
“For by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God, which he gave to us in such large measure! In all his wisdom and insight.” (Eph. 1:7-8 GNB)
We are set free from the bondage of our sinful nature. By ourselves, we can not fulfill the purpose of God that we become holy and faultless. We must first be adopted into His family, through His Son Jesus Christ. It is then that we are forgiven of our sins and mistakes and able to offer acceptable praise to God and worship Him, thus our purpose for being shall have been fulfilled.
Becoming worthy of God’s intention for us
We must therefore ensure that we will not waste the chance given to us to fulfill the very purpose for which we have been created. How can we do that? By allowing ourselves to be brought into union with Christ. Apostle Paul also spoke of this, in his letter to the Ephesians, thus:
“God did this according to his eternal purpose, which he achieved through Christ Jesus our Lord. In union with Christ and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God’s presence with all confidence. I beg you, then, not to be discouraged because I am suffering for you; it is all for your benefit.” (Eph. 3:11-13 GNB)
Being brought into union with Christ is essential for us to become holy, and thus fulfill God’s intended purpose for us. Does the Bible teach us the way to enter into union with Christ, and thereby become holy and fulfill God’s purpose? Here is the firm answer of the Holy Bible regarding this:
“By abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end.” (Eph. 2:15-16 Revised Standard Version)
We must become part of the one new man, because it is there where we can be reconciled to God, where the hostility caused by sin is brought to an end, and where we are forgiven for all of our weaknesses and sins for us to become holy and to emerge pure and worthy in the sight of God. This reconciliatory process can only happen in the body of Christ, and the body is the Church, which the Bible calls the Church Of Christ:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.”
(Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation)
“He is the head of his body, the church … .” (Col. 1:18 GNB)
What then should we all do? Let us take action. Conform to the plan of God, respond to His call, submit to His will to be part of the body of His Son, the Church Of Christ:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Rom. 8:28-29 New International Version)
Be part of God’s plan, fulfill your purpose:
“This was his plan from all eternity, and it has now been carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph. 3:11 NLT)
This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, February 2010 Issue.