Wednesday, October 5, 2005

The Reasons Christ Came... and Us

[Edit: improved the formatting]
Could you list your goals, your purpose in life? Keep it to yourself, be very honest.

Let us see for a moment why Jesus came on earth... and what this means for us.
1) Why Jesus Came on Earth
Reason #1: Accomplish God's will
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17)

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. (Jn 6:38)
-> Jesus wanted to do God's will in everything. The Law was pervasive to every aspect of our lives, and Jesus was to fulfill it.(Extra reading: Jn 5:43)
Reason #2: Salvation of All

But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9:13)

As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. (John 12:47)
-> Jesus was interested in the people who are sinners and acknowledge it, to bring them to salvation.
[...]the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)
(extra reading: Luke 9:50-56)
Reason #3: Service + New Life for Believers
-> Jesus was here to serve. He washed feet, he took care of the poor and needy, he healed and served to make people's lives better in a way that was beyond his salvation mandate.
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (John 12:46)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
(extra reading: John 1, 16:7)
-> Jesus came to bring people out of spiritual darkness. The light he gives us allows us to have a fulfilling life.
Reason #4: Persecution Because of His Teachings
I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! (Luke 12:49)
(see Mt 10:34)
-> Jesus knew that persecutions would come with the Church... and he was eager for it! Eager to see his teachings put in practice!
Reason #5: Teach us the Truth
"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." (John 18:37)
(see also Mark 1:38)
-> Bringing the truth to as much as possible was one of his objectives.

2) What it Means for Us: Renewal
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Co 3:16-18)
(Further reading Eph 4:11-13, Ro 8:28-29, Gal 3:19)
-> God's will for us is to become more like Christ.
-> There are many facets to this, but let's focus on this one
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (Jn 3:5-6)
-> We can do so only if we are born again.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
-> If we are born again by baptism, we are a new creation. How new? How does God want to use that to shape us?
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, (Romans 6:17)
(Further reading, Romans 2:29)
-> Our hearts are changed so that we want to be obedient.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is.his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
-> Matrix example
-> Renewing of the mind.
-> We are able to think more like God

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise. (Ps 51:12-17)
-> God loves our submitted hearts, and our human broken spirits
-> Willing spirit after forgiveness
-> Transformation and Grace creates the desire to share our faith, to praise God.
3) Conclusion
  • God wants to change us so that we act, feel, think more like Jesus.
  • How much are we thinking like him?
  • Recap: Do God's will, Salvation of all, Service, New/better life to others, Persecution, Truth
  • Share about how we are on this

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