God’s people then and now: Their purpose

God has had many purposes for his people then and now. God chose to bless all nations through Abraham. God commissioned Israel to be a kingdom of priests serving others. As those who had witnessed God’s power and love, God commissioned Israel to announce to the nations his greatness, thus drawing others to God. A theme emerges from these beginnings revealing God’s love for all people. 

God’s inclusive concern for all people continues today. It involves nothing less than uniting the things of heaven and earth under Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10). Yet before God’s people can fulfill their role in this grand plan, God would have to act.

The enemy’s tool, sin, had separated people from God justifiably causing them to fall under wrath. However, through Christ’s blood God can unite humanity with the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:1-9). It even produces a unity enabling everyone in Christ “to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22).

Having provided both the foundation as well as the tools for a unified people, God instructs his newly created community to do good (Ephesians 2:10). This entails preserving the unity God has created by living in holy ways as well as embracing the rest of Christ’s body. And of course, God desires his people to function as ambassadors spreading the good news about Christ that all might become his people. They are to proclaim the virtues of the one who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light.

God has provided us meaningful lives anchored in the eternal. As long as we live out our lives fulfilling God’s purposes for us, we avoid ephemeral activities that ultimately collapse under the observation, “‘Futile! Futile! Absolutely futile! Everything is futile!’ (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

 

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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