1) What is the primary purpose of the Church (global)?
2) What is the primary purpose of Christ's death?
How would you answer?
If you answered "to glorify God" for the first one, that's right!
If you answered "to atone for our sins" or something similar for the second one, you missed it.
But don't feel too bad - I missed it, too. Twelve years as a follower of Jesus, and I missed it.
It may be the rote Sunday School answer, but we've missed it.
Jesus' primary purpose for going to the cross
was to glorify God.
(John 12:27-28 - “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”)
And in a panic, you may be thinking: But what about John 3:16? Romans 5:8?
The fact that His PRIMARY purpose was for God's glory doesn't negate the truth that He came to die for our sin! But it simply means that the cross is not primarily about US - it is about HIM!
Well, Perspectives Class. If that isn't a game-changer.
When we get stuck on the mantras like "Jesus died for ME!" and "He had ME on His mind when He died!" and "Jesus thinks I'M worth dying for!" we make the gospel ME-centered...not God-centered.
Jesus Christ went to the cross so that the glory of God would be magnified. It's true that by His death, He atoned for our sin - and it is worth rejoicing over! We are eternally secure in His love (see Romans 8), and we are cleansed from our sins (See 1 John 1:9)! BUT IT IS NOT THE MAIN POINT.
When we fail to put the glory of God ahead of everything else, we miss the point. The Bible begins with God's glory on display as He created; it ends with God's glory on display as all the nations worship forever. And everything in between is about God's glory on display, through Israel and then to the ends of the earth!! His glory is the main point.
He saved us, not so that we could sit on the blessing of our redemption and glory thankfully in our own salvation, but so that we would run hard with His message into the midst of a world that doesn't know how glorious! majestic! holy! awesome! God is. THAT is why He died. So that He might make the glory of God known through us!!
Does that change things for you?! It should. It means that we, through no merit of our own, have all been called to partner with the living God to make His glory known through everything we do, say, think, and everywhere we go. It means that He saved us, not because we were worth dying for, but because His dying for us would magnify just how merciful, gracious, loving, just, longsuffering, and powerful He is.
If people are drawn to worship Jesus solely because He died for them - it is a self-centered worship.
If others see in our lives that Jesus is totally preeminent and glorious, they will worship Him solely because He is worthy to be worshiped, whether or not He died for us.
The speaker at our Perspectives class was a man named Bob Sjogren, from UnveilinGlory ministries - it is worth your time to check out the site.
And please, if you have a Perspectives class being offered near you, sign up and take it. Or beg them to coordinate one near you. It is a 15-week course about the glory of God, and it is worth the time invested!
I realize that I just tried to sum up 5 weeks of what I've learned in a rigorous course on the glory of the Lord in a short blog post. It's a lot to digest, and there will probably be more coming in the next couple months. But this is such a revolutionary idea to me that I couldn't keep it in! It is changing how I relate to my husband, to my children, to my family, to friends and total strangers. If I am not consistently concerned about bringing glory to the Father at all times, I am missing the point of my life. And I pray, desperately, that if you have never considered these things, that the Lord will prompt you to do all things for His glory and not stand still on the ground of your salvation while so many others just don't know how glorious He is!
I want everything I do in this life to be
for His glory!
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