Summary: This sermon helps us identify and consider what our purpose is first as a community of faith and secondly as individuals.
One of the most helpful things for us in life is to have a clear understanding of our purpose in life.
A purpose gives us clarity of why we do some things and not others.
A purpose helps us understand who we are and where we are going.
A purpose helps us prioritise and determine what is helpful and what is not.
And as we get closer towards a year of evangelism
understanding our purpose first as a community of believers is important,
then we will be able to see our purposes as individuals.
It will help us share clearly who we are and importantly who God is calling us to be.
Unfortunately though when it comes to being a community of believers, otherwise called the church
many people are not clear about what God says the church’s purpose is.
And therefore they find it difficult to see what their purpose is individualise.
But the Good News is God has said to each of us he does have a plan for us.
From Jeremiah 29:11 we hear
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
This passage has been interpreted in many ways,
however I encourage you to listen to the context what God’s purpose for us is
10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. b I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
God purpose for us is to be people who He saves.
People who live as His saved people.
And this is the message of Ephesians chapter 1:3-14
Our purpose is not orientated around what we do,
or what we need to achieve but rather what God has achieved
But what God is creating for us, giving us and doing for us.
It is from God’s actions that our purpose in life flows.
Who we are, how we are meant to act,
How we work, live, play flows from what God’s doing for us.
In other words who we are meant to be as individuals and as a community is primarily shaped by God.
Not by community expectations
Not by what we think church and life should be
But by God
Story…of someone who relies on God’s efforts.
Ephesians 1 verse 3 says
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Every blessing we have in life comes through Christ.
Think about how you have been blessed.
Many of us think of material things, family, special occasions, the opportunities, who we are.
These are all from God.
But our blessings from God extend beyond what we see and help us right now.
In fact verses 4 through to 10 identify some essential blessings God is giving us as a community
Blessings which should influences how we relate to God
To each other
And to the wider community
Verses 4 through 10 clearly display to us that God’s actions through Christ result in us being:
Blameless and perfect
Being made a member of God’s family
Having our sins forgiven
In the process of being brought together under Christ as the head.
Can you see the emphasis?
Our life as Christians is not primarily about what we do,
but what Christ has done for us.
Think about that for a moment.
Our life in other words is a gift.
How does this shape your life?
How does this affect how we should be living?
Well in verse 6 it highlights we should be living a life of Praising God.
And in 1 Peter 2:9 we hear
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light
In other words our lives should be one of thanking God and highlighting how good he is.