Summary: God saved you and me for a purpose. Most of the time we concentrate on How to be saved, we also need to discover Why we are saved.
When I was in school, the thing that could strike fear in the hearts of almost every student was the Pop Quiz. The unannounced examination is a great way for the student to know, “am I getting what the teacher is teaching?” In our evangelism studies, we were given a question that would be very revealing as to whether or a person really understood what salvation was all about. That question is quite simple and it goes like this:
“In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?”
I would guess that almost everyone here would get 100% if this were a Pop Quiz. Let me ask you to do this: along the edge of your bulletin, write a brief answer to that question. Just take a few moments and jot down a few words that capture the idea.
Many times the answers that people give you go something like this:
Live by the Golden Rule. Be a good person. Treat everybody fairly. Keep the Ten Commandments. Love your neighbor. Serve God.
These are all good things to do, but they do not agree with God’s word regarding the “How” of salvation.
As good students of the Bible most of us would know that the answer of “How” we are saved and “How” we become eligible to go to Heaven is found in such scripture verse as Eph 2:8-9.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
That’s “HOW” our salvation is made available to us. Does this mean that everyone is saved? NO! We also need to know HOW to receive or appropriate that salvation. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. (Acts 16:31) That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Rom 10:9)
That’s HOW! If you recall going to school and the things you were taught, most of them were about how things work. How to spell, how to punctuated, how to add, how to divide, how electricity flows through conductors, how water evaporates, how, how, how.
What about WHY? Let’s ask the WHY question about the most significant thing that has ever or will ever happen in your life. WHY DID GOD SAVE YOU?
If this were a pop quiz, what would you write down on your paper? There are many possible answers that can be considered good, truthful answers. One that should be obvious is that “God saves us because He loves us.” We see this clearly in John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
That answers the motive (on God’s part) of Why He saved you. But WHY can also refer to PURPOSE. So let’s ask the question again. WHY (meaning for what purpose) did God save you?
We started out looking at How and found the answer in Eph 2:8-9. The answer to “WHY” is immediately after the answer to HOW. Look at verse 10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The purpose is fairly simple and we can reduce to just a few words. God has jobs for you to do. God has jobs for me to do.
How would you characterize the jobs He has for us? “Good works.” Do you remember the list we talked about early – the typical answers you get to the question of how does a person go to heaven: Live by the Golden Rule. Be a good person. Treat everybody fairly. Keep the Ten Commandments. Love your neighbor. Serve God. Since you are in Christ Jesus and He is living His life through you, then you are now able to do all these things that speak to the purpose for which we are saved.
How would you describe a person who did these things? The word “Obedient” comes to my mind. Another word that I have trouble separating its meaning from the meaning of the word obedient is “Faithful.”
An obedient person is characterized by obedience. A faithful person is characterized by faithfulness. Are these characteristics important to God? Absolutely!
Just how important they are is found in Moses’ discourse to the Children of Israel immediately before they were to enter into the promised land. Turn with me to Deut. 28.
1 ¶ If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.