Summary: Salvation is not the goal of Christianity, not is Entire Sanctification. Both are critical steps to obtaining the goal. But the goal of Christ and Christianity is Christlikeness
“The Goal of Christianity”
April 22, 2012
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
What in the world is God doing? When you think of the cosmos and creation and the complexity of it all – it is easy to be overwhelmed. It is easy to be perplexed and puzzled by it all. God is up to something and it is big – very BIG! David said,
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Psalm 8:3-4
When you consider some of the awesome things God created, so complex, so beautiful—you have to wonder what He sees in man. We are born in sin and inclined toward evil continually. Why doesn’t God just give up on us? I know He was tempted to a couple of times (the Bible says) – but He is so patient; so loving; so gentle with us. He finds us so valuable that Jesus left the splendor of heaven to come to earth to die for us. We have been celebrating that all this month. But what is His purpose? What goal does Christ have in mind? What is the end of all His activity in our world and in our lives? Some people have some ready answers. Some would say it is our salvation. But it isn’t.
1. Salvation is not the goal of Christianity. Oh, it’s important- very important. It is critical. But it is not the goal. In fact, it is just the beginning. It is the door that we must walk through if we are to realize the goal. And I do not want to diminish the importance of it. I think one of the greatest blessings in life is to lead someone to the experience of salvation. I mentioned last week that I was so blessed to pray the prayer of commitment to Christ with someone in their home recently. That was fantastic! There are few blessings that come close. One that does, though, is when your child leads someone to Christ – and one of my kids did. Monica shared with me this last week, of her joy of leading one of her daughter’s friends to Christ. She was so blessed – and I in turn was blessed with her. If you have never led someone to the Lord – you are missing out on a tremendous blessing.
And it isn’t difficult. It talks courage on your part. You have to overcome the fear of rejection - but all you do is ask someone if they would like to turn their life over to Jesus. If they believe in their heart that Jesus is raised from the dead and confess with their mouth that He is their Savior – Romans 10 says they will be saved. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins- God will forgive us and cleanse us from our sinfulness.
I have used the “Roman Road to Salvation”, the “Four Spiritual Laws”, “Evangelism Explosion” and other methods to lead people to the Lord – but the bottom line is to just lead them in the prayer of commitment. It goes something like this:
“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. Please forgive me for sinning. From this day on, with Your help, I will live for you.”
That’s about it. If someone sincerely prays that prayer – by grace he is saved from the consequence of his sin – which is hell.
Now, I believe that we ought to lead as many people into this experience of salvation as we can – but it not the goal of Christ. It is just the first step in obtaining the goal.
Some people think it might be entire sanctification. But it’s not. 2. Entire Sanctification is not the goal of Christianity. Entire Sanctification, or giving yourself over to God entirely, is necessary. It is so vital to our Christian experience. After a person comes to Christ, after they repent of their sins and ask His forgiveness; after they begin their journey with Christ – it doesn’t take too long before they realize something is wrong. They realize they are a slave to sin. They want to live for the Lord –but they can’t. They don’t want to sin – but they do. They find there is something in hearts that is enslaving them –so they can’t do the things they want to do. And with Paul, they scream, “Oh, what a wretched man I am! Who can deliver me from this horrible thing?”