Summary: Sooner or later we all ask the question, "Why did God create me?"

Note: This is the sermon manuscript that Ben carried into the pulpit. Feel free to use it in any way to advance the kingdom of God.

Christianity 101:

What On Earth Am I Here For?

Romans 15-16

Englewood Baptist Church

Sunday Morning, July 20, 2008

Today is a monumental day. We are finishing our study in the weighty book of Romans. We have spent 19 weeks in this book and, in many ways, I feel like I have cheated you. There is so much more to talk about, but I will challenge you to go deeper in your personal study. Dig deeper in the book of Romans and you will be like the deep sea diver that stumbled upon the sunken Titanic. He had no idea what important things lurked below. In the same way, when you commit yourself to serious study of the Bible and you make a commitment to read it throughout the week, you will be astounded by what you uncover. God will show himself to you in ways you never dreamed. My job as a preacher is to whet your appetite and stir your interest in the best-selling book of all time, which is the Bible. It is greatest success manual ever written, the most valuable treasure map ever drawn. Follow it, study it, and you will not be disappointed.

We look today at chapters 15-16. The title of my message is “What on Earth Am I Here For?”

There are some things in this world that you just have to stop and wonder: Why did God create that? Mosquitos, for example. We could have done without those. How many of us sit on a blanket watching fireworks and say to ourselves, “Thank you, Jesus, for these bugs that are taking my blood.” Or how about snakes. It wouldn’t bother me if I never saw another snake again. People who keep these things as pets in their houses need serious psychological help. Never own a pet that would like to eat you. Just a simple rule to live by. How about one more. How about this…

The Yawn. Why in the world did God create the yawn? Do you know that we have the technology to see a star a million miles away, but scientists are still clueless as to why we yawn. We do it from the time we are born, and we don’t know why. And yawns are contagious. That picture alone will many of you to yawn in the next few minutes. Anybody have the urge yet? You will.

Mosquitos, snakes, yawns…why did God create them? But here is a bigger question—the one I want to deal with today: why did God create you? There are people all over the world asking that question today. Is there a Creator and if so, why did he create me? What on earth am I here for?

You have probably heard of this book, The Purpose Driven Life. The author, Rick Warren, has sold squillions of copies! Why has it been sold so wildly popular? Because there is a question on the cover that catches the eye of every man and woman: What on earth am I here for? The opening paragraph of the book is gripping:

It’s not about you.

The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose. –Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

What a great way to start a book. And today as we look at the end of the book of Romans, Paul concludes in a wonderful way. Contained in these chapters are 6 ministries that every Christian is called to do. If you wonder, as a believer in Christ, what you are supposed to do on this planet, let me pluck out 6 assignments for you.

Since I’m covering two whole chapters today, I am forced to pull out the highlights, but look with me in Romans 15:8 and you will see a key word that pops up over and over and over. Romans 15:8 says, “For I tell you that Christ has become a servant (that word means “minister”) of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises of the patriarchs…. Christ came as a minister.

Look at v.16. Paul says I am called, v.16, “to be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles….” There is that word “minister” again. Look now at v.31, “Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service (or ministry) in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there.

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