What is Mankind's Purpose?

August 6. 2019
Bible Study Notes
What is Mankind’s Purpose?

When people ask the question, “What is God’s will?” or “How do I know God’s will?” they most likely mean, “What is God’s will for my life, specifically?”
* Now, we will get to that question, but we will start from the very general and move to the specific. We will eventually get to how you can discern things for yourself, specifically.
* There are general truths, commands, and expectations that apply to all of us. So, we will start there and move to the more personal by the time we conclude this four-week study.

Why did God create us? What is the general purpose for humanity? What is the universal reason for life?
* The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks this question as their first in a list of several and answer it by saying, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” With this general statement, I agree.
* While we are not Presbyterians or Calvinists, we can affirm when someone has stated the truth. I find this statement to be true and enlightening. Of course, it is still a very general statement, but it is a good place to begin the discussion.
* Let us look at the Scriptures that are provided for each of these two points.

(1)Your Purpose is to Glorify God
Ps 86:9; Isa 60:21; Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 6:20; 10:31; Rev 4:11
* For God to be glorified is for Him to be made known, to be praised and honored, to be thanked; it is for His worth to be declared and appreciated.
* Now, that can take on a lot of different forms. We can all glorify God in many of the same ways, but there are also specific ways that we can glorify God. We’re not all going to be preachers, or missionaries, or school teachers, or caregivers, or fill in the blank. Generally and specifically, your purpose in life is to glorify God.

(2)Your Purpose is to Enjoy God Forever
Ps 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil 4:4; Rev 21:3-4
* How amazing it is to know God and to enjoy a relationship with Him! How wonderful it is that God be glorified while at the same time that we can be satisfied. John Piper has famously summarized this idea in the phrase, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” God’s glory and your satisfaction are now mutually exclusive. They actually go hand-in-hand. Thanks be to God!
* God does not get much glory out of grumpy, gloomy, boring Christians. He is glorified when we are joyous in Him. There is great joy and peace in believing (Rom 15:13).
* Our joy is not in created things but the Creator. Now, He uses created things as tools for our joy and satisfaction—there is great joy in watching a sunset, driving up a mountain, visiting the beach, raising children, or serving others. Yet, fullness of joy is found when these things are properly understood as created by God, given by God, undergirded and surrounded by the Creator, and when we give our thanks to God for all of these things. Fullness of joy is in knowing God and receiving all things with gratefulness to Him.

What are we to dogenerallyspeaking?
* Gen 1:22 “Be fruitful and increase” which I might liken to the Great Commission in Matt 28:18-20.
* Gen 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
* John 6:29 “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”
* 1 Cor 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Let Us Do Good (Galatians 6:7-10)

July 12, 2019

Let Us Do Good (Galatians 6:7-10)

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Of the sowing and reaping idea, I think we all can understand it even though, for the most part, we do not live in an agricultural society any longer. This is a straightforward principle of life whether we are talking about a farmer and his crops or a person’s spiritual life. If you plant a rose bush, you will not have an apple tree to bloom. Likewise, if you sow to the flesh you will not bear the fruit of the Spirit. This is what you get: if you sow to the flesh, you reap destruction; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap everlasting life. Our focus must be on the good. We must not grow weary in doing good.

A farmer works hard, often from sun-up to sun-down. He does not see the fruit of his labor for a long period of time, but it does eventually come. Likewise, we must not be impatient. In due time we will reap what we have sown. We have all sorts of opportunities to do good. Let us look for those opportunities and act when the times come. Christ has already secured our salvation. We do not have to earn it. Now we are free to go out and serve others, do good, and enjoy life.

And, we should do good to all, especially to the household of faith, that is, our Christian brethren. So, our good works should first and foremost be directed toward the church, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, yet our good deeds should overflow out of the church and into our communities. We should do good to fellow Christians as well as our families, neighbors, coworkers, and friends. It is hard work, serving others and always doing good, but the Lord will reward His people in due time. Don’t grow weary in doing good! Don’t give up!

An Overview of Satan and His Cohorts

July 3, 2019
An Overview of Satan and His Cohorts

Let’s begin with a brief summary from one of our theologians, “. . . God’s work of creation includes both a visible and an invisible universe. The latter encompasses the realm of created spirits, especially angels. Some of the inhabitants of this sphere are evilspirits: Satan and his demons. These were not created evil but became so through the exercise of their God-given free will. The corruption of the old creation began with the introduction of sin into the spiritual universe by these powerful spiritual beings, who then became actively involved in the initial and ongoing corruption of the visible universe. These evil spirits are thus a contributing factor in the proliferation of sin and evil among human beings” (Cottrell, 170).

Thus, as many Christians know but are not studying much less fighting, there is a spiritual warfare to wage against the enemy. Satan and his demonic forces depress nations and communities harm Christian congregations, wreck whole families, and devastate individual lives. They seek to pull us away from our Creator and certainly do not want us to have a close relationship with Him as Father. They do not want the Gospel to go forth into the nations, and they do not want you to believe it and live it out.

If the satanic powers are working to that extent in the world and that intensely in our own spiritual lives, we would be foolish to not fight back. Have you wondered why you get into ruts and cannot get out? Have you asked yourself why you cannot overcome a certain temptation or way of thinking? Have you had similar questions about others, maybe family and friends? The answer may be that you or your loved ones are not engaging in the spiritual warfare that is raging all around us.

The Scriptures have much to say on the subject of Satan and his demons; what they are up to and how Christians should be responding to their attacks. We have been spending some time in The BLEND opening our spiritual eyes to these things and getting us thinking about the spiritual battle we must fight. We have several biblical principles to consider. For now, let me mention a couple.

First of all, we need to identify the enemy. We use the titles Satanand Devilfor the being who has led the rebellion against God. He is the enemy of both God and man, the adversary, the accuser, the deceiver, and the evil one. The angelic beings who have followed Satan in his rebellion against God and his opposition to mankind are called fallen angelsand most often, demons. They are disruptors, evil spirits, and impure spirits. It has been said, “That the demons are called spiritsas such indicates their basic metaphysical nature as a part of the invisible universe. That they are called eviland uncleanindicates their basic moral nature” (Cottrell, 172).

Secondly, we must always keep in mind the fact that Satan and the demons were created by God. They are not equal to God and are not divine. They are powerful spiritual beings but are merely creatures. Col 1:16 teaches us that Christ is creator of all things, including the invisible sphere where Satan and his cohorts reside.