Our Purpose For Existence: To Gladden God

September 14, 2013

Friends,
Yesterday I revisited Micah’s blog and saw that after having posted his link, and after informing him that I did so, and after he therefore (presumably) read some of my posts, he has written a post downplaying obedience to God, dated 9/8/13, and it is a post I very much disagree with. Therefore, I have found it necessary to add the disclaimer that the beliefs portrayed at his blog are not necessarily in agreement with mine. (Micah’s blog address is: http://clothedwchrist.tumblr.com/ )

Even so, our apparent polar beliefs on the necessity for obedience does not mean that Micah’s blog is not beneficial in many regards. However, I again say what I’ve always said: That love for Christ, without obedience to Christ, is not genuine love for Him. As Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) He says in verse 23, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching.” In the same verse Jesus adds, “My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” The Lord is telling us that obedience to Him is the only avenue by which faith and love are proved and that consequently, it is how we come to be in-dwelt by Him, come to be in Him, come to know Him in intimate fellowship, and come to belong to Him. This Truth is confirmed over and over and over in the Scriptures, just one passage being 1 John 2:3-6:

“This is how we can be sure that we know Him: If we obey His commands. The person who says, ‘I know Him,’ yet disobeys His commands is a liar, and the Truth is not in him. But, whoever keeps His Word, truly in this man the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in Him: Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk in the same way He walked.” In other words, whoever claims to be untied with Christ, must conduct himself –in thought, word, and deed– just as Jesus did. And Jesus proved His love for the Father by being obedient to Him in everything. (John 12:50 & 14:31) If obedience to God is this important to God, why would Micah say that obedience is not the point?

I also will add another comment about Micah’s 9/8/13 post: I definitely hear a Calvinistic ring to it as he emphasizes a teaching that our life purpose is not only to glorify God, but to achieve joy by finding enjoyment in God forever. No, finding enjoyment in God forever is not our purpose for existing. It is only a result of fulfilling our purpose of existence. Our true purpose is to bring GOD honor, glory, and enjoyment forever. The focus must not be skewed. We exist to glorify God and allow HIM to find joy (delight / pleasure / enjoyment) in US forever. In short, our purpose for existence is to gladden God. However, this we cannot do if or when we disobey Him.

Instead, we bring God joy by honoring Him, which we do by obeying Him. This happens as we live up to the standard He set through Christ –perfection (Mt. 5:48 // Rom. 8:28b,29)– which we are enabled to learn and do by the power of His Spirit which He makes available to all who believe His words. (2 Peter 1:3,4 // see also Gal. 5:16 and Rom. 7:6 & 8:9) Then, and only then, will we be honored (John 12:26 // Rev. 3:21) by being invited into Heaven with these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Over a few things you have been faithful, so I will set you in charge over many things. Enter into the joy of your Master!” (Mt. 25:21) Thus we see that by fulfilling our purpose to gladden God, He invites us into the fullness of that eternal joy.

But what was assigned to the disobedient, lazy servant? God assigned him a place in Hell (Mt. 25:24-30), that place of God’s eternal wrath against sin and all who caused it without ever repenting of it (renouncing it and turning from it). (Mt. 13:41,42 & 18:6-9 & 25:46) In view of this warning, let us studiously enlighten ourselves, not with men’s doctrines, but with that which is revealed in God’s Word!

Micah emphasizes not only joy, but also love. Yes, Jesus has taught us that love indeed fulfills the Law (Mt. 22:37-40), teaching us that the most important commandment is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) However, to love God like this (as He has commanded us to love Him) means we will faithfully, diligently, cheerfully, whole-heartedly, and eagerly do everything our Commander has commanded us to do. This is called obedience. Therefore obedience, meaning continued obedience in the will of God, is clearly necessary for entrance into Eternal Life. (Mt. 7:21 // see also Mt. 12:50 and 1 John 2:17)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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