Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Pre-prolegomena: Implications - Life goals and purposes

Part 2: Implications

The basics of the Christian Life having been described, let us proceed onto various implications it has on specific topics of Christian living.

Life goals and purposes

If living the Christian Life is to submit to Christ as our Lord who has saved us, then it implies that everything in our life should be lived under Christ's lordship. This does not just translate into vague principles of professing that Jesus is Lord, but to practical realities of life.

A major implication this has is our life goals and purposes. A Christian is to order their lives according to the reality of their status as children of God. As Paul famously remarked in Gal. 2: 20, "I have been co-crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me" (own translation). Our lives are not our own, but are to be lived for Christ.

Does this mean that every Christian should be a missionary or serve full-time in church or a Christian organization? No. There is in fact no superiority of full-time service over so-called "secular" work. God is God of the world, and He does not need our service, so why do we think that one job is more spiritual than another?

The issue therefore is not about the type of things we do (assuming that it's not sinful), but the principles with which we approach it. Our life goals and purposes should reflect the change. Perhaps formerly we were only interested in being rich and enjoying life. But Christ came, and we see that our lives are not to be lived for ourselves but for Him. Therefore, we might now see that we should now earn money [fairly of course] so as to be able to give generously to the Lord's works. Perhaps previously we desire to climb up the social ladder and make a name for ourselves. Now however, we see that we should be making Christ's name and honor known, not ours. Therefore, we may still climb up the social ladder, but the goal is not to make a name for ourselves but to reach those in high society with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. [And contrary to some popular conceptions of the Gospel, the rich and famous NEED the Gospel too].

Our life goals and purposes must be shaped by the truths of Scripture. There is nothing wrong with earning money or achieving high social or political status, but all things must be done for the main purpose of witnessing for Christ. In this light, knowing the Scripture is vital so that we may shape our life goals and purposes according to what Scripture actually says, not what we think Scripture say.

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