Cause

1

18/02/2013 by Chris Green

Purpose causeWhat are we here for? What is the purpose of anything and everything we do?

If we’ve been paying any attention to John Piper then you’ll know the answer off the top of your head: we bring God glory.

Here’s how 1 Peter puts it, and notice the two purposes:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.(1 Pet. 29-12)

How do we bring God glory by our words? Peter is all encompassing: our prayer and praises, the chat with a neighbour, the way we handle a difficult colleague, the temptation to gossip, every word should be designed to bring God glory. Not just church, but home, work, school, locker room, café and pub all bring God glory.

How do we bring God glory by our actions? Are you expecting words and actions in some partnership? That would be a neat balance. But Peter’s not balanced. Look again. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. It’s not us or our deeds which bring God glory – it’s the pagans. They have been struck by our deeds, and presumably the mercy they embody and the merciful God we speak about, that they bring God glory. And it’s a word that means voluntary, not forced, glory.

In other words, our deeds bring God glory because people are converted through seeing that expression of his mercy.

Is this wordless evangelism? Not at all. It’s sometimes said, ‘Evangelise, and use words if you must.’ That is a foolish comment. If Jesus’ perfect actions were open to misinterpretation unless he explained them, how much more will that be of our imperfect, mixed ones. We’re going to be thought do-gooders – at best cheerfully helpful, like Boy Scouts, at worst pharisaical meddlers with a guilty secret.

No. Our deeds have validity on their own as expressions of God’s mercy, but they will not serve their ultimate purpose until the pagans who see them are converted.

His Glory. That’s our cause.

See my earlier posts, on Centre and Circumference

Advertisements

One thought on “Cause

  1. Shelly says:

    “His Glory. That’s our cause.” So true. We live in such a me-centered world where the focus is on ourselves and what we want, how we want it and why we want it. In reality, as believers, our focus should be on what the Lord has for us each day and how we can share His love with others and bring glory to His name. May that be our focus today and every day. Blessings!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Join my email list, and get my free eBook Bible studies on 1 Thessalonians ‘PURITY: Living to please God in an impure world’

God, Suffering and Joy

A conversation between me (with cancer) and Michael (with Multiple Sclerosis)

Preview and buy ‘Finishing the Race’

You can buy the new edition of 'Finishing the Race' from 10ofthose , or see a preview HERE .

Terms and conditions

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyse and optimise your content and reading experience. I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.

I welcome your participation on the Ministrynutsandbolts site, and invite you to share ideas elsewhere on what you learn and read here. At the same time, I ask that you respect my intellectual property rights in the process.

You are welcome to link to my site or any specific post on my site, extract and re-post less than 200 words on any other site, provided you link back to my original post, or print my posts in any non-commercial publication (e.g., company newsletter, class syllabus, church newsletter, etc.), provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2016 Chris Green. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.ministrynutsandbolts.com.”

Please do not do the following without written consent: Re-post one of my posts in its entirety anywhere else on the Internet, use this content in for commercial purposes, including selling or licensing printed or digital versions of my content, or alter, transform, or build upon this work.

If you have some use for my content that is not covered here, please contact me. If you would like me to do a guest post on your blog, email me at ministrynutsandbolts@gmail.com

Copyright does not apply to the titles of books, but transparency means I should own that the title of the blog is taken from the excellent 'Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don't Teach Pastors in Seminary ' by Aubrey Malphurs (Kregel: 2nd edn. 2009)

© 2016 Chris Green