Saturday, January 24, 2009

Earl's Personal Purpose Statement

Some years ago I wrote my personal purpose statement in my blog, MetaSchema. The typical one for most Presbyterian/Reformed people usually follow is the Westminster Shorter Catechism: Q: What is the chief end of man? A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. I agree with the statement, but I decided to take a different tack. It fleshes out my understanding of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever. I also tried to write this so someone without a Christian background could have some hope of understanding what I was saying. My purpose statement is:

Christ-Centered, Cross-Focused

It’s not original, it’s not catchy, it’s not grammatically correct for a purpose statement. Where are the verbs?

There are several reasons I selected this:

  • Jesus Christ is the goal of creation, and the goal of my life.
  • Jesus’ death on the cross is the pivotal work that Jesus did.
  • There are no verbs in this statement because God in Christ did all the work.

Christ is the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The Father created the universe through Christ, for Christ.

God, in addition to everything that he is, is holy and perfect. God demands perfection from me. I am anything but perfection. I fall far short of perfection in everything that I do. It’s not because of my finiteness, my weakness. It is because I have a deep streak of rebellion against God and all that he is (the term for this rebellion is sin). God is perfectly just in condemning me. There is no hope for me against the perfect God.

But God, in full cooperation with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, sent the eternal Son, Christ, who became the man Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life and took on all the sin in my life and others who would place their faith in him, and took the punishment for my sin on the cross. God also gives Jesus’ perfect life, his righteousness, and gives it to me. All of this is done on God’s part, even the part where I awaken, to realize my sin, to have a desire for God, repenting about my rebellion, and relying on what Jesus has done for me in paying for my sin on the cross and having Jesus's good life credited to me -- all of this is done by God. This is the reason of the lack of verbs in my purpose statement. God has done it all for me in Jesus' perfect life and in Jesus' death on the cross.

Even as I continue walking in faith throughout my life, the growth is brought about by God. Hence there is still the lack of verbs in my purpose. It is all centered on Christ. Christ is there for me, and where I do any action is this: relying on Christ, seeking him where he can be found. The places where Christ can be found is what the Reformers in the Reformation referred to as the means of grace. These include reading the Bible, prayer, hearing the word of God preached, baptism, and communion. None of these things are things I do to make myself better, rather these are where God is, where I know that God interacts with me. Everything flows from this, including all the works that God has prepared in advance for me. This colors how I view the rest of the world.

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