What is a Christian’s Purpose?

You hear a lot of talk now days about living a life of purpose.

There are books that claim to help you figure out this age old question like Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” and even ones to help your church find it’s purpose with “Purpose Driven Church”.

With all of these helps, have we really learned our ‘Purpose in Life’?

Do you know your purpose in life? Have you made that discovery?

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About Jimmy Eldridge

I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother and most of all, a follower of our most gracious savior Christ Jesus. Who are you following?

22 thoughts on “What is a Christian’s Purpose?

  1. Jimmy,

    I can’t even say that I know what ‘living my purpose’ means? This is not a central theme in the scriptures. Even worse, all this talk about living a life of purpose all too easily takes our focus off of Christ and puts it back onto ourselves.

    Even worse still, I’ve spoken with far too many Christians who liken their purpose to some type of destiny on par with a super hero. Its as if they ‘just know’ that they are destined to change the world and are looking for their secret and hidden purpose and the keys to discovering it and unlocking it.

    Whatever happened to simple concepts like these:

    1 Cor 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

    2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    1 Thess 4:11 aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

  2. Chris,

    So a christian doesn’t have a life purpose? So am I to understand that we should just study the bible, pray and go to church? Is that our purpose?

    Interesting.

  3. I think our purpose is something we are constantly learning about and realizing throughout our life. So really, our most immediate purpose is to follow God’s will and submit as fully as we can, so that purpose can be realized.

    A life purpose isn’t something a person can decide on their own. Living with love, compassion, and forgiveness will get us there though.

  4. I think our purpose is to simply follow Christ – is that too simple? 1 Peter 2:21 I think speaks to this. God gifts each us uniquely and finding that gift is finding our purpose.

  5. Jimmy,

    You asked, “So am I to understand that we should just study the bible, pray and go to church? Is that our purpose?”

    What I think is interesting is that is not what I said nor is it what the verses I laid out said.

    So let me back up and make a clearer case for what I see in scripture.

    One passage that hints strongly at ‘purpose’ is Eph 2:10. Here is the passage in context.

    Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    First off the passage clearly teaches that

    1. Our salvation and faith are a gift from God

    2. We are God’s workmanship created in Christ for good works.

    3. God prepared these good works beforehand that we should walk in them.

    This begs the question, “What is a good work?”

    Here is where I depart from American Christianity’s emphasis on the ‘spectacular’, ‘world changing’, emphasis on purpose.

    As I see it from scripture, please correct me if I am wrong, we are first called into the ministry of reconciliation.

    2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    This is accomplished through proclaiming Christ Crucified for sins. (1 Cor 2:2)

    Secondly, we live a life of love and service to our neighbor through our work and vocation (yes this is most certainly a good work).

    1 Thess 4:11 aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

    Matt 23:11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    We Americans have tried to ‘Christianize’ our lust for power, greatness, and accolades. Much of the preaching I hear now-a-days makes it sound like we’re all one of the main characters from the T.V. show Heroes and we have yet to discover our hidden purpose and greatness.

    Sorry but that is a load of crap and a satanic lie that feeds our egos.

    Instead, we are called to deny ourselves, humbly serve our neighbor through the work of our hands, and proclaim the Gospel wherever God puts us.

    Matt. 16:24   Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

    The way of the cross is the way of death on this side of the resurrection.

    The humble immigrant who trusts in Christ alone for his salvation and whom no one notices because he lives in poverty and spends his life cleaning our toilets is a far better example of ‘living Christian purpose’, than the guy who jets across the world organizing global P.E.A.C.E. initiatives.

    Matt 23:11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

  6. Chris,

    I have come to the opinion that we as Christians can really put our ‘life purpose’ into these simple things….

    1. Occupy / Luke 19:11-27 KJV

    2. Go / Luke 14:21-23 KJV

    These things follow right along with what Christ commanded us to do in Mark 12:29-30

    So simply put,

    1. We should do everything we can to bring glory to God in everything we do.

    2. We should invite as many as we can to come the the saving knowledge of Christ.

    3. Love God with all of our heart and soul, and love people, which Jesus said was the most important thing we can do.

    I believe that if we do those things, we are ‘Living a Life of Purpose’.

    AND…I respectfully disagree with the statement you made,

    “the humble immigrant who trusts in Christ alone for his salvation and whom no one notices because he lives in poverty and spends his life cleaning our toilets is a far better example of ‘living Christian purpose’, than the guy who jets across the world organizing global P.E.A.C.E. initiatives.”

    RATHER I would say that if they both are walking according to what God has planted in their heart, and they are using the gifts that God has given them to the best of their abilities, THEN THEY BOTH are living a ‘Christian Life Purpose’.

    Peace!
    Jimmy

  7. I believe that our purpose is to use His Word to access the indwelling Holy Spirit and then follow God in order to build His Kingdom.

  8. Jimmy,

    I’ll grant you your modification BUT I have a further modification to add. If the jet setting guy is constantly talking about himself and his good works then he’s DQ’d himself from truly living a life of Christian purpose on the grounds that he’s exalted himself and has already received his reward.

    Matt. 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2   “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

  9. How about to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

    I know that won’t sell many books, but you can’t get much simpler and truer than that. It is also one of the few answer that will still be true for me in 100 years.

    By the way, for those that don’t recognize it, that answer is a few hundred years old.

  10. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  11. I found this by googling “Christian purpose.” I did that because I heard the question, “Do we serve a purpose or do we purposefully serve?”

    I have read all those books about Christian purpose, and I was just waiting for mine to be revealed.

    The thing is, we were told what to do already.

    Matt. 28:19 –So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

    The more important question regarding purpose is how do we ensure that every person we encounter sees Christ in some way? And not in a way where they would feel condescended to or like it wasn’t the right way of life for them. We have to give people a reason to want to surrender to the one that really deserves all the glory.

  12. The age old question What is the meaning of life? God what is my purpose? What is it that you want me to do? It is an honest question that deserves and answer. This verse spoke to me as to the clearness of why God created us.

    Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

    How much do you know what Christ has done for you? Have you experienced His love? Do you know your Creator?

    The Westminster Confession further states that man’s purpose is to serve God and enjoy him forever. This was Adam and Eve’s purpose until sin entered in the world. An intimate relationship between God and Man.

    Of course this is addressed by way of the Gospel, the self sacrifice of Christ in order to pay our penalty for our sins. To repent and trust in Christ and to truly come to him humbly to save you from your sinful nature is the heart of the matter. Only then will you truly love God and be able to live in the newness of life that God has promised us, which is a relationship restored by Christ’s sacrifice between God and Man.

    Of course there is nothing wrong about helping the poor, having a ministry, telling others about Christ. Those are things our Lord commanded us to do but it also comes about because we are very nature is so changed by God that we will want to do them. Doing these works because you want to change the world is simply salvation by works. Coming to a saving knowledge of God is first and foremost.

  13. I was searching for my purpose in my life when I switched careers to become a teacher. I prayed and was led to do this. I went back to school and eventually started teaching high school science to at-risk students in an inner-city. I absolutely loved it, and my students! I even wrote a book about the joys of teaching, and also the obstacles I fought against. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND? THE TRUE STORY OF A TEACHER’S QUEST by Elizabeth Blake, now on Amazon.com. First, I searched for my purpose in life. Then, I searched for a way to reach my students. I fought drugs, gangs, a riot, shootings, murdered students, even abusive principals. The stress was tremendous, but if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would! Finally, I searched for the meanings behind these obstacles I met.

  14. “Even worse, all this talk about living a life of purpose all too easily takes our focus off of Christ and puts it back onto ourselves.”

    Wow….

  15. IN the beginning of the Bible, our purpose is stated…one hardly considered.
    Genesis 1:27
    “So God created human beings in His own image, in the image of God he created them…” Didn’t we kinda screw that one up in Eden? Should’t that be our goal? – to be His image characteristically?

  16. I do a lot of ministry and service. I see more and more lost people. Out of all the volunteers I work with I’m almost always the only Christian. It’s hard to get help ministering because It seems a lot of the Christians I know running around trying to find their “purpose”.

    I let God guide each day for me, I try to be an empty vessel for his use. I try to work with other Christians as the body. (Can you imagine a part of your body trying to figure out It’s purpose?) I think If you serve in faith and trust God to lead you don’t have to sit up nights wondering about purpose. It’s impossible to know all the plans God has for you anyway. Gods done so much in my life that doesn’t make sense to me and I never saw It coming. I don’t think any Christian serves a single purpose anyway.

    Everything serves Gods purpose, good or bad.

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