The Purpose of Our Faith?
Jesus knew why He was here: to bring humanity back to God. One purpose. Only one. Everything He did was all encased in that purpose- to seek and save that which was lost.
He gave His disciples a directive. He told them, “Follow Me.” Jesus tells us the same.
Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”Matthew 4:19
Pretty clear. Then how do we miss it? Why do we wonder what our purpose in life is all about?
Christ purposed to bestow on mankind the very conditions of His own life and being, and to give to man through the gifts of the Spirit and the Gift of the Spirit, the same blessed ministry to the world that He Himself had enjoyed and exercised.John G Lake
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.Luke 19:10 KJV
Every Part of Life Counts
The Christian life is rich. It is the greatest adventure anyone could have. We live by faith. We follow our Master. The Bible is God’s Word and our road map for life. God speaks through and by His Word and He does so about every area of life. He wants and expects us to follow both His Word and His Spirit. There are so many things that are important- yet one, and only one purpose, is central to our existence.
Many things are important
So, the purpose of our faith, what is it? Is it to buy that car or afford to send a child to college? The Word of God says,
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
I have stood upon that promise many times, and probably so have you. Is the purpose of our faith to have God help us with a test in school, or for a church Christmas program to go smoothly or even for protection on a trip through an unknown place?
Jesus said, ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.’ (John 15:7) In Psalm 91 it states, ‘For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways, in their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ What exceptional promises from God’s Word! However, we still have not focused on the purpose God has intended for our faith.
First, We Must Know Him
First and foremost, our faith is to know God. I like the Amplified Bible’s expression for faith (from 2 Timothy 3:15): ‘salvation which comes through faith in Christ Jesus [through the leaning of the entire human personality on God in Christ Jesus in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].’ God wants us to lean into Him for everything, especially with our heart and soul. He loves us. He saved us by sending His only son to a brutal death on that hideous cross. Jesus paid for all your failings, all your sin, all your disobedience. This can seem too good to be true, but He did. Can you even image sending your child to die for someone else? I cannot. Yet He did.
For He (God the Father) made Him (Jesus, the Son of God) who knew no sin (of His own) to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.2 Corinthians 5:21 (parentheses mine)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Salvation by Faith
You and I receive God’s terms for salvation only by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). We must put our absolute trust and confidence upon the resurrected Christ alone to save us. This is done by faith.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.Hebrews 11:6 KJV
The reformation of the church (16th century) happened because a German monk, Martin Luther, saw that salvation and righteousness with God is wonderfully received by faith.
At last meditating day and night, by the mercy of God, I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that through which the righteous live by a gift of God, namely by faith. Here I felt as if I were entirely born again and had entered paradise itself through the gates that have been flung open. Martin Luther
The purpose of our faith is to know God through His Son Jesus (John 14:6; Hebrews 9:14-15).
What is the Entire Purpose?
And yet I ask, is that the purpose of our faith in its entirety? Why are we to know God? So, one day we can sit in our easy chair in heaven and sip tea and say, ‘Well, I made it!’ No, I think not. There is something more.
The same Jesus by whom we came to know the Father desires — indeed commands — that we ‘Follow Me’ (John 1:43). Follow Him, where? For what purpose? There it is again, a purpose. Most people today do not have one, but Jesus did. He knew exactly where He was going, what He was to do, how He was to do it and when it was supposed to happen.
My Purpose is in His Purpose
I can honestly say that as I have aligned with Him and His purpose, I too, can say I know what I am to do, and how to go about it, and as I follow His leading, He is showing me where and when. How great it is to have a purpose for life!
- I belong to His plan.
- I count.
- I fit.
- I have a purpose, because I discovered His purpose.
Open your Bible to Luke 19:10. I want you to compare every word so that you know exactly what Jesus’ purpose was (and still is today). I want you to be sure to get it exactly. Jesus said of Himself, “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus Came to Seek & Save
Jesus came seeking the lost. He came looking for you. You were hanging on the edge of a rock jutting over the side of a cliff. The screams of the demons of hell echoed up the canyon wall, calling your name. Hell is real, folks! Jesus taught us it was. (Luke 16:19-31; Mark 9:43-48; Matthew 25:30)
The devil had a meat hook with your name on it and was about to give you that last tug. Then the Good Shepherd appeared. His beaming eyes of love sparked a hope so suddenly you gasped, ‘Jesus save me!’
He Came to Save You
He did not lecture you why you should not have gotten yourself into such an evil condition. That was not His purpose. He did not presenting rescue techniques. He did not come for theory. Too many of us have offered theories of solutions to a hurting world, when instead we simply needed to make an introduction. Introduce then to your Friend, the Good Shepherd.
Jesus did not come providing you with moral support in a tough moment. He came to save you. He reached out His strong, nail-scared hand down over the cliff and grasped yours, just as the rock gave way. He saved you. He saved me. And if we are going to be biblical, He has already made provision to save everyone else walking this planet — they just don’t know it yet.
They Need Someone
They need somebody to tell them. He needs someone to say, ‘Here I am, send me.’ (Isaiah 6: 8)
It was through the Anointed One that God was shepherding the world, not even keeping records of their transgressions, and He has entrusted to us the ministry of opening the door of reconciliation to God.2 Corinthians 5:19 TPT
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!Romans 10:14-15
Are Your Feet Beautiful?
Are your feet beautiful to God? Are they beautiful to those to whom you have gone with good news? Mine were blood stained. Stained with the blood of those souls I had not warned. (Ezekiel 33:6)
No, I do not believe we can by ourselves witness to everybody, but I believe God has divine appointments all around us every day. But unless we have “ears to hear” what the Spirit is saying to each of us, every day, we will not hear or see the opportunities God continually puts before us.
Oh, the deep joy of soul and spirit I have experienced by having ears to hear. Oh, what guilt and shame I suffered when the Spirit said, “Tell this man about Me now” and I answered, “I will later.” For him, there was no later — the next day, he died of a heart attack.
Why Do We Not Share Christ?
I know you have experienced that shame with me. Do I condemn you? No, for I would have to condemn myself. You do not witness for Christ (most believers, that is) because of one reason. That one reason is you are afraid. Yes, I know all the excuses: “It’s not my ministry,” “I don’t want to say something wrong,” or an immensely popular one among those of us who claim to be Spirit-filled, “I don’t feel led to a witnessing ministry (or outreach, etc.).”
That is the spiritualized denial of the alcoholic who says, ‘I can hold my liquor. I know my limit.’ Now, come on! Take a firm look deep inside your heart and soul. You are scared spitless. And so was I. There is a wall few can ever get over. It is the wall of fear.
I’m Not a Fearful Person
Now I know many believers are not fearful people. However, we have to be honest with ourselves. If we are not afraid, then why do many of us not act? Why are we not actively sharing the Gospel with the lost all among us? This is not a holy suggestion; it is our job description from the Lord Jesus. Consider the parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). The man who did not act had a root cause, ‘I was afraid’ he tells his master (verse 25).
Paul writes to Titus (Titus 1:15-16) ‘Unto the pure, all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled, and unbelieving is nothing pure;’ He then states, ‘They profess they know God; but in works they deny Him,’
Our works speak loudly. We all can say what we will, but do our works say? These are strong, weighty words. Yet I am not seeking to weigh anyone down. Rather to lift you up. But we must be honest with ourselves.
The Root of Procrastination is Fear
In my own life, though I possess an amazing artistic skill (I am gifted with the ability to draw and capture a likeness of anyone) I often have procrastinated completing artworks. Why? Having since done a lot of reading, submitting to mentors, and more, I have discovered the root of my procrastination. I have been afraid my works would not be perfect enough. Hence, I hit that same wall of fear — and I do not do.
Jesus Was Intent About Resisting Fear
How many times did Jesus say, ‘Do not be afraid’? In His teaching, He said, ‘Do not fear’ (Matthew 10:26, 28, 31). His Gospel message gave assurance, not fear. To Peter, James, John, and others, He said, ‘Do not be afraid’ (Luke 5:10). At His transfiguration, He said, ‘Arise, do not be afraid’ (Matthew 17:7). In His resurrected appearance to the disciples, Jesus greeted them with, ‘Do not be afraid’ (Matthew 28:10).
To Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, upon hearing it was too late, “Your daughter is dead,” Jesus responded,
As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” Mark 5:36
Jesus Is Not Fear
In the Gospel of John’s account of Jesus walking on water, the disciples were terrified (John 6:19 NLT). When Jesus responds, the Greek word order says:
I AM not fear!John 6:20 [Interlinear Greek]
I love it! Jesus, the I AM, is the opposite of fear. This takes us straight into John’s revelation of fear, in contrast to the love of God. We read,
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Preceding this, John tells us,
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16
God wants you and me to be free. He does not wish for us to be tormented by fear. He does this through the principle of mutual exchange.
The Principle of Mutual Exchange
Years ago, while serving as associate pastor at Church On the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I heard Pastor Willie George often talk about the Law (or the Principle) of Mutual Exchange. He meant that whenever God asks, or commands, something of us, He gives to us in return. And His return is always greater.
Look at the command to be Born Again:
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
We must be born again to be in the kingdom of God. Or no heaven. Only damnation. We must do our part and choose Jesus. When we make Him Lord of our life, we are then Born Again. But what do we get?
For God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Eternal Life. That is a good deal. His life is in us now. For eternity, we will be with our loving Heavenly Father. In His presence. By doing what? Our part.
Mutual Exchange & the Harvest
Jesus commands us to preach the Gospel to all the world.
And he said to them, “As you go into all the world, preach openly the wonderful news of the gospel to the entire human race!” Mark 16:15 TPT
Okay, that is our part. What do we get? Before I answer that, let me ask who is greater, the servant or the master? Jesus taught,
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and no one who is sent is superior to the one who sent him. John 13:16 AMPC
Jesus is the Master. He is Lord. We are the servants of God.
So here is the question? Who stands to receive the most significant benefit? Us or God? Can we out-give God? Absolutely not. When we obey God and proclaim Christ, He will strip away fear: and intimidation will leave our lives. Why is that crucial?
Because he that fears is not made perfect in love. God is love.
This Commission is the Power of God
The Gospel is the power of God to the world, but also to you. To set you free.
I refuse to be ashamed of the wonderful message of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ! For I am thrilled to preach that everyone who believes is saved- the Jew first, and then people everywhere!
This gospel unveils a continual revelation of God’s righteousness- a perfect righteousness given to us when we believe. And it moves us from receiving life through faith, to the power of living by faith. This is what Scripture means when it says: We are right with God through life-giving faith! Romans 1:16-17 TPT (emphasis mine)
Preaching the Gospel is God’s gift to release you from the heavy weight of fear. And to immerse you in His Love. You need to embrace this call as a gift. Rather than a burden, it is a gift. This immersion is far-reaching.
German State-Run Counseling Center
One Sunday, I was delighted to see a couple from the German Bible school where I had preached years before. They were visiting my church. These two were young students when I taught Faith For Souls. Now a married couple, the man shared over lunch that his mother, who had also been a student, heard the message. She was a counselor at a German government-run family counseling center. He said the center practiced many methods, endeavoring to help people. They employed everything from Tarot Cards to Zodiac readings to transcendental meditation, but not the Bible.
However, the message of Faith for Souls changed his mother. She broke free from fear. Over the next five years, his mother led every one of the counseling staff, including the management, to Christ. “Now, the counselors are helping marriages and families using God’s Word!”
You Can Get Over the Wall
This series of articles is about getting you over the wall! God helped me. God showed me how. If you will let me, I can show you how.
I have taught what I received to thousands across much of the United States, parts of Europe, India, Asia, Mexico, South and Central America and into Africa. It works because it is God’s Word, made simple for you and me. I like what Charles Capps would often say, “I do not practice what I preach. I preach what I have practiced and practiced.” He would also say, “God’s Word is easy to understand. But people have written books to help you misunderstand the Bible.”
These articles will take you to such a raw, pure form of Christianity — a Christianity where Christ-followers are effective, active witnesses for Him. It will be simple to understand. If you endure through, you will either love me for this precious Jesus-inspired revelation or hate me for pulling down the wall. When you are no longer afraid, there is just one thing left: just do it.
Take the Challenge
Take the challenge. Read this series of articles I have entitled Faith For Souls. Experience with me the inexpressible joy of seeing those eyes open with the light of heaven sparkling through. Eyes of someone you have just prayed with to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and their very best friend.
Let Jesus give you what He gave me: a faith for souls.