Several people have said, “If you aim at nothing you will hit nothing.” And you know what? I believe that. A life lived without purpose is a life without focus, a life without a destination, a life without a goal.
In the Bible, God tells us the purpose He has for our lives. He tells us in general or overall terms. He then sets out some specific purposes again for all of us. And He guides us to understand our Personal Purpose, the purpose He has just for you.
In today’s lesson, we will look closely at the Overall and Specific Purposes. In our church life groups, we covered the Personal Purpose. I will give the listeners a link to that handout and you can use it to determine your personal purpose.
Our Takeaway for today is Our Purpose is God’s Purpose for Us.
Let’s start at Genesis 1:26
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”
Now I want you to see the shift in language that has occurred. In Genesis 1:3, God said, “Let there be light” and in Genesis 1:11 God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass,…” But here in Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”
This shift in language indicates an increase in importance. Mankind has a higher nature than anything else created.
I will pause and ask you a question, What does it mean to be created in God’s image? ……. There is no easy answer to this question. I have taught that it means we have been created Body, Soul, and Spirit – three parts, like God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That may be right, but I’m not certain.
Adam Clarke in his commentary teaches that man was created with some of the attributes of God, namely Knowledge, Holiness, and Righteousness. He used Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10 to make his point. I suggest you look these verses up on your own.
What we need to understand is that God has created us in His image and because of this image, God has given us a very detailed purpose.
Let’s pick up at Genesis 1:26 and read through Genesis 1:28. I will make a few comments as I read.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'”
The Overall Purpose stated in that passage consists of 5 things or five parts.
- Dominion – Mankind was created capable of ruling the world. If Clarke’s idea on the image is correct – knowledge, holiness, and righteousness, we can see how man before the fall was created capable. Today we do not do a very good job ruling the world. And that is because of sin.
- Fruitful – This means to be creative. Man and woman were to work side-by-side and create. They were to fill the world with their creations. And they were to fill the world with God’s image.
- Multiply – Simply this. Have children and fill the world with more image bearers.
- I want to use the King James word here which is Replenish. In other translations, the word is “fill.” An in 1611 when the King James Bible was printed the word Replenish meant to fill. The Hebrew here means to fill or even fulfill.
- Finally, we are to Subdue. When add subdue to dominion you come up with a benevolent leader.
So those are the 5 things or parts to our Overall Purpose. All of humanity is to carry out these 5.
Now let’s consider Specific Purpose. I will move through these quickly.
- Work. Work was not a result of the Fall. God gave work to mankind before the fall. God gave two forms of work to man.
- Physical Work
- Intellectual Work
Look at Genesis 2:15, and verses 19-20. The man was to till the garden, physical, and name the animals, intellectual.
- To know God’s Word. In Genesis 3:2-3 Eve does not fully know God’s command regarding the tree in the center of the Garden. That leads me to a question. What happens to those who do not know the Word well. Look at Ephesians 4:14
“…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting…”
When you do not know God’s word well you are easily deceived. This is a wicked and twisted world. Every day unbelievers espouse all types of twisted ideas and send them our way. How do we know if their ideas are valid? We compare them to the word, the Bible. Unfortunately, when we are ignorant of what God said then we carried away and tricked by these smooth talkers.
- To keep God’s commands. In Genesis 2:16 God gave clear instructions. And sadly these instructions were not followed. Why do command your young children not to touch the stove? To be mean? To be controlling? To take away things of pleasure. No! You tell them not to touch the stove because you love them. God commands us because He loves us.
- Is to have a relationship with God.
Look at Genesis 3:8
“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”
I believe God walked in the garden daily. I believe when He did, He met up with Adam and Eve. I believe the three walked together and built upon their relationship.
Sadly today we struggle even relating to one another. And a relationship with God seems so foreign to many of us. But God created you for this purpose.
In Genesis 3:8 Adam and Eve hid from God. Why? Because of sin. They did not want to be with God because of their sin.
If you have never put your trust on Jesus Christ. If you have never believed on Jesus, then you have no relationship with God, and you cannot live up the purposes that God has for you.
Believe that you are a sinner. Believe that Jesus died for those sins. With your sins be forgiven you can have the relationship for which you were created.
Speaking to believers for a moment – If you are harboring sin in your life, then you need to confess that sin to God your father. Although a believer cannot lose their salvation, they can harm the relationship when they go through life with unconfessed sin. Sit down with God and tell Him about your sin. 1 John 1:9, says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Thanks for listening to Faith in the Valley. If you are interested in learning about your Personal Purpose I have a link in the show notes to our Life Group handout. This handout does not stand alone very well because a leader uses it in a group, but I believe you can still use the tool. Just look for the Session-3 handout in the series titled Getting to Know God. Here is the link.
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