What Is My Purpose In Christ

Photo by Michael Heuser on Unsplash

Last week we started our study of Romans, covering the first few verses of chapter 1. Tonight we’re going to focus on the question:

What Is My Purpose In Christ?”

In my devotional reading this morning, I was in R.C. Sproul’s (pronounced sprõwal) book “What Do Jesus’ Parables Mean?”, when I came across this interesting statement. Dr. Sproul wrote:

Years ago I gave an exam to a college class. At least five students said, “Professor, I’m sorry, I’m not very well prepared for this examination. But I hope you won’t hold it against me, because I want you to know my heart is filled with love for the Lord Jesus, and I try to do what I can. In fact, last week, instead of studying, I was busily involved in outreach, and as a result, I didn’t do so well on this test.” I said, “You seem to have a good grasp of the doctrine of justification by faith, and I want you to know that as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned, the only way you’ll ever be justified is by faith alone. But in this classroom it’s justification by works alone. I’m glad that you love Jesus, but I hope that you love Hi enough to be more diligent stewards of your time here in college, and start studying for your tests, and using the abilities that He’s given you.”

Dr Sproul went on to say, “There was this idea – and I’ve found it widespread throughout evangelical Christianity – that all you need is a loving and warm heart, and since justification is not by works, as Christians we don’t have to work. But how can anyone read the Gospels and not see the emphasis that our Lord put on productivity, or fruits?”

God calls every Christian to salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. But once saved, we are a Kingdom of God people. We follow our Master, and obey His commands.

Though we will focus on Romans 1:6-11 tonight, let’s read the text up to it to give us our context:

Romans 1:1-5 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 by whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Now for our focal text:

Romans 1:6-11 among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; 10 making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

Let’s break down our focal text, starting with:

The Christian Is A “Called” Person

Romans 1:6 …. among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Word Study The word translated “CALLED” is not the word I expected it to be. I thought it would be the word καλέω kaléō, (pronounced kal-eh’-o), the word usually used when someone calls your name. When I was a young boy my mamma would call out, “David”, and I’d come running. That would be kaléō. Jesus kaléō(ed) James and John in Matthew 4:21. He spoke their names aloud, bidding them to follow Him. The word kaléō is also used for “named”. Joseph kaléō(ed) the child that Mary had JESUS (Matthew 1:21, 25).

Word StudyThe word used in our text today is actually κλητός klētós, klay-tos’, which means to “be INVITED or APPOINTED”. The Christian is a person who has been invited to a wonderful, new relationship with God. The Christian way of life is a relational way of life. Prior to Christ we founded our relationship in the world. When Jesus called and invited us, He invited us to come out of the lost world, and into His Kingdom. Jesus invited us out of the darkness, and into His light. One of my favorite Evangelists Billy Graham said:

Christ is calling Christians today to cleansing, to dedication, to consecration, and to full surrender. It will make the difference between success and failure in our spiritual lives. It will make the difference between being helped and helping others. It will make a difference in our habits, in our prayer life, in our Bible reading, in our giving, in our testimony, and in our church membership. This is the Christian’s hour of decision!

Christians, we are invited into a glorious and growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We are called into daily intimacy with Jesus. We are not called to be just Sunday morning Christians, but every day followers of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ emphasized our relationship to Himself in …

John 15:5-7 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

We are invited into a intimate, ATTACHED union with Jesus Christ. The power and life that runs through Christ as the vine, runs through us as the branches. If the branch becomes detached from the vine, what happens to it? It dries up, and becomes fodder only fit for burning. When we draw away from Christ, we dry up, and become the pawns of the world. Beloved, this must not be. Christ has invited us into a …

Hebrews 10:20 … new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh

We who are Christians love Jesus, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). The Father loved us so much that the scripture says:

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God loved us and gave Himself for us before we ever loved Him. When we “were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for us”(Romans 5:6). While “we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8). God’s lovepurposefully sought us out and invited us into His family. On the day that webelieved on the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved (Acts 16:31) we were called to be members of His Kingdom.

The Christian is a person who is called – appointed – given purpose. You have been called to salvation by God. You answered that call by repenting or turning away from your old way of life and by turning to God in faith through Jesus. Faith in Jesus Christ has multiple effects on our lives. We are not only washed from sin, and made blameless (Philippians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:23) because Jesus took our blame, but as citizens of His Kingdom we are given new purpose in this present life. The Bible says:

Revelation 1:5-6 … Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

We are invited to salvation not just to coast to Heaven on gossamer wings, but we are invited to salvation and made kings and priests UNTO GOD AND HIS FATHER. We are Kings and Priests because of Jesus. We are called to live purposefully in Him.

The Christian Is Not Just INVITED,
But We Are LOVED

Romans 1:6-7 among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 to all that be in Rome, beloved of God …

Word Study The Christian is ἀγαπητός θεός agapētos theos, one much loved and highly esteemed, favored of God. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for “Beloved” is יָדִידyediyd. God often called Israel His “Beloved” (see Deuteronomy 33:12; Jeremiah 11:15). The phrase “Beloved” is often used in The Song of Solomon for newlyweds, who express their deep affection for one another. The word “Beloved” is particularly interesting because God the Father used it to address Jesus Christ our Lord:

Matthew 3:17 {the Father said}This is My BELOVED (agapētos) Son, in Whom I am well pleased

and at the Mount of Transfiguration, the Father said of Christ:

Matthew 17:5 This is my beloved (agapētos) Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

The Father called His Only Begotten Son agapētos, “Beloved”. Almighty God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah of the Coming Messiah, the Beloved of God (Isaiah 42:1). Matthew quoted the Prophet, using agapētos for Jesus:

Matthew 12:18 Behold my servant {Jesus}, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

Israel is God’s Beloved. Jesus Christ is God’s Beloved. God now calls you “Beloved” because you have believed on and received His Son as Lord and Savior. You are loved because of the relationship you have with Christ! You are Beloved. You are Beloved when joined together with other Beloveds, other believers in Christ.

Romans 1:7 … to ALL that be in Rome, beloved of God

The letter to the Romans was not addressed to just one person, but to the Church that was at Rome. The Church that Jesus Christ gave Himself for is “Beloved”.

H.B. London says, “God loves you as though you were the only one in all the world to love – and that makes you a very important person.”. That is so true – Goddoes love you with a focused and intense love. God is passionate about you. But Beloved, God wants you to be passionate about Him. As the Beloved of God Jesus sought to do the Father’s will in all things. Our Lord said:

John 4:34 I come not to do My will, but the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.

TheBeloved Sonalways seeks to do the Father’s will.In the same way, the Beloved Christian and the Beloved Church seeks to do …

Galatians 2:20 … the will of Him that loved us and gave himself for us.

The Beloved willalwaysseek todo the will of the Father. We are to live our faith passionately for the Lord Jesus. Our lives should make an impact on the world around us. The Apostle said of the Roman believers:

Romans 1:8 … First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Paul thanked our God because the Roman Church had kept a faithful witness before the whole world. When the Church lives for the world, it blends in with the world. When the Church, like Christ, lives to please God, then our faith will be spoken of throughout the world. The Church at Rome was acting like the Beloved of God. They were living their lives for Jesus. Compare this praise from the great Apostle to the pitiful performance shown by the Church at Corinth:

1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

The Apostle praised God through Christ for the Church at Rome, but for the Church of Corinth he expressed shocked outrage.“How dare you tolerate such athing? Do you not know that even the unbelievingGentile world doesn’t do what you people are doing! Ason taking his father’s wife, committing incest with his own mother.”

How would Christ rate the life you are living today? Would He brag on you, or chastise you? Are our lives reflecting the life of Jesus Christ?

The Rome in which these Christians were living in is much like America today. Secularism had taken over that nation. Sexual sin was rampant. Every type of fornication was not only allowed, but encouraged. Rome housed a pantheon of gods and goddesses, and even Caesar was, at one point, consider a god. Rome was disintegrating from the inside out, and Christians were made the targets of persecution. Fox’s Book of Martyr’s notes:

The first persecution of the Church took place in the year 67, under Nero, the sixth emperor of Rome. … {Nero} ordered the city of Rome should be set on fire … This dreadful conflagration continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast upon him, determined to lay the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse himself, and have an opportunity of glutting his sight with new cruelties. This was the occasion of the first persecution; and the barbarities exercised on the Christians were such as even excited the commiseration of the Romans themselves.

The Church of the falling Roman Empire, though persecuted by Rome, focused on being the Beloved of God. Rather than add to the darkness, the Church did as Jesus said in …

Matthew 5:43-44 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

The way of the world is “hit me, I’ll hit you”. The Way of the Beloved is “do bad to me, I will bless you”. This is what it means to imitate God (Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1). If each believer could focus on the reality that we are The Beloved of God, how the Church would make adifference in our present Roman Society! America today is like Rome of yesterday. Every man follows his own gods or goddesses, and focus devotion to Christ and Christ alone is not tolerated in our present society. Theworld does not mind the false teaching that Jesus is a god amongst other gods, yet the world violent rejects Jesus as …

John 14:6 the Way, the Truth, and the Life – no man comes unto the Father but by Him.

The Christian Is INVITED, BELOVED,

Romans 1:7 … to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

You are not only called to be the Beloved of God , and you are also called to be Saints. The word saint is literally the Greek word ἅγιος hágios, {pronounced hag’-ee-os}, which means to be a holy thing; to be set apart religiously or morally; to be consecrated to God. You are the Beloved of God. God set you apart to be used by Him and Him alone. John MacArthur notes:

The term saint in the word of God is simply defined right here in 1 Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 2. If you’ll look at it, we’ll just begin by examining that term. “Under the church of God which is at Corinth; to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.” Now, there you have the term saint used to define those who are sanctified in Christ, who call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Anyone made holy in Christ, anyone calling upon His name, that is, any believer, any true Christian, is a saint. You have the right to that title. In fact, the next time you introduce yourself, you can simply say, “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Saint John,” and that ought to start a good conversation. I have been made righteous. I have been made holy. I have been declared just, by God Himself, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That’s a saint.”

The “Saint” knows that he or she are just passing through this world. We are set apart by God through the death and resurrection of Christ. We are called out of this world to live for Jesus. Jesus made this plain in His High Priestly prayer for the Church. He said:

John 17:9-11 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

The Saint is to walk in union with God, to seek the same union that our Lord Jesus Christ had. Jesus continued His prayer …

John 17:13-19 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil {one}. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

The Saint, like Jesus, is sent by God INTO the world, to share the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the Saint is not to blend in with the world. We are called to blend in with God, to cling to His Word. The foundation of the Christian way of life is the writings of the Apostles and the Prophets. The Scripture says:

Ephesians 2:20 {the Church or gathering of believers is} … built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone…

Our FOUNDATION, dear Christian, is not what the world says, feels, or believes, but is what the Bible (the Apostles and Prophets) teaches. This will certainly not makes us “friends of the world”, but I hasten to remind you what the Scripture says:

James 4:4 … know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

This is what has caused much of the problems we see in America today. As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat”. What are you feeding your soul? Too many who profess to be believers in Christ spend little time reading the Word of God, the Bible – but hours every day in front of a secular driven television. What are you feeding your soul? Beloved, you are called to be Saints, set apart for God’s use.

Do you pray daily? Do you start and end your day in prayer? The Psalmist said:

Psalms 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Psalms 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

Are you praying? Are you reading His Word? Do you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? If you do not, today would be a wonderful day to call upon the name of the Lord. The Bible promises:

Romans 10:6-13 … the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Salvation brings with it a glorious new life in God. Do you know that life? Do you enjoy His pretense daily? If not, become a child of God by faith in Christ today. Find your purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord. May God bless you richly with His Word, through His Spirit. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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