The Purpose of life

What is my calling?

Baptism in the Holy Spirit as a means to Holiness

 

Sanctification

as
“the calling on our lives”
by
Jose de Carvalho
What is the calling on my life? Is a natural question for a believer, what does the Word has the final authority say? Read on to find out…

Paul indicates that throughout a Christian’s life….., “we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).  My exhortation is that we should commit to the process of becoming more like Christ. (Phil. 3:13) “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Phil. 3:14)  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. In the spiritual race that goal is Christ; that is ethical-spiritual perfection in Him. With all his heart the apostle desired to be completely raised above sin.

Believers are so preoccupied trying to find the calling on their lives?  They go on courses, programs, take questioners to find their ministry etc., totally ignoring what the primary call is for all believers: namely to became like Christ and to put on the “new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, conformed to the likeness of Christ” (Col 3:10).The author of Hebrews tells his readers in Heb. 12:14, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”. Do not let sin dominate your lives (Rom.6:14). James encourages his readers to “be doers of the Word and not hearers only” (James 1:22) and Peter tells his readers 1Pet 1:15, “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”  All the apostles in their exhortations command people to sanctification; thus showing that sanctification is required in the Christian life in deed, thoughts, attitudes as well as words and it is the primary call of the Christian life, “predestined to be conformed to the image of His son”(Rom.8:29). God is at work in you, so cooperate!!!! It is the goal of salvation.

The tragedy is that in so many Christian circles the ‘passive’ role in sanctification, the idea of yielding to God and trusting Him to work in us is sometimes so strongly emphasised that it is the only thing people focus on as the path of sanctification. Sometimes the popular phrase ’let go and let God’ is given as a summary of how to live the Christian life. But this is a tragic distortion of the doctrine of sanctification, for it only speaks of one half of the part we must play, and, by itself, will leave Christians to become lazy and to neglect the ‘active’ role that Scripture commands them to play in their own sanctification. To this end Paul acknowledges that it is “by the Spirit” that we are able to live this life (Rom 8). But he also says we must do it. Paul did not command the Holy Spirit to put to death the deeds of the flesh; he commanded Christians to do it. Rom 6:12, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” Rom 6:13, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

If any of this is interesting or enriches you, stay connected and travel with me as we migrate in this pilgrimage of life finding ‘what adds meaning to our lives’.

Bible verses, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible copyright 1983 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 

 

 

The Purpose of Life Part 2

The Purpose of life

by

Jose de Carvalho

 

In my previous post I introduced the following thought: In adding value to the concept (The meaning of life), Christianity’s position has received much criticism from sceptics, who will not accept anything without empirical evidence to justify their lack of belief and are not able to take a leap of faith. Perhaps what I can add to the discussion is that the leap of faith that is required to accept Christianity’s position is not as daunting as one thinks!

The fact is by examining the evidence further you and I can determine beyond reasonable doubt that the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is true by examining extra biblical literature, therefore Christianity is a unique, factual truth, based on indisputable facts.

This is basically what I have already said before – now I want to provide some statements from Jesus to His disciples that add value to the discussion: Jesus appealed to Philip, do you not believe, at least believe, because of what you’ve seen me do. Jesus’ miracle healings, attesting Him to be God, are also recorded and beyond doubt.  What I mean by that is, it is recorded in extrabiblical resouces, even hostile witnesses recorded them. So what did the disciples see: they saw, the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers cured, the deaf hear and the dead being raised to life. The apostle John then wrote, “Jesus’ disciples saw Him do many other miracle signs besides the ones witnessed and recorded in this book, but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.

 Jesus on Thomas: Thomas insisted on seeing evidence of Jesus’ resurrection when first reports broke out that He was alive.  He wanted evidence before committing. Jesus honoured his wish a few days later. Jesus showed Himself to him saying, put your fingers here and see my hands, put your hands into the wounds,

Don’t be faithless any longer believe!

Jesus said further you have seen, you believed, blessed are those who have not seen yet believe  paraphrased from (John 20:24:31).

  Of course no matter how thoroughly convincing the evidence is, we still must exercise faith. Jesus invited his disciples to have faith.  The key however for me is that the faith Jesus is asking His disciples to have is not blind faith, but informed, intelligent, factual belief.

To reiterate my position: God made man (including you and me) to know Him, love Him, bring glory to Him, and serve Him and others.  My life is about that and the pursuit of becoming more like Him in this life time, until I meet with Him in the after life – “this adds meaning to my life”, And  provides answers to:

Why I am here?

What am I doing here?

Where am I going?

If any of this is interesting or enriches you, stay connected and travel with me as we migrate in this pilgrimage of life finding ‘what adds meaning to our lives’.

The Purpose of life Part 1

The Purpose of life

by

Jose de Carvalho

 

The meaning of life is a philosophical old age question and I don’t know if I can add anything to the discussion that has not already been theorized by some great minds. Ancient records provide evidence of the debate; Greek philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and Hellenist schools of philosophy have pondered the purpose of our existence. Several religious perspectives have played a significant role in how humanity perceives the subject: Western, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and far Eastern. The 20th century has seen radical changes to the concepts due to scientific and medical advancements, thus giving new meaning to the concept of beginnings of the human race, leading to so many revaluating human existences in biological terms. Modern existentialism is asking the question differently, ‘each one creates the meaning of his life.’ One should be set free from the question (what is the purpose of life) as it gives rise to anxiety and dread. In a previous post in the series, I presented Victor Frankl’s work on ‘Man’s search for meaning’.  He said that from a humanistic-psychotherapeutic point of view the question could also be reinterpreted to “what is the meaning of my life?” which translates as one ceasing to reflect when one is engaged in life, then the question should be “what is blocking my ability to enjoy life” this brings therapeutic value.

 Philosophy, science, medicine – all concepts that add value to the question, but what about theology?

All the religions provide concepts to the ‘meaning of life.’ At this junction it is important to state that I am a Christian; therefore I will provide ‘what adds meaning to my life’ from that perspective. In adding value to the concept, religions have received much criticism from sceptics who will not accept anything without empirical evidence to justify their lack of belief and are not able to make a leap of faith. Perhaps what I can add to the discussion is that the leap of faith that is required to accept Christianity’s position is not as daunting as one thinks! First of all, if humanity accepts that there is a God and that faith itself is a gift from God to the serious enquirer, then all that is required is that humanity stops trying to depend on themselves and take the leap of faith into the arms of a loving God. Secondly, the fact that I am a disciple of Christ is not based on Biblical accounts only, but on records of fact that are chronicled in Roman, Christian, Jewish, Hellenist and Greek records. The birth of Jesus, His life, sacrificial crucifixion and resurrection have been witnessed by many and are well attested, not requiring just the Bible to substantiate it and therefore not as absurd as many uninformed may think or at least not as absurd as to think that we live this life without purpose and then we die.

So God made me to know Him, love Him, bring glory to Him, serve Him and others.  My life is about that and the pursuit of becoming more like Him in this life time, until I meet with Him in the after life – “this adds meaning to my life”.

If any of this is interesting or enriches you, stay connected and travel with me as we migrate in this pilgrimage of life finding ‘what adds meaning to our lives’.