Christ Gives Meaning to Life

MEMORY SELECTION: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” —Philippians 1:21

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:19-30

WHEN the Christian is drawn to God, he responds because he begins to see a vision of God’s love, justice, wisdom, and power finding outward expression through a divine plan of the ages. The aspect of the plan that made the greatest impression on most of us was the promised restoration and blessing of all people. As we learned more, we came to appreciate the fact that it is through Jesus that all these things will be accomplished.

Jesus said, in one of his sermons to the Jews recorded in John 6:44,45: “No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him. … It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” From this text we are to understand that many people will be exposed to a teaching with respect to God and his true character but that not all will “hear the word” and that those who do hear—that is, have a receptive heart and mind—go further and learn more about the Father. They come to know something of his character and his plans and purposes, and they desire to be in harmony with him, to have a part in bringing the plans and purposes to a reality. But it is at this point we learn that the “Door” is Jesus. It is only through Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for us, that we can have fellowship with the Father. Jesus said: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved. … I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”—John 10:9,10

When we really come to the point of fully discerning what Jesus has done for us, we are moved in much the same way that the Apostle Paul expressed it in II Corinthians 5:14-17: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh. … Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

The thought of the text is simply that when the Christian fully understands what has been done for him he is motivated to show his appreciation by consecrating his life to serve God. If his consecration is accepted, this brings about a change in attitude and values. Worldly things have lost their value, and new ideas and new thoughts involving spiritual things become uppermost in our lives. Paul says that we are a new creation, that old things have passed away and all things have become new. Paul goes on to say, in verse 18 of this text, that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. This means that we have the privilege and responsibility of witnessing with regard to God’s character and the great work of reconciliation that will take place in the kingdom. And we are told that if we are faithful in this and walk in the footsteps of Jesus, sharing his suffering, we have the prospect of sharing with him the privilege of blessing all the families of the earth through the kingdom arrangements.—Rom. 8:14-17

The Apostle Paul, in Hebrews 12:2, stated of Jesus, “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” What was this great anticipation of joy that so influenced the life of our Lord? We believe that it was the prospect of lifting the blight of sickness, sorrow, pain, suffering, death, injustices, etc., from the human family, and reestablishing mankind in perfection and in harmony with God in a perfected earth, from which also a curse will have been lifted.

The faithful Christian has also been promised a share in this wonderful work, and it is this wonderful objective that gives purpose and a real meaning to life.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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