Friday, July 7, 2017

Wherefore Art Thou?

William Shakespeare circa 1593 wrote Romeo and Juliet. It was a story of unrequited love. One of the most memorable lines was "wherefore art thou, Romeo?" As most readers of the play, I too believed that meant where are you, Romeo? Not so!

What does it mean?

Years later I learned that it meant, why are you, Romeo?

My question to the reader is why are you, (reader) - fill in your own name. "Wherefore art thou?"

We all have a corporate purpose in life. Think about that right this instant: What is the purpose of mankind? You have some in mind? Keep them to yourself for a moment.

Here are some passages for why art thou mankind?
Luke 10:27 (ESV) And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (ESV) "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. " 
1 Samuel 12:24 (ESV) "Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you."
Isaiah 43:21 (ESV) "The people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise."
1 Corinthians (ESV) 10:31 "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'” 
Romans 12:1 (ESV) "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."
Taking these six one at a time, what are some of the purposes of mankind?
  • Love God and love others. (How much do you love yourself?)
  • Fear and obey God (What does scripture say about this? Your duty.)
  • Fear and serve God. (Why should we? For doing great things for you. Like what?)
  • Be God's. Praise Him. (How are we His? What is Praise?)
  • (What is this verse  saying?) Be like God. Be responsible to God. 
  • Sacrifice the self for God. (How can we do this?)
  • (Are their others?) Believe - Accept - Obey - Trust - still more?
Why are you? The same as all mankind. We all our to magnify the Lord. All these things are giving credit to God for creating us!

Psalm 69:30 "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving."
Why must we magnify the Lord? For his loving kindness in creating us. Our own creation was God's second act of grace. What was his first? The creation itself! He made a home for us!

We are to magnify God for His creation, but what does mankind do instead?
Psalm 35:26b "... let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me."
Our purpose, then, is to magnify God, but who turns out to be our god? Indeed, man returns God's grace by magnifying ourselves?

What is this self-magnification called? Pride. The world was meant to have an atmosphere of love, and it came about that it is the battleground of self against God. Mankind, commencing with Adam, began to serve the self rather than God.

Who are our other gods? We are the other gods which the serpent warned against, and what is our idol? The flesh! Our purpose is not for pleasure.
Galatians 5:16 (ESV) "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." 
Romans 8:7 (ESV) "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot."
What is the Satanic command? Do what thou wilt. 
Romans 8:13: "For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." 
Just what is the flesh? It's the mental condition inside which craves all sorts of pleasure - sexual, the appetite, power, prestige, wealth, etc.

The world was not created for these things. Our purpose is to magnify God, and what happens to us when we fulfill our purpose? Contentment, happiness, even joy, but most of all hope!

Your purpose then is to magnify God. What is it that all men desire the most? Eternal life, perhaps. What is it that we crave most, at least until we're saved? Pleasure. With each moment of sin, doubting humans gamble eternal life. Of course if we're born-again, we are not subject to the Mosaic Laws.

God's reason for creating us, then, was to commune with us for eternity. To be friends? What are friends? Friends are forever! 

He designed us immortal but one instance of sin created spiritual mutants. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Our purpose was to be perfect for He is perfect.(Matthew 5:48).  Perfection is our ultimate purpose, remembering that we were created in the image of God.

"But," you say, "I'm merely human. I can't be perfect." You are so right for to think so would elevate you to  godhood! However, God can perfect us:
2 Samuel 22:33 "God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect."
Can we ever be perfect? No, but unlike everything else, we get credit for our willingness.
A big difference between Calvinism and Arminianism is regarding the Law.  With the former, the focus is on sola gratia, by grace alone. With the latter, the focus is on magnifying God by honoring Him.

What is the difference in how we look at works? Christians don't have to but desire to and are willing to attempt perfection.

Because God created us in his image, we all have a will. What is the will? Our mechanism in making a choice. When God assigned Adam the purpose of tending the Garden (Genesis 2:15), mankind's purpose became "dressing and keeping" the Garden. What does that entail? Let's see. Who is at the center of the Garden? The Tree of Life. Who does that represent? God. How about the other trees around the center of the Garden? People. From the creation, mankind's purpose was to love God, and love others, which Jesus said was the Greatest Commandment!
In order to do God's will, we needed a place to do it. Since we are physical beings we required a material existence. Why the creation? For us and God. God wanted someone with whom to commune, and mankind needed a place to magnify the Lord. He is Lord and we are His tenants.

In summary, the creation was for us to serve our purpose of magnifying God by being like Him. Do we fulfill our purpose? Man never did, but grace is God's overlooking our failure to be as He designed us.

No comments:

Post a Comment