A Statement of Purpose - Part 4

 'We exist to follow Christ's example'


A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
“ We at St Matthew's are a fellowship of Christians committed to placing God at the centre of our lives. We exist to follow Christ's example and to share his message and love with the local and wider community''.


Last month we thought briefly about the statement 'placing God at the centre of our lives' and we move on to think what it might mean to 'exist to follow Christ's example'

There's a verse in Paul's letter to the Colossians which states 'by him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,...all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things and in him all things hold together' (Col. 1:15-17)
 We do indeed, Paul says, exist for God.  Does that make us toys for his enjoyment or machines to be controlled to do what he wants?  Is it a statement of supreme arrogance about how we are to be his slaves for his own pleasure?  Not really. For the Bible also tells us that those who trust God can be called the children of God; those who follow him can be inheritors of all the good things he has to give.  

In some ways it's true that we are 'slaves of God' but Jesus (and Paul after him) spend plenty of time telling people to stop being slaves to sin and getting themselves hooked into ways of life that harm; instead he wants them to be slaves to 'righteousness' and get hooked into doing the right things.  That's because we find our real purpose when we are connected with God.  He made us, we bear a family resemblance and we're most content when we discover the heart of what it means to be like God. 

So yes, we exist for God – to serve him, to find out what he wants and do it, to please him.  But we exist for those reasons because it's those things that help us find the best way of life rather than wandering about on the many pathways that seem to promise much and deliver a lot less!  As that verse above goes on to say Jesus is the one in whom everything holds together.  Without him at the centre things can fall apart much more easily.

So we exist for Christ and we exist to follow his example.  What's his example?  Well it wouldn't take long if you thought about the life of Jesus to come up with examples of kindness, courage, truth-speaking, love even when it's not been earned or deserves, acceptance and welcome for those that others don't bother with, refusal to boast, worship that has heart and not just ritual and supremely-forgiveness where others would seek revenge or just walk away.

We exist to follow Christ's example.  We were made by God and so we find our purpose in staying close to him and his ways.  We exist for him because he is superior.  We see his example in Jesus and that inspires and directs us to find the best for ourselves and others.

A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
“ We at St Matthew's are a fellowship of Christians committed to placing God at the centre of our lives. We exist to follow Christ's example and to share his message and love with the local and wider community''.