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What Is Our Purpose As A Christian?

It is important that we understand our purpose. It is not so that we can be perfect. It is not so that we can sit back and smugly compare ourselves to this world. The perfecting is for the purpose of the work of the ministry. Let us look at what the work of the ministry is in the lives of believers.


There is a mistaken idea that faith or grace removes the need for works or at least supersedes it. However, James 2:17-20 says otherwise. In fact, it reveals that faith without works is dead. There is a work that reveals our faith. The purpose of faith is to trust God in what He has called us to do. He has called us to His work. In fact, the Bible says that our works perfect our faith. So the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry continues the process of the perfecting in our lives. (Hebrews 13:21)

Good works are to be used to glorify God. (Matthew 5:16) The Bible tells us that we are to let our lights so shine that others may see our good works for the purpose of glorifying God, not ourselves.

  • The Bible says that we are His workmanship created unto good works for the purpose of building our walk in them rather than in our (Ephesians 2:10)
  • We are to study the Bible for the purpose of the work in order that we are not (II Timothy 2:15)
  • We are set aside by the Holy Spirit for a particular (Acts 13:2)


Jesus prayed to the Father. In that prayer, we see what He sought to accomplish in the lives of His disciples. We have been commanded to go and to do as Christ did which means we are to go and to work. Jesus defined His work in this passage. He gives us several things in His prayer to the Father that He finished in His work on this earth. ( John 17:1-19)

  • Winning the lost (6)
  • Teaching them God’s Word (8, 17)
  • Praying for other believers (9)
  • Nurturing believers (12)
  • Sending them into the world to win the lost (18)
  • Setting an example of separation (19)

These are the works that Jesus did; therefore, they are the works that we as Christians are to do as well.


The word ministry means service. We are to be in service for our Lord. In fact, that is the purpose of the perfecting of the saints. We see two distinctions of ministry in the New Testament.

The ministry of the Gospel: (Ephesians 3:7; Colossians 1:23; Matthew 9:37) This is the ministry in which every believer is to partake. It is our responsibility to minister the Gospel to this world. This is not a spiritual gift nor is it an elective. It is a command that each of us should fulfill. It is a work that we are to do.

The ministry to the saints: (I Corinthians 16:15) The purpose of this ministry is to meet the needs of God’s people. The best illustration of this is an army. The purpose of the army is to defend its country. Each soldier’s responsibility revolves around that main purpose. However, there are needs in the lives of soldiers. They must eat. They have medical needs. There are basic needs they have. Soldiers are assigned specific duties to meet the needs of the other soldiers. Being a soldier is not about feeding the hungry. Being a soldier is about winning the war. However, there are some whose ministry is to provide meals or medical care for the other soldiers. Ultimately, the purpose is to defend the country which is everyone’s duty. Likewise, God’s people are to minister to one another’s needs within the local body.

We are not commanded to go to church for the purpose of being perfected to our own end. The entire purpose of perfection is for the purpose of work in the ministry. A Christian who goes to church only for his own benefit is falling short of understanding why God seeks to perfect us. That perfecting is not only for our edification but also for the work of the ministry which He has called us to do.


This is an excerpt from the study guide A Time to BuildGet your copy here.

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by pastor greg neal

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