The Eternal Purpose of God

The links throughout this post refer to other believers who collaborated with me on writing this. I want to thank them for sharing the light that they have received.

What is God’s eternal purpose?

Making known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself, (Ephesians 1:9)

What exactly does God want in this universe? And how does He get it?

Without answers to these questions, our Christian life can become directionless. The aim of our faith can become general and blurry.

Yes, our salvation is definite. It is as solid as a rock. We know we are saved. But beyond the definite experience of salvation, sometimes it seems that the proper direction of our Christian lives only becomes more and more vague.

Knowing the eternal purpose of God has become so difficult these days that sometimes, the only direction that desperate shepherds can give their hungry flocks is the distant promise of heaven. At least this may give some consolation to wandering, wondering believers. The unspoken truth is that it offers little help in our day-to-day lives.

But if we, by God’s mercy, see His real purpose, His real goal, we will realize its transcendence. It is a goal more wonderful than any promise of heaven.

In addition, this transcendent purpose is being carried out on the earth today. When we see it, our response is that we consecrate ourselves to Him for His eternal purpose.

The little bit that I’ve seen of God’s eternal purpose has given my Christian life razor-sharp clarity. It has given the goal of my spiritual growth pin-point accuracy, and it has been my fuel for pursuing God.

I want to see more, and I hope you do too. May the Lord remove all our veils to see His eternal purpose more and more.

God’s Goal

“For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

So what, specifically, is God’s eternal purpose? What does He want the most?

Sure, He wants us to worship Him. Sure, He wants us to love Him and bring others to know Him. Those are all great things. Still, that’s not what God wants the most.

We could even say that God wants us to glorify Him. That would be correct, but it’s still a little vague.

To be specific, God wants a Person. (agodman.com)  That sounds simplistic, but this Person is unlike any person we have ever seen.

This Person is Christ. But this Christ is not the individual Christ that walked on the earth 2,000 years ago and is now sitting in the heavens. No, that’s not enough.

This is a corporate Christ, a communal Christ, a collective Christ. It is a Christ that has many members, yet all the members are one Body. Each member in this body is an exact reproduction, a Xerox copy, of the individual Christ. (comeandreceive.wordpress.com)

Each of the members doesn’t live by his own life. Instead, they all live by one life, Christ’s life. The result is that they live and move as one body.

But man fell and God’s purpose was frustrated.

In response, God became a man. That man’s name was Jesus. Jesus is the Way to the God, the Truth about God, and the Life of God. (comeandreceive.wordpress.com) Through Jesus, man was brought back to God. But that was only the beginning.

And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23)

The goal of God’s work was still to produce a communal, collective Christ.  His goal is Christ and the church. (agodman.com) The church is the Body of Christ, the bride of Chrsit.

I think many believers understand this point. But when they talk about the process that God uses to get what He wants, there is a lot of confusion.

The Process (in 2 steps)

Step 1: Transformation

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1–2)(joequatrone.wordpress.com)

The first step of this process is called transformation. It begins when we believe into Christ. When we believe, Christ not only saves us from hell, but He enters into us. This is the beginning of transformation. But what is transformation?

What transformation is NOT:

  • Knowledge is not transformation. Learning about God and knowing the Bible is good, but it is not transformation.
  • Good behavior is not transformation. There are many good people, but they are not transformed.
  • Working for God, or serving God, is also not transformation. Many people serve God very diligently, but they are not transformed.

What transformation IS:

  • Transformation is the process of beholding and receiving God to the point of becoming saturated with Him.

But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.… But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image. (2 Corinthians 3:16,18a)

The phrase “being transformed” indicates that this is a process. We turn our hearts to the Lord, the “veil” on our heart is removed, and we spend time beholding the Lord. The more time we spend beholding God, the more we are transformed.

Through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4a)

What actually happens as we behold the Lord is that He deposits, or dispenses, His divine nature into us. We become partakers of the divine nature.

Eventually, we behold and partake so much that we become filled with the divine nature. At this point, we match God. We are saturated and soaked with God Himself.

First John 3:2 describes it like this: “We know that if He is manifested, we will be like Him because we will see Him even as He is.” Turning our hearts and seeing God results in our being like Him.

This process is going on today. Today, God wants to work Himself into our being. (Mark H)

But that’s not the end. There is still…

Step 2: Building

I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18)

In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing….In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. (Ephesians 2:21a, 22)

You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5)

The second step is building. A bunch of transformed Christians is good, but if they are not built together, it does not satisfy God. God doesn’t want independent believers. God’s purpose is to build these transformed believers together.

What building is NOT:

  • Organization is not building. Many people can be organized efficiently, but they are not built together.
  • Agreeing on a set of doctrines is not building. Having a common belief is good, but that is not real building.
  • Getting along and friendship is not building. Real building transcends even our natural affection for each other.

What building IS:

  • Building is God putting a group of transformed people more and more into Himself until they become one entity.
  • This building is composed of many members but it lives and operates as one body.

This part is tough to understand because when we think of buildings, we think of something lifeless. Concrete, rebar, steeples, stained glass, etc. Wrong kind of building.

The building God is after is a living building. It is built of “living stones.” It is a body-building.

I still don’t see it so clearly. But for me, it’s easiest to understand with a picture.

The New Jerusalem

At the beginning of the Bible, in Eden, there are precious stones.

And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden, …bdellium and onyx stone are there. (Genesis 2:10-12)

At the end of the Bible, there are also precious stones. But the stones are not the same. They are built into a city, the New Jerusalem.

The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone. (Revelation 21:19a)

In a sense, the Bible could be interpreted as a record of how these precious stones are built together into a city. But these stones are not physical. They are living stones. They are you and me, the transformed believers.

If the stones are not physical stones, than the city New Jerusalem cannot be a physical city. This city is the result of God building all His transformed believers together into one body, one building.

That means the New Jerusalem is not coming to us. It means we are becoming the New Jerusalem.

This is the building of God. It is God built into us and us built into God. It is “the Christ”, the Head and the Body together.

This is the central thought of God. This is His heart’s good pleasure. If you want to glorify God, this must be your goal. Only the New Jerusalem adequately glorifies God. If you want to worship God, this is the real worship that pleases Him. If you want others to be saved, this will cause them to fall on their faces and call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

How To Be Transformed and Built Together

How can we participate today? It is very simple.

Turn your heart to the Lord. Stop working for Him. Stop studying Him. Even stop trying to please Him. Just spend time with Him. Here is a verse that a friend of mine shared with me that is so precious.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4).

Make God your delight. Enjoy Him. The more we delight in Him, the more we will desire Him. The more we desire Him, the more He will give Himself to us. There is another wonderful picture to illustrate this process:

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him… He who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me. (John 6:56-57b)

Eating Jesus sounds kinda wrong, right? Well consider it from this angle: We eat Jesus by enjoying Him, delighting ourselves in Him. As we eat Him, we take Him into us, and we become what we eat. We become transformed into the same image as He is.

Then we must be built with others who do the same. Find them. Eat Jesus with them. Be built with them.

But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)

4 Responses “The Eternal Purpose of God” →
  1. “Turn your heart to the Lord. Stop working for Him. Stop studying Him. Even stop trying to please Him. Just spend time with Him.” I love this. I so believe this, that the more we delight in Him, the more we will desire Him, and the more He will reveal Himself to us, even mysteries, revelations and secrets of His heart. This IS how we become transformed — by beholding Him. Great article!

    Reply
    • Thanks Lisa! I haven’t arrived, by a long stretch, but I’m trying to stay in the process. Behold and reflect and be built.

      I saw you tweeted it too. Thanks for the publicity!

      Reply
  2. Brother, it sounds so simple – maybe TOO simple – to be transformed and built: just eating and drinking Christ! But amen, that’s the way the Lord wants us to grow in life and be transformed! Just as the physical food comes into our physical body and “builds up our body”, so it is Christ coming into us as our nourishment who can build us up as the Body of Christ!

    How can this organic constitution result in a physical city? No, the New Jerusalem is the ultimate consummation of the union, mingling, and incorporation of the Triune God with the transformed tripartite man!

    Hallelujah, eating Jesus is the way for us to become the New Jerusalem – the way to fulfill God’s purpose!

    Reply
    • Simplicity in profundity. It’s really incredible. If you’ve got some of your own posts on the New Jerusalem or on God’s eternal purpose, it would be great if you added some links to the comments! Thanks a God-man in Christ

      Reply

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