This was the outline for the evening service tonight. Why are we here?
Text: Philippians 1:21-24
Theme: Why am I here?
Date: 1/10/2010 PM
Location: CBC Monticello
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
There are certain questions that most people ask. One of these is the classic question of purpose: WHY AM I HERE?
Other religions try to also explain the purpose of life
Buddhism: life is suffering
Hinduism: life is pointless, it's about a return to oneness with nothing
Secularism, the state religion of America: life is an accidental inconvenience
As Christians, we find the answer based on Scripture
One of the main answers is found in the Westminster Catechism:
“ What is the chief end of man?”
The chief end of man is fear God and glorify Him forever.
Another answer is found at the end of Ecclesiastes
Now all has been heard, and here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Recently it's also been explained with the summary “To know Him and make Him known” based on the Great Commandment and Great Commission.
We should understand that our primary purpose is to glorify the one who created us. Yet for what purpose does He leave us here?
That's actually the question Paul is struggling with here. He is expressing his own frustration that he cannot simply depart and be with Christ, that his life is not his own to live or to die, but rather he must remain
He take his encouragement from knowing his remaining will be “fruitful labor”
How are we living our lives?
If we live for our own pleasures, we will not be satisfied
even if our pleasure is where it should be, obedience to God
See this in Paul here: he is living in obedience to Christ, but he'd rather be in the presence of God
If we are living for the strengthening of others, however, we begin to see the purpose God has for leaving us here
We are called to remain on this earth not for our glory or for our own growth
We are here to strengthen others, to lead others to Christ and to a forward growing relationship with Him