God Works Through All Situations To Fulfill His Purpose
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose .
Hard times can make it difficult to see Gods purpose especially when we only feel pain and grief. Many times we dont want to be reminded that God is working our difficulty for our good. However if we practice living our lives with the mindset that God is working things out for us, we can have smoother transition of accepting this truth in the hard places.
Children Are Part Of Gods Creative Plan
God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number fill the earth and subdue it. Genesis 1:28
After creating Adam and Eve, God commanded that they be fruitful, or have children. The original design included families with children. Kids werent an afterthought. Everything about creation was pronounced good, including his design for children.
New Testament Views On Gender
The New Testament names many women among the followers of Jesus and in positions of leadership in the early church. New Testament scholar Linda Belleville says “virtually every leadership role that names a man also names a woman. In fact there are more women named as leaders in the New Testament than men. Phoebe is a ‘deacon’ and a ‘benefactor’ . , Lydia and Nympha are overseers of house churches . Euodia and Syntyche are among ‘the overseers and deacons’ at Philippi . The only role lacking specific female names is that of ‘elder’–but there male names are lacking as well.”:54,112
New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg and other complementarians assert there are three primary texts that are critical to the traditional view of women and women’s roles: “1 Corinthians 14:34-35, where women are commanded to be silent in the church 1 Timothy 2:11-15 where women are not permitted to teach or have authority over a man and 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 where the male and female relationship is defined in terms of kephal commonly translated head.“:97
Jesus’ interactions with women
Women in the early church
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The Purpose Of Life According To The Bible
The scriptures make it clear what the purpose of life is. An important scripture to read which summarises this is
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Here we are told clearly, that the duty of man is to fear God and keep his commandments.
In the next verse
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
It tells us why we should keep the commandments. If you had no incentive in a past to follow the Most Highs commandments, the above verse should give you a better incentive and understanding.
We are told that the reason why we should keep the Commandments, is because the Most High will judge all of our deeds, even those things we do in private.
Our deeds will be judged on whether they are good or evil. For this reason its important to read the Commandments of God to understand what is good and evil.
Those Who Are Called Are Justified
This means that the call referred to here is not the general call that goes out to all men in the preaching of the gospel. If it were, then all who heard the gospel would be justified. For verse 30 says, Those whom he called he justified. If everyone who hears Billy Graham calling them to Christ on the television is called in the sense of Romans 8:30, then they are all justified too. For those whom he called he also justified. But Paul plainly teaches that not all who are called in this general sense are justified. We are justified by faith! . Not all who are called in this general sense have faith, and therefore not all are justified. Yet Paul says in 8:30 that those who are called are justified!
Samaritan Origins Of Palestinian Muslims In Nablus
Much of the local Palestinian population of Nablus is believed to be descended from Samaritans who converted to Islam. According to the historian Fayyad Altif, large numbers of Samaritans converted due to persecution under various Muslim rulers, and because the monotheistic nature of Islam made it easy for them to accept it. The Samaritans themselves describe the Ottoman period as the worst period in their modern history, as many Samaritan families were forced to convert to Islam during that time. Even today, certain Nabulsi family names such as Al-Amad, Al-Samri, Maslamani, Yaish, and Shaksheer among others, are associated with Samaritan ancestry.
For the Samaritans in particular, the passing of the al-Hakim Edict by the Fatimid Caliphate in 1021, under which all Jews and Christians in the Fatimid ruled southern Levant were ordered to either convert to Islam or leave, along with another notable forced conversion to Islam imposed at the hands of the rebel ibn Firsa, would contribute to their rapid unprecedented decrease, and ultimately almost complete extinction as a separate religious community. As a result, they had decreased from nearly a million and a half in late Roman times to 146 people by the end of the Ottoman Era.
According to The Economist, “most ethnic Samaritans are now pious Muslims.”
Biblical Passages About The Purpose Of Life
Now that I have told you the purpose of life, it is time to prove that claim right from the Bible, the ultimate source of all truths and fact.
Lets go back from the beginning of the creation of man.
So God created man in His own image in the IMAGE OF GOD He created him male and female He created them .
Right in the very beginning, God has planned that we become like Him. Of all the created living organisms of God, it is only man that has given the privilege to be created after the image of God.
Our first parents were given their first test of obedience. There are two unique trees in the garden. One is called the Tree of Life and the other is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil .
Right there, God has given man the chance to be immortal if they eat the Tree of Life. However, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. From that moment on, sin entered the world. Sadly, the penalty of sin is death .
Even in the Garden of Eden, God wants Adam and Eve to pass the test of obedience and give them immortality and to be part of Gods family. However, they have sinned and to redeem them from the penalty of sin Jesus has to die for all of us .
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Christian Sources: New Testament
Samaria or Samaritans are mentioned in the New Testament books of Matthew, Luke, John and Acts. The Gospel of Mark contains no mention of Samaritans or Samaria. The best known reference to the Samaritans is the Parable of the Good Samaritan, found in the Gospel of Luke. The following references are found:
The rest of the New Testament makes no specific mention of Samaria or Samaritans.
My Purpose In Life Is To Get Close To God
The Bible tells us that you can enter into a close relationship with God through belief in Jesus Christ.
I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
I am the bread of life.
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
If you would like to learn more about entering into a close relationship with God, click here: How to become a child of God.
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The Meaning Of Life Is To Know God Through Jesus Christ
According to the Bible, in John 17:3, the meaning of life is to know Jesus Christ.
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
The meaning of life would be incomplete without knowing Jesus as the one who came to restore Gods original design in us. Once God begins His work in us, we can appreciate all the good things that are in our lives: relationships, skills and talents, and experiences, and material possessions.
According to the book of Genesis, God gives people the gifts and responsibility of marriage, family, relationships, culture, and work. This is the reason God created Adam, the first man and placed him in a garden to work it and take care of it .
Our relationships, work, and culture can change, so they cant be the basis of the true meaning of life. Life-giving relationships, children, creative arts and expression are beautiful things we experience in life. They are absolutely meaningful. But they cannot be the definition of life and bring the ultimate meaning to life.
What keeps us up at night? Its when relationships, work, and culture dont go as we would like. These things can actually bring the most pain in our lives as well. This is because we live in a world of brokenness. The things that are meant to bring us fulfillment and joy sometimes cause us the greatest grief and misery.
In the Bible, what is the meaning of life? It is to know Jesus Christ, whom God has sent.
Why Certainty For The Called
The reason that the beneficiaries of Romans 8:28 can have such certainty that God will indeed fulfill this promise for them is that God himself has effectually called them into his covenant and caused them to qualify for it.
It is one thing if God sends out a mass mailing addressed to whom it may concern inviting all to the banquet where all things work together for good. But it is quite another if God himself drives up to your front door, walks in, picks you up, puts you in the car, drives you to the banquet of Romans 8:28, gives you the banquet garment of love, and then seats you at the right hand of his Son. Would not his own personal initiative in the second case give you a deeper confidence that God does indeed intend to pursue you with mercy all your days and work everything together for your good?
We deny ourselves such deep and wonderful assurances when we do not embrace the doctrine of Gods sovereign, effectual call. There is such strength that comes into the walk of a Christian when he knows how it is that he came to be a beneficiary of this incomparable promise.
And as though it were not enough to reassure us that we became beneficiaries of this promise by Gods effectual call, Paul adds the words, according to his purpose. All things work together for good to those who love God, to those that are called according to his purpose.
Why According To His Purpose
What is Pauls reason for adding this phrase: according to his purpose? I think it was to make perfectly clear and forceful that the call of God originates in Gods purpose, not ours. The call of God is not a response to anything we purposed to do. God has his own high and holy purposes that govern whom he calls, and his call accords with these purposes, not with ours.
He did not drive up to my door and pick me up and bring me to the banquet of Romans 8:28 because it accorded with my purpose of salvation, but because it accorded with his. Had he waited for me to have a purpose of salvation, I would still be watching television at home.
Gods Purpose: Walking In The Spirit
To walk in the Spirit is simply to be led of the Spirit in your life. One must cultivate a relationship with God and begin to respond to the Spirits beckoning. The Spirit of God will lead and guide us. All we have to do is respond. It is when we try to get ahead of the Spirit of God, we stumble and fail.
Friend, dont discard this truth. Dont just simply put this off as mumbo jumbo. Too often Christians push aside this pertinent truth of the leading of the Spirit. We cannot disregard this truth. It is essential. But many discount this aspect of our Christian walk because it is seemingly too hard. It isnt brutal, but it calls for the denial of the carnal nature and its appetites.
Have you ever known someone that you wanted to speak to but yet were afraid to approach them? When you finally do get the nerve to approach them, you struggle at first to converse with them, and as time goes on, perhaps after future meetings with this person, you become less concerned with the struggle you originally had.
Granted this is somewhat different, but the principle applies as well. As you begin to respond to the Spirit and yielding to the Spirit, you will find the struggle within you to obey not as difficult as you first made it. This is not to say that one does not sin or stumble. Those are side-issues, but they do not negate your relationship with God, your Heavenly Father. They may hinder it, if you allow them to, but these will never negate it.
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The Effectual Call Of God
So Paul teaches that when the gospel is preached, God calls some so powerfully that their hearts and minds are changed about Jesus Christ and they embrace him in faith and love. Thats why Paul can say in Romans 8:30 that those who are called are justified, even though justification only comes by faith the call of God produces faith it opens the eyes of the blind to see that Jesus is the wisdom and the power of God.
The call of God that Paul has in mind is not like the call of a pet: Here Blackie. Here Blackie. Come on girl. Blackie may or may not come. The call of God is like the call of Jesus to the corpse of Lazarus: Lazarus, come forth! The call contains the power to produce what it commands. It is an effectual call. That is why Paul can say in Romans 8:30 that all those who are called are justified. The certainty of their justification lies in the fact that the faith by which men are justified is produced by the effectual call of God.
Therefore when Romans 8:28 says:
All things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.
This means that the beneficiaries of this massive promise are those who once did not love God but now do love God because God himself has called them effectually from darkness to light, from unbelief to faith, from death to life, and has planted within them a love to himself.
The effectual call of God is the new covenant fulfillment of the promise in Deuteronomy 30:6:
My Purpose In Life Is To Develop And Use My Gifts
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a mans gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve if it is teaching, let him teach if it is encouraging, let him encourage if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously if it is leadership, let him govern diligently if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
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True Israel And True Children Of Abraham
We can see the force of this little phrase if we look at the one other place in Romans where the word occurs, namely, Romans 9:11. In context, Paul is trying to show that not all Israelites are true Israelites not all are the children of Abraham just because they are descended from him and the difference whether one is a true Israelite or a true child of Abraham depends on Gods purpose and call, not mans. Notice verses 1012:
God calls some so powerfully that their hearts and minds are changed about Jesus Christ and they embrace him in faith and love.
And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that Gods purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call, she was told, The elder will serve the younger.
The point of this passage is to illustrate by the example of Jacob and Esau the nature of Gods call. Jacob and Esau were in the same womb. They had the same father. They had done nothing good or evil. And God set his favor on Jacob, not Esau. Why? Why not wait until they grow up and have a chance to show which of them will have the distinctives that make it just for God to call the one and not the other? Why did God reveal his choice even before they were born?