Why We Exist (Part 3)

This is the third is a series of four articles from Jeff’s Vision talk at our first Core Group meeting. Be sure to check out the previous parts from this series – Part 1; Part 2.

 Third truth to note from 1 Peter 2 – the church’s mission is to proclaim God’s glory. We see this also from verse 9. Look at the last phrase of v9, “that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

 That is a purpose statement. Why have we been created and established as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession? So that we might proclaim his excellencies. Our job, fundamentally, is to make God look great to a world that does not see him as very great. The world is convinced that God is not glorious, not excellent, not great. That is why the world is so messed up. Yes, the world is messed up because of sin. But isn’t sin, at its core, about seeing others things – whatever they might be – as greater and more glorious than God?

 So, the problem with the world is that we are rebelling against God, refusing to acknowledge his greatness and glory. In fact, at this point, the world is unable to see God’s glory. That is what Paul says in 2 Corinthians chapter 4. People are so blinded by sin and Satan that they are unable, even unwilling, to acknowledge God’s glory and greatness.

 So, what is God’s solution to this problem? The gospel-equipped church. God has ordained that the church will be his means of awakening people to see and love and treasure his greatness. Now, he is the one who is doing the awakening, through his Word and through his Spirit. But the means by which he accomplishes that is his church. As we proclaim God’s greatness and glory, people are given eyes to see God and his glory. As we use our lives to declare how great and merciful and gracious and glorious God is, the Holy Spirit uses our message to give people new life so that they might also see God in the same light.

 But, there is something implied here in this ordering of things that should not escape our notice. If we are to proclaim God’s excellencies, that means that we must first see him as excellent. You cannot proclaim something as glorious if you don’t first yourself see it as glorious. That means that we must be cultivating hearts that love and treasure God and his glory. We must labor to see God as great. Look, it is not just the world that has the problem of not seeing God as very great. We are still afflicted with that problem ourselves. Even believers can have their vision clouded and become convinced that something other than God is both great and glorious. So, we must be working hard at seeing God as great. And let me say that it is hard work. It is labor. And it is life long. There will never be a point in this life when we will able to say, “Ah, it’s over. I treasure God completely and fully. My heart is totally enraptured by this glorious God.” No, friends, that is a description of what we will be saying around the throne in heaven! The Christian’s life on earth is a long, difficult battle to see God as great. All of life relates to God, so let us be laboring, day in and day out, to see him as great and glorious.

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