Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Salvation For God's Benefit

James 4:13-17 (New International Version)

13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.


While I was reading this chapter and passage, the thought occurred to me; “We often view salvation as our benefit”.

Well, it is. The scripture says in Romans 6, “The benefit we reap…”. However, where does the benefit ultimately rest? It is with God. We exist because God created us for His benefit; right? So, it is for God’s benefit that we have salvation.

If we ignore the fact that God created us for His benefit, we don’t see our salvation as a benefit for God. We see it as a selfish thing. We want to be saved from going to hell, so we reach for this free gift and possibly, never come to an understanding that our salvation is not as much for our benefit as it is for God’s benefit. It is for His benefit that He made a way for His creation to be His Family.

I think, in one sense, you can say, ‘We are saved from the condemnation of the Law’ and so, yes, we certainly reap the benefits of God’s gift. We reap the benefits because; a relationship with God is made much easier.

Have you learned what God’s plan is for you? I’m not asking you to consider what special task that you believe God has for you to do for Him. I’m asking that you consider that God’s plan for you is the same plan He has for everyone else. It is that you be His. And then, secondly, He is going to have a task or two for you. I feel I can guarantee you; it will have much more to do with helping to build His family than anything else. Weighing the sacrifice of God, giving His son in the way it happened demonstrates that God’s entire effort is to grow His family, more than anything else.

So, the next time you begin to think that you have done something significant; take the time to enjoy the accomplishment. However, hold it up along side of the task God has for you. Can you do more for God’s Kingdom than your own?

19 comments:

Jody said...

I think not only is His plan to be His but to glorify Him whether we eat or whether we drink or whatever we do, do all to the glory of God.

jeleasure said...

Absolutely, Jody!
Thanks for stopping bye.
I will send you an email about something else.
Jim

Nitewrit said...

Jim,

Very good post.

Larry

lmouser said...

It seems to me that salvation benefits both God and His children; perhaps not equally, but nevertheless to some extent.

The gift of salvation bestowed on us through God's grace is surely to our benefit, otherwise we would be lost, which would not benefit us, or God.

Without question we need God, but He unquestionably can do fine without us. While all things belong to God, He gives free gifts to His children, and they sure seem beneficial to me.

Just some additional thoughts...

The new Larry

jeleasure said...

lmouser,
You are correct. Here is the part of what I wrote, (maybe not so clearly) that agrees with your contribution.

"While I was reading this chapter and passage, the thought occurred to me; “We often view salvation as our benefit”.

Well, it is. The scripture says in Romans 6, “The benefit we reap…”. However, where does the benefit ultimately rest? It is with God.".

lmouser said...

Jim

Thanks for the clarification; my slow-as-molasses brain takes a while to engage.

thekingpin68 said...

Jim, I appreciate the links you sent me.

One task we have in Christ is fellowshipping with believers, and blogging is a way to do this, although no replacement for personal interaction.

Russ

jeleasure said...

Thanks, Larry, The New Larry and Russ for your comments. I do feel that in anything we do, we should do it so that it points toward God's purpose for us.

Vicki said...

One of the things I am not finished learning is that it is not all about me. I am not at the center of anything, not even myself.
The center of all is Jesus the Christ. For Him and by Him all things were made. He is the center and focus of our salvation.
Whether it is now or later we will bow and call Him Lord.
Thanks, Jiim, for your insights.
Vicki

preacherman said...

Jim,
I believe this is one of the best posts I have read in a long time in any blog that I read. Fantastic words and thoughts on this topic. You have definatly stretched my mind on this subject. You are good at doing just that brother. I have always thought salvation as our benefit through God. You present it in such a way that sheds light on viewing this different ideal. I am always stretched and strengthen by your blog brohter. Thank you so much for what you do on your blog. As I have said before, your blog is definately one of the best out there. Keep up the great work you do. Keep challenging our life and faith. I hope you and Vicki have a wonderful week and weekend.

jeleasure said...

Preacherman!
Thanks. Vicki and I have you and your family in our prayers. We were encouraged to hear the biopsy results to be negative for cancer.
Keep me in your prayers. I quit my job today. I don't quit jobs. But, this was to the point of abuse. Then, when I had my wife come to the shop to pick me up, my former bosses, whom had never met my wife were verbally abusive toward her for being a witness while I did out processing. My wife does not blame me for wanting to quit. But, I will need a job quickly.
Jim

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Interesting idea, Jim. I'm not sure how our salvation "benefits" God...I've not thought much about it. There is much in the Bible that speaks of our lives being to the praise of God's glory...and certainly our salvation is something that speaks to the praise of His glory. But since God doesn't need anything outside of Himself to proclaim His glory, I'm not sure how this would, in and of itself, "benefit" God.

Of course, when we use terms like this we port our own understanding of the word into the equation. As human beings, we "benefit" from many things spiritual and material (because we "lack" so much); but God lacks nothing--not even relationship. As the Trinity, God experiences "relationship" simply in Himself!

You say, "We exist because God created us for His benefit; right?"

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean pleasure? God created us for His pleasure? This is certainly a Biblical idea...and I can see where we can use the idea of "benefit" here--not that God was lacking in anything, but that He enjoys a sense of pleasure in His creation through "salvation" that He didn't enjoy before creation. I wouldn't view this "benefit" as quantitative, but rather as qualitative; a pleasure that brings a different kind of benefit.

I'm not really sure how to understand the idea of "benefit" when attributing it to God as something that we provide to him. I'll enjoy thinking on this for a while.

Thanks Jim,

Jason

jeleasure said...

Hi Jason,
Thanks for the fun excercise in reasoning.
What I mean by God's benefit is seen in the fact that God experiences adversity in having granted free will to us, the human family. Because of this free will, we need to be saved in order to have any 'inheritance' (biblical word) in God's Kingdom.
God, wills that no man shall parish. God created us for His "Pleasure" so it is to his benefit that He offers salvation that he sees fewer parish and they become Members of the Royal Family which is what God wants.

Kathy S. said...

Hi Jim, after reading your comment on Angela's blog, I was reminded of this article. I thought you would enjoy it.

http://www.elijahmin.com/Are%20You%20Compassionate.html

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Jim,

Great post! God doesn't really need us and to that i agree, but He so enjoys us. We are His creation to whom He can bestow His great love upon. God is love, love fills His whole being and i truly believe that our God had to create a creation that He could share and pour it out upon and it was for His great pleasure and satisfaction.

We pray that you find another job shortly and that it will be one that is beneficial and one that
you can truly enjoy!

God bless you and Vicki! T :)

jeleasure said...

Hi Kathy,
Thank you for pointing me to the article on tolerance.
I think what I appreciated most about this article, is the author's noting of Romans 2:4. Because, I often find myself telling someone something in such a way as to be very careful to not hurt them. The result, is as if I was just speaking a suggestion. I have found in the past, if I just lay it flat out there that I have hurt the person and have hurt the relationship I have or in some cases, had.
So, I think I will adopt this method of giving people the truth. I will be kind. And, I will remind them with Paul's words from Romans 2:4 that my intention is to lead them to repentance, not give passive suggestions.

An interesting thing just popped up as I am about to publish this comment. The word verification pattern reads: symeria

jeleasure said...

Thanks T.

Gigi said...

I see salvation as the epitome of God's grace...totally and completely undeserved, yet still a gift freely given. He desires that "none should perish." If there is a "benefit" to God, it would be in seeing His creation turn to Him, in spite of our free will, and in turning to Him, ultimately return to Him as well!

jeleasure said...

Gigi,
Yes! My point exactly. Without salvation, God can not experience the joy of being sought after by His family.
Thank you.