The Sevenfold Purpose of God
“The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:” (Isaiah 14:24)
We believe, according to the scriptures, that the Lord our God is a God of purpose, absolute and unalterable purpose. Before the world began, Almighty God sovereignly purposed all that ever comes to pass in time. Nothing in this world is left to chance. Everything is moving toward the predetermined end of God’s eternal purpose with absolute, precise accuracy.
Even a casual reader of Holy Scripture has to face this fact: The God of the Bible is a God of purpose. Read Romans 8:28-30, 9:11-26, 11:33-36, Ephesians 1:3-14, 3:11 and 2 Timothy 1:9. These passages plainly state that the Triune Jehovah is a God of purpose, and clearly teach several things about the purpose of God. — The purpose of God is eternal. —The purpose of God includes all things. — The purpose of God has for its peculiar design the everlasting benefit of God’s elect. Everything that God has purposed is for the ultimate, spiritual, and eternal benefit of his covenant people. — The purpose of God is immutable and sure. The Lord himself says, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10). And in its ultimate end, God’s purpose will accomplish the eternal salvation of his chosen people and the glory of his own great name.
Here are seven things which God has purposed. Since these are things purposed of God, they must all come to pass. They are divine imperatives.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ must suffer and die upon the cursed tree.
The death of our Lord was no accident. It was not something that came to pass as the result of man’s free-will, or because the Jews would not have him as their King. Our Savior plainly told his disciples that he must die at Calvary (Luke 9:22). In order to fulfill his covenant engagements as our Surety, the Lord Jesus Chris had to die at Calvary. Our Lord voluntarily took it upon himself to become our Surety, and he freely laid down his life for us; but once he volunteered to become our Surety, he had to lay down his life for us. His honor and faithfulness demanded it (John 10:18). The Old Testament Scriptures could not be fulfilled until the Son of God hung upon the cursed tree. And the Lord God could not save his people except through the atoning death of his Son (Romans 3:24-26).
2. But the death of Christ alone is not sufficient to save anyone. In order to save us the Lord Jesus must rise from the dead.
It is written, “He must rise again from the dead.” A dead Christ could never have been of any value to God or to his people; but when the Lord Jesus arose from the dead, our salvation was accomplished and the foundation of our faith was fixed.
3. The gospel of the grace of God must be preached throughout the whole world.
Our Lord told his disciples that prior to his second advent “the gospel must first be published among all nations’’ (Mark 13:l0). The gospel must be preached for the salvation of God’s elect in every nation.
4. When the gospel has been declared throughout the whole world and before our Lord comes again, all God’s elect must be saved.
God preserves the earth and allows it to stand only because he has in it a people whom he is determined to save (2 Peter 3:9). Our Lord said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John l0:16).
5. The Lord Jesus Christ must reign as King.
Our blessed God-man Mediator, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the sovereign Ruler and King of the universe. And “he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25). You must bow to the Lord Christ, or you must perish (Luke 14:25-33).
6. The Lord Jesus Christ must come again in power and great glory (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).
Once all God’s elect have been saved and all the purpose of God in this world has been accomplished, Christ shall come for his people. King Jesus must come again to raise his saints, to destroy his enemies, to create all things new and to reign gloriously forever.
7. And it is evident from the scriptures that, according to the purpose of God, every person must stand before the Lord Jesus Christ in judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).
When everything God has purposed is done, you and I will meet God in the judgment. How will you fair in that day? Will you stand alone, in the nakedness of your iniquity? Or, will you stand in Christ complete, clothed in his perfect righteousness? I do not know whether you will in simple, submissive faith bow to the purpose of God and be saved, or not; but of this one thing I am sure — the purpose of God shall stand!
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