So pirate Chris Rosebrough was ushered into Sydney, Australia to schismatically mock segments of the Church in public.
His primal scoff this time was at those who teach that God has given us all a purpose. His message was titled ‘God did not create you for a purpose’.
The first 25 minutes of his lecture are spent falsely representing Christian leaders and congregations who promote the notion of purpose and destiny, before he finally gets into an exegesis of Ephesians 2:1-10.
Purpose and destiny, he claims, are not Biblical, even though the early focus of Ephesians, from which he takes his text, is God’s predestiny for all. The Greek, proorizō means ‘to predetermine: determine before, ordain, or predestinate’, which seems awfully close to purpose and destiny.
The whole lecture is a straw man. He has invented teachers in his own imagination and presented their most provocative ideas to tickle the ears of his audience. But, although he mentions the verse, he misses the incredible point of Ephesians 2:10.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Rosebrough reminds us of how worthless we were as sinners before God made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with Him, but hesitates at the point that we were predestined for good works once we have been made alive with Christ, and our new life is to enact God’s preordained purpose for our regenerated lives – not our own purpose, but His.
To achieve this he implies that works are not purpose. But how could works preordained by God not be purpose – His purpose for us?
Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
Our purpose, clearly, is in Him – in Christ. It is His purpose in us when we receive Christ as Lord. We are predestined according to His purpose. We are to be to the praise of His glory. That is a great purpose and wonderful destiny.
What is a purpose, then? The dictionary defines it as ‘the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists’.
So the ‘reason for which we are created’ in Christ is for good works. It is the ‘reason for which we exist’. God has sent Jesus to the cross so that we can be redeemed from serving darkness and the god of this age to become God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works – works that were prepared beforehand.
Rosebrough continues his polemic by letting us know that good works include the mundane things of daily living with a Christian attitude based on the love commands. His claim is that we did not know this. It is false. Of course we are to follow the teaching of the New Testament to walk in love and to live godly, sacrificial, holy lives.
Loving people, he reminds us, is good works. Of course. We actually do know and understand this. We love those we relate to. We love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We even love our enemies and bless those who spitefully use us.
Rosebrough has created a number of false premises he relies on to slam an imaginary enemy. In the course of his lecture, he assumes and even permits himself to expound that none but he knows that we, as believers and disciples, are to live an upright life and conduct ourselves as god-fearing, family folk.
Rosebrough actually says, ‘you were not created for a purpose, you were created for good works’, and completely misses the fact that he has just contradicted himself in the very title of his message. The preordained Christ-led good works are the purpose for which God created us in Him.
Good works, though, are more than being a decent, caring, loving person. That is a good start point. We are chosen and ordained by Christ to produce good fruit. Fruit that remains.
Good works include being obedient to God’s call. It includes the truth that He has set us all apart to preach the good news and make disciples. This is our primary purpose. It is why we remain in the earth. We are set apart to extol the wonderful works of God.
We are sent into a lost world to bring people back to the Father through the gospel. Good works include the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit. God works include the works that Jesus performed when He walked the earth.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
There is our purpose.
We can assume, then, that Rosebrough thinks he has no purpose, and that his audience in Sydney are being told they have no purpose, and that his listeners on his radio station are being taught that they have no purpose.
God thinks otherwise.
The tragedy is that a polemist was transported all the way to Sydney from the US to promote what are basically semantics as a means of denying people their destiny in God.