Created to Obey
You are a created being. In both your physical existence and your spiritual existence, you are a creation of God. You entered this world, being born with a spirit, just as did every human being since the birth of Adam and Eve’s first child. Speaking of the flesh, every person is a creation of God.
In contrast, not every person has been created by God for obedience, for good works. While God’s desire is that all men repent (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9), not every person has been born again. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Many years later, Peter, by inspiration, explained this process of being born again. Peter wrote, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, . . .” (1 Peter 1:22-23) If a person has not been born again through the word of God, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
If a person is not born again, he is not a “new creation.” The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The idea of being a “new creation” is the idea of starting new. It is the concept of leaving behind that which is old and embracing that which is new.
One that is a new creation in Christ, should have a new way of thinking, a new way of acting, a new way of talking, and even a new way of living. Any type of motive, thought, or action that is contrary to Christ is to be considered part of the “old man of sin” and must not exist in one’s new life. In Romans 6:4, the apostle Paul taught that one who has been “buried with Christ through baptism into death” “should walk in newness of life.” The only way a Christian, one who is born again, can accomplish this change is to fully believe his “old man was crucified with” Christ so that the “body of sin might be done away with,” him no longer living as a slave of sin. (Romans 6:6) Without this understanding of becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus, one will not live obediently to the Father in heaven.
Consider now Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul wrote, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God has prepared the path of good works, of faithful obedience, before we were “created in Christ Jesus.” God’s desire is for His people, His children, to faithfully follow His word. The Lord has determined what is the right path and how His people, those created for good works, should walk this path of obedience. Every single person who has been born again has been created by God for faithful obedience.
Saying that God has created Christians for good works does not mean that He forces Christians into obedience. Every Christian must make the determination to obey, to willingly submit unto the heavenly Father. Paul, in his letter to the church in Philippi, instructed the brethren to “work out their own salvation.” Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13) Paul recognized the brethren had obeyed the Lord. However, he encouraged them to continue to obey, to continually “work out” their own salvation with the attitude of submission, the attitude of “fear and trembling.” Paul was not telling the brethren to “cower” away from God, but to recognize the severity and seriousness of what is at stake and to likewise recognize the greatness and almightiness of the heavenly Father.
Since God created a Christian for good works, that Christian should serve God’s purpose for him. What is God’s purpose for every Christian? God’s purpose for every Christian is simple obedience and worship. As we have already shown, Christians are “created for good works.” This is the meaning behind Paul’s statement in Philippians 2:13 when he wrote, “[F]or it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” A Christian is God’s creation and should therefore serve the Creator. The one who is saved should serve his Savior. The one who is born again should serve Him who made the new birth possible.
Consider your life. If you have been born again, if you have become a new creature in Christ, if you have put to death that old man of sin, then ask yourself, “Am I walking in a new life, obeying the Lord, serving the Lord? Am I working out my own salvation through faithful obedience, an obedience which begins within my heart?” (See Romans 6:17) You, as a Christian, were created to obey and serve the Lord. Keep to the purpose for which you were created.