Sometimes paradigm shifts happen with short sentences. With unexpected statements like this: “Jesus wasn’t born for us. We were born for Him.” But, Jesus was born for us. He came to earth to save us, didn’t He? God sent Him into the world for us, right? Yes. So, how could I have come for Him? How could my birth have been for Him? I wasn’t born for His sake, but the other way around, right?
God’s chief end was not to bring Christ into the world for us, but us for Christ. He is worth all creatures. And God contrived all things that do fall out, and even redemption itself, for the setting forth of Christ’s glory, more than our salvation. (Ephesians – Sermon VI, Thomas Goodwin)
So my birth was for Christ’s sake? I still have trouble grasping. And in his explanation of the same truth Goodwin was writing about, one of my pastors helps. He puts it this way: “Jesus didn’t come for us; we came for Jesus! So that He’d get glory!”
That paradigm shift — that my existence on earth isn’t all about me, or even all about Jesus having come to save me — takes me toward something bigger. Something deeper. Something better and beyond my own salvation: away from my default-mode of concentration on self, and toward Jesus’ glory. Toward His worthiness. Period. His and His alone. The stars, and each created everything, revolve around His transcendent preeminence, His glory-worthiness.
Therefore, you and I were created, born, and re-born, so that Jesus would get glory in and through our creation and re-creation! Everything’s about Him.
The deepest passion of the heart of Jesus was not the saving of men, but the glory of God; and then the saving of men, because that is for the glory of God. (G. Campbell Morgan)
But so what? How does this paradigm shift — that we were born so that Jesus’ glory would be set forth — help us? Is this all just a word-nuancing game? Does this paradigm shift practically change how I think and how I pray? Yes.
I now thank God for you, my friend Jesus came to save. I thank Him for Jesus’s death and resurrection on your behalf. But I also, post-paradigm-shift, flip that coin over: I thank God that He created you in the first place, so that when He saved you you’d be another redeemed soul whose creation and recreation brings Jesus glory. I thank Him for the electrifying truth that your birth and rebirth shine light on Christ’s preeminence in all things. And I thank Him for the priceless value of your life, through which He plans to shine light on Jesus’ glory, both on days of ease and on days of perplexing hardship.
You were born for Him to get glory. And that’s an astounding, unparalleled purpose.
Christ…existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for Him. (Col. 1:15-16)
So yes. Jesus was born for us. But the something that’s bigger than that is this:
We were born for Him.
Image from the Hubble Space Telescope
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