By Jason Law, Christianity Malaysia
Pr Bertie Brits is very well-known in the circle of the Grace Gospel. Depending on your standpoint on the message of Grace, you will either view him as a renowned preacher and teacher or a notorious one. What is certain is that his messages have brought freedom and changed the lives of many Christians. On the 6th of July 2014, he set a foundation for his series of discourse with tNCC. In this first sharing, he explained about the purpose God made us.
Pr Bertie shared that it is very important we understand the reason God made us. Many Christians think the reason God made us is to serve Him or to worship Him, and this is their starting point. This is what they sincerely think Christians are made for, and this is their foundation. As a result, they teach others from this viewpoint.
He explained that the problem with this type of thinking is that it has led many people to defeated lives. They constantly have a standard to achieve, and when they reach that standard, they will have a still higher one. They have a mind-set of ‘if only I achieve this, God will finally find me holy and worthy’. And sooner or later, this type of life will lead to burn-out and disappointment. Worse still, very often bitterness sets into that person’s heart.
‘This isn’t the kind of life God meant for us to live. As Christians, we’re supposed to live joyful, victorious lives. And unless we understand why God made us, we will continue to flail around and end up struggling with the feeling of condemnation and imprisonment. To be a successful people of God, we must know why God made us,’ Pr Bertie shared.
‘The power of the Gospel message must captivate our minds. It must be so real to us that it infuses our whole being and change all aspects of our lives. So it is not a procedural process (steps, etc..) where we say do this and this will result. It has to be in the core of our very being.’
Pr Bertie illustrated his point by using a case study. ‘Imagine this. Let’s say that we are married and have everything in the world, and then one day, we say to ourselves, “Hmm, we have everything in the world but there’s still something missing. We still have to do things on our own. We don’t have others worshipping us or serving us. Let’s have children so that they can serve or worship us and make our lives easy. That way, we will have a truly wonderful life. And if they weaken, let us put them in the desert outside of town to toughen them up.’
‘There is something obviously wrong with this picture. It does not make sense. This does not tally with the God who made that colossal sacrifice on Calvary. And yet this is exactly how many Christians visualize God.’
So why did God made us? Pr Bertie shared that the best way to look at the Scriptures is to approach it from a family sense. We know, for example, that God calls us His children. He comes in intimate terms, and uses family expressions; ‘Father’, ‘Son’, ‘Daughter’, ‘Family’, ‘Bridegroom’, ‘Bride’, ‘One Body’.
Even before time itself, God existed in Relationship; John 1 tells us that the Word was with God, and Genesis 1:2 tells us that at Creation, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit have and always will exist together; they are three distinct Beings, but existing in One Spirit. Additionally, the account of Creation was also given through the plural pronoun.
When God created mankind, He made us in His image (Genesis 1:26) so that men may have dominion over all living things. God was speaking from a Spiritual perspective and not a physical one. And in the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve day and night.
So, even in Genesis itself, the Scripture tells us that the reason God made us was to have relationship and union with Him, and to experience everything that He experiences. This is significant because it shows that from the very start, God already had plans and goals for us.
This plan was not for us to struggle in our own efforts. In Acts 17:22-28, Paul reminds the Early Christians that they, and through extension, we need to correct our perspectives. God and men exist in totally different levels. He is the Lord of Heaven and Earth. He does not dwell in temples nor is He served by human hands as if He needed anything. We do not earn merit that way. It is freely given through our relationship with God.
In God’s original plan for mankind, the primary aspect was the dynamics of the Trinity. What you share draws you closer together and when you share the dynamics of relationship, you become more alike. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that Jesus is God’s Word about our lives, and that God’s creations speak from the foundation of this life. There is no other word; Jesus on Earth is the Word of God’s design for mankind, and just as Jesus was in union with God, that is our design.
The devil tricked Adam and Eve into losing this when he directed them to focus on their own knowledge and effort (men’s ‘goodness’). Pr Bertie exhorted that it is time to return to the perfection of Christ. When we are in Christ, we will finally find God’s peace in our hearts.
We are no longer defined by what we do, so we don’t have to chase after human standards. Every work we do in Christ’s name becomes valuable because they are derived from who we are in Him. We are also no longer defined by what we have since we already have the most precious thing in the world, and contentment comes into our lives. This is the true essence of the Grace message, and it frees us to do more in His name.
NOTE: tNCC is a church founded to preach the simple, pure Gospel of Grace of Jesus Christ radically, based on the New Covenant without mixture.They are a non-denominational, independent, evangelical and charismatic community of grace. Since their first Sunday celebration on Nov 1, 2009, they have been flowing in the Lord’s blessing and work.
tNCC is also a member of the wider body of Christ in the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, Malaysia.To find out more about them, visit their website.