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"Saved to Destroy"

Date published: 02/05/2018

1 John 3:8b “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.” (NIV) 

   In Lesson 1 of “God’s Purpose For You” in the Growing in Christ Bible series ( ) you learn 8 purposes for Jesus coming.   This is a powerful Bible study that is well written, but I have to confess that I left out a ninth purpose: “To destroy the devil’s work.” Many of the eight purposes touched on witnessing and discipleship, but none stressed the importance of destroying the devil’s work – a huge omission.  Living your Christian life without this purpose would be like a general fighting a war without the stated purpose of winning the war or destroying the enemy. Living your Christian life to destroy the devil’s work will accelerate God’s work against sin. 1 John 3:8 accentuates the importance of Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19a to disciple others, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (NIV) and Mark 16:15 to witness, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”(NIV)                                                                                                                        

   There are two ways the devil’s work is destroyed: 1) Bringing the lost to a saving relationship in Christ and 2) Discipling Christians to grow in righteousness through the process of sanctification (becoming like Christ).  Bringing the lost to salvation is wonderful, but if Christians continue to live in sin, satan’s work is not destroyed, but most likely furthered. As Christians our #1 goal is to be used by God in bringing people into a flourishing relationship with Christ.  

   A Christian’s job is not to judge the eternal destiny of others, but to be available to discover it, and if necessary, be used by God to bring someone to a saving relationship with Christ. Discovering one’s position in Christ does not stop the engagement process, but redirects it to discovering their fruitfulness in Christ. 1 John 3:9 along with many other Scriptures point to the sincerity of a believer’s salvation by the life they live, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” (NIV) We are called to disciple Christians to become faithful, vibrant, followers of Christ. Discipling others involves knowing their story of reconciliation with God, how they are pursuing Christ, their struggles, and the needs they have to becoming fully faithful followers of Christ.  

   Living out God’s ninth purpose of destroying the devil’s work shows your love for God and people as commanded in Luke 10:27, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (NIV) If you love God, you will live your life of loving people by actively engaging them for salvation and discipleship. Commit today to God’s ninth purpose of destroying the devil’s work by being a living vessel for salvation and sanctification. Only then is the church actively destroying the devil’s work. 

2 Corinthians 5:15 He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.”