Why Am I Here? (The Answer) An Introduction

There Must Be More Than This

Some years back 60 Minutes did a piece on Tom Brady, the Super Bowl winning quarterback of the New England Patriots, entitled “Tom Brady: The Winner.” The idea of the segment was that he would discuss both his career as well as other aspects of his life. At one point during the interview, the CBS News correspondent prefaced a portion of his forthcoming video interview by saying,

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Why Am I Here (On Earth)? The Vanity of Wisdom (Eccl. 1:12-18; 2:12-17)

Imagine that you just graduated from a Masters’ degree program and received a promotion at work as a result, and someone asked you, ‘What does it matter?’ with reference to your graduation and promotion. You might be taken back by the brashness of their question but you’re a polite person so you respond by saying, ‘Well, it helped to equip me to do my job better and now, as a result of taking a position of greater responsibility, I take home more money to benefit my family.’ You think you hit their underhanded, off-speed, softball pitch of a question out of the park. But they don’t. Unmoved, they unleash a series of existential questions with more than hint of nihilism to boot: ‘So what? What does it really matter if you do your job a little better and bring home a little more money? So you make someone’s day potentially a wee bit brighter? Eventually darkness will set in and your ‘momentary brightness’ will be eclipsed and forgotten by the pain of life’s tragedies. And what exactly does a little bit more money do for your family? Add a little bit more activity, entertainment, and comfort to your fleeting life? You won’t even remember 1% of it when you’re on your deathbed and neither will those you spent that time with.’ It’s at this point you realize why this person doesn’t have many friends. He lacks a filter but he is asking questions that demand an answer. In the final analysis, what profit is there in wisdom – whether it be intellectual or moral?

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The Lord’s Supper: A Table with Ramifications – Part 2 (1 Cor. 11:32-34)

32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. (1 Cor. 11:32)

Lest someone were to misinterpret what Paul meant by the language of “judgment” (1 Cor. 11:29), in comes verse thirty-two to provide clarity and a surprising witness to the doctrine of eternal security. The judgment that Paul was speaking about (“But when we are judged”) was akin to divine discipline (“we are disciplined by the Lord”). And divine discipline is a witness to divine affection – “…those whom the LORD loves He disciplines” (Heb. 12:6a). The absence of discipline means that an individual is not God’s child (vs.8). No chastisement feels pleasant, whether it be human or divine; but its typical end is to produce a harvest of righteousness (vs.11).

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The Lord’s Supper: A Table with Ramifications – Part 1 (1 Cor. 11:29-31)

29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.

If you are a good parent, you will expect certain behaviors from your children at the dinner table. You will expect that feet will be on the floor and not alongside the plate. You will expect food to be eaten and not flung. You will expect that those with them at the table are respected by them, and so on. And if those expectations went unheeded without any sign of repentance and remorse there would likely be some form of discipline rendered. If that’s the case for children who disrespect their parents’ table, how much more should chastisement be expected for dishonoring the Lord’s table?

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The Lord’s Supper: A Table of Examination

27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

After reading verse twenty-seven someone might say, ‘I think you’d be better off calling this a Table of Trepidation.’ The language after all is startling – “be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord” (vs.27b). Someone could do their own ‘risk/reward analysis and draw the conclusion, as erroneous as it might be, that they are better off avoiding the bread and cup – after all, you can’t partake in an unworthy manner if don’t partake at all, right? On a much lower scale, that would be like an employee choosing to not do an ongoing and important task that his employer asked him to do because he didn’t want to do it wrong. Humanly-speaking, that would be a good way to lose a job. Spiritually-speaking, when concerning the Lord’s Supper, it’s a good way to illustrate having never had salvation. It would be an act of flagrant sin that disregards Jesus’ words – “Do this in remembrance of Me” (vs.24b, 25b), as well the precious nature of His sacrificial offering. Every Christian has a responsibility to heed the Savior’s imperative and not only RSVP for attendance at the table, but to actually come to it.

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