The “bible” of baseball—the Official Baseball Rules book—makes it pretty clear what the overall objective of the game is:
1.02The offensive team’s objective is to have its batter become a runner, and its runners advance.
1.04 When a batter becomes a runner and touches all bases legally he shall score one run forhis team.
1.05 The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent.
1.06 The winner of the game shall be that team which shall have scored, in accordance with these rules, the greatest number of runs at the conclusion of a regulation game.
Pretty clear and simple, isn’t it? The goal of the batter is to get on base. The goal of the baserunner is to score a run. The goal of the team is to score more runs than the other team.
Now don’t you wish the Christian life was that easy? That the objectives to govern how we're to live in faith were laid out just as plainly? I mean, really, what is the goal of this life? The objective of faith? How will a “winner” be determined when all is said and done here on earth?
The Bible doesn’t exactly lay it out in the specifics that the baseball rule book does. Paul says in Philippians 3 about the overall objective of our faith life: “The righteousness that I have comes from knowing Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings. It includes being conformed to his death so that I may perhaps reach the goal of the resurrection of the dead. It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already been perfected, but I pursue it, so that I may grab hold of it because Christ grabbed hold of me for just this purpose. Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.”
Well do you have it? Do you know the goal, the main objective? No?
Okay, well, think about that between now and Sunday. What do you think is the goal? Why are you part of the church? What does it look like to “win” in Christianity? What is it about what we do here at Wheatland Salem that helps you to accomplish the main objectives of the life of faith?