Common Purpose


By Heath Jarrett

While there’s a variety of roles within the Trinity, there’s also unity of mission—all work together for a common purpose in a sort of divine choreography. For example, regarding redemption, the Father prepared a human body for the Son; the Son is the one who took on humanity; and the Spirit bears witness to us about these things through Scripture. While each role is unique, all are vital to our salvation. Each part serves to accomplish the shared goal.

As an illustration, Hebrews transports us to a recorded conversation between the Son and the Father regarding this joint purpose in the incarnation, vital to the new and better covenant. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book” (Heb 10:5–7, citing Ps 40:6–8).

Christ speaks the words of Psalm 40, acknowledging the Father for preparing his human nature. Furthermore, he delights to do the Father’s will by becoming man in order to save us (Heb 10:7, 10). Hebrews 10 goes on to tell us that the Spirit “bears witness to us” about the gospel through Scripture (Heb 10:15–18, citing Jer 31:33–34). The teamwork of God results in our salvation. All divine activity is this way—the flawless functioning of unity (one God), diversity (three persons), equality (each fully God) and mutuality (shared purpose).

Now that’s the model for us to strive for in the church: one church, composed of multiple members, each equal in Christ through the gospel, all working together for a common purpose. The Spirit gives each person in the church spiritual abilities “for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7). Paul tells us that Christian leaders are given to the church “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:12–13).

What must we strive for as a team in the church? That each of us become more and more like Christ. That is our common purpose.