Christ is both our goal and our way

Christ is everything to the believer. Our lives follow his.

This short reflection from Augustine’s City of God shows us that Christ is the goal of human life and the way we walk toward that goal. He’s the point and the path. (I’ve paraphrased it here from Marcus Dods’ translation.)

Man is properly understood to be made in God’s image. This is the higher part of his nature that transcends the lowly animals and brings him nearer to the Supreme. But while the human mind is naturally capable of reason and intelligence, it is crippled by habitual sin so much that it can neither enjoy nor abide nor even tolerate God’s unchangeable light. It must first be healed and gradually renewed so that it will be capable of such joy. For that to happen, it must be imbued and purifed by faith.

To encourage the mind as it moves in faith toward the truth, the Truth itself — God, the Son of God — assumed humanity without discarding his divinity. He thereby established and founded this faith so that man might have a path to man’s God through the man who was God.

For this is “the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2.5). In his humanity, he is both the Mediator and the Way.

If a traveler has a path to his destination, he has hope of reaching it, but if there is no path, or if he cannot find it, how is he supposed to know where to go? There is only one way sure to prevent getting lost. It is by following the one who is simultaneously both God and man. As God, he is our goal; as man, our way. (City of God 11.2)

About Joel J. Miller

I'm the author of Lifted by Angels, a look at angels through the eyes of the early church. Click here for more about me or subscribe to my RSS here.

  • Jeff Holton

    After reading this, I have Michael Card’s “Joy in the Journey” stuck in my head. Thank you. :)

  • Susie Tiemeyer

    I love that last statement: “As God, he is our goal; as man, our way.” There will never be a gift offered us that is greater or higher.

    • Joel J. Miller

      Amen. Augustine is a deep well.