What is man? (Part 1: Our Purpose)
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps. 8:3-4).
While David looked up at the stars, contemplating the majesty of God’s cosmic creation, he paused to reflect on his own place within it. It gave him perspective: a glimpse into how frighteningly small human beings are. Given our almost imperceptible size on the grand stage of the universe, why would God care about man?
Why did God make us? God did not make man out of some sense of need. God is absolutely independent and does not need our prayers, efforts or offerings. Acts 17:24-25 states: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Why, then, were we made?
In Isaiah 43:7 God explains that He made us “for my glory”. God has made us and God saves us so that we “might be to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:12). As the Westminster Shorter Catechism states: “What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” This answer also reveals that our glorification of God is not a one-sided affair: we get to enjoy God as we glorify him! Jesus said: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). That abundant life is found in knowing God, with whom there is “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).
So what is man? We are God’s handiwork, made for his glory. If that is the purpose for which we were made, how ought we to live? If that is what it humanity was made for, how human are you?
Because of Christ,
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