What is man’s purpose?

God’s objective for man, the divine “end” for man, can only be determined by the stated purpose of the divine Designer. Through Isaiah the prophet, God refers says this:

Isa 43:7 MKJV  everyone who is called by My name; for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

His redemptive and restorational intent for Christians is later prophesied:

Isa 60:21 MKJV  Your people also will all be righteous; they will inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, so that I may be glorified.

By creation and re-creation God has determined that His intent is to be glorified through man. This is why the Westminster Confession asks, “What is the purpose of man?” and answers the question, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” In the vision and revelation that John saw, he records the heavenly worshippers as saying:

Rev 4:11 MKJV  O Lord, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You created all things, and for Your will they are and were created.

God is glorified when His all-glorious character of perfection, purity and holiness is manifested within His creation. He is glorified by the ontological expression of His own Being and character, not by the best efforts of man to please and appease Him. Through Isaiah, God says:

Isa 42:8 MKJV  I am Jehovah; that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.

Isa 48:11 MKJV  For my sake, for My sake I will do it; for why should My name be defiled? And I will not give My glory to another.

The glorification of God can only be a result of the expression of His own all-glorious character.

By the fall of man into sin the ontological presence of God in man’s spirit was removed, thereby making it impossible for man to derive God’s character unto His glory.

Rom 3:23 MKJV  for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,

Only by the spiritual re-creation of man in Jesus Christ is the ontological presence and activity of God restored. “This is the mystery,” Paul writes, “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27), the confident expectation of manifesting the character of God in our behavior unto the glory of God.

2Co 1:20 MKJV  For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God by us.

The end-objective of man is not self-glorification in the accolades and affirmations of human performance. The Psalmist rightly said:

Psa 115:1 MKJV  Not to us, O Jehovah, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for Your mercy and for Your truth’s sake.

We are to “do all to the glory of God”

1Co 10:31 MKJV  Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

But this can be accomplished only when we derive all from Him.

Rom 11:36 MKJV  For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things; to Him be glory forever!

Spiritual derivation determines doxological direction and destiny. Only when the origin of the activity is from God can the operative behaviour achieve the objective of glorifying God.

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