So why did God create humankind? What was his purpose?
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
The Purpose Driven Life says, “it begins with God, but it’s not about you,” and then goes on to talk about loving and serving others.
Ask a hundred Christians why God created people, and ninety-nine will say, “To glorify Him.” That’s it.
I confess I’ve felt a certain emptiness with the answer “To glorify God.” Why would God create humans just to have them come back and give Him glory? Doesn’t He have enough? With so much glory in His creation and His Son, can anything we do make Him feel glory?
Maybe it’s like how a parent feels when one of their children obeys or does something good when the parent isn’t looking. That would bring “glory” to the parent, right? But that metaphor falls apart because God isn’t about performance. Our righteousness is like filthy rags in His sight. Plus, it’s hard to make that metaphor work since God is always looking.
A couple of weeks ago, at Mentor Summit, one of our speakers, Michael John Cusick offered up a fantastic answer I’d never heard before. He said, “The chief end of man is to be in union with God.” Here are my notes about what Cusick said . . .
“The union, the love, and the fellowship between God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit were so awesome and amazing that God decided to create man to expand the circle. Much like how a perfect marriage union could be enhanced by adding children, so it is the Holy Trinity could be enriched by adding people, made in the image of the Father and bonded in the love of God and each other.”
Think about it. Adam and Eve were in union with God in the garden. Sin busted up the union. God sent Jesus to die for our sins and restore the union. This makes total sense. We now belong to the family of God . . . as a son to the Father, a brother to Jesus, and a home for the Holy Spirit of God . . . wow! And the union goes even further when we realize we belong to other Jesus-followers because they belong to the family of God too!
We’ve heard the challenge to be the hands and feet of Christ. That comes from our union with Him. Scripture says the Holy Spirit lives in and through us. That’s union. We’re loved by a Father who never leaves us. That’s union. Paul described Jesus-followers as “in Christ” over 200 times in the New Testament. That’s union.
So, congratulations! You are in union with Christ and the Trinity! Now experience that union by spending time in His presence and engaging in relationships with people.
Scripture: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)