How Do I Fulfill My Purpose: What Is The Chief End Of Man 

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,(a) and to enjoy him forever.(b)

(a) Ps 86:9; Isa 60:21; Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 6:20; 1 Cor 10:31; Rev 4:11

(b) Ps 16:5-11; Ps 144:15; Isa 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil 4:4; Rev 21:3-4

(a1) Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (a2) 1 Corinthians 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (a3) 1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

(b1) Psalms 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (b2) Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (b3) Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice

Your chief end, your main purpose, your ultimate goal and duty in life is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever. Sounds good right? So how exactly does a person go about doing this in their life? I want to suggest three ways, and they tie in to the threefold approach we are using to work through this catechism.

  • Knowledge (what), Skill (how), and Character (why)
  • Understanding (what), Dominion (how), and Service (why)

We glorify God as we grow in our understanding of him and his world (John 17:3). We glorify God by having dominion over ourselves and the world around us (Genesis 1). And we glorify God by serving God and others (Matthew 20:26-28). This may seem complicated, but once understood, it can become a grid which all of life flows through.

  • John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
  • Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
  • Matthew 20:26-28 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Can God be glorified through the mundane trials of school? Yes he can! He is glorified when we grow in our understanding of his world, and thank him accordingly. He is glorified as we spend each morning opening up his Word to understand who he is, and what he has done. Think deeply upon the truth in the Bible. And think deeply upon the truth found in his world. This brings him glory.

Don’t settle to only know facts. The Lord is glorified as we take those facts and use them to bring ourselves under submission to the truth. The word dominion has the idea of reigning in, and bringing order out of chaos. Our lives, both inward and outward, are disorderly. When we bring ourselves, and the world around us into order; we glorify God! This means we glorify God by pulling weeds, cleaning our rooms, washing floors, mowing the lawn, fixing cars, and combing our hair. We are bringing order out of chaos.

Knowing truth, and having dominion over ourselves and the world is still not enough. We must imitate the Son of Man, who came not to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many. We glorify God by serving him (according to what the Bible prescribes), and spending ourselves in the service of his people. If anyone would come after me, Jesus says, “let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it”. -Luke 9:23-24

Enjoyment of God does not need to be some mystical feeling of affection. It does not need to be a sort of puppy love where you crave to snuggle up to God the way you would to a seven week old Siberian Husky. Enjoyment of God flows from understanding him and his world, having dominion over ourselves and the world, and pouring ourselves out to serve Jesus and his people. If you daily do these three things, you will enjoy him forever.

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