Link to Audio & Video recording on SermonAudio – Click here: The Purpose of Life
(To receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
(To download the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, click here – The Purpose of Life)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
February 2, 2020
The Purpose of Life
This morning I am going to continue in a series of sermons on topics I have been asked to address. I have been told by a few people that the three sermons so far have given them headaches, but that is what happens when the finite strives to contemplate the infinite. While God has revealed to us all we need to know about Him in order to trust and love Him, He is ultimately incomprehensible to us because His attributes are beyond our ability to truly understand. We can define such concepts as eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and immutable but we do not know what it actually means to be without beginning or end existing outside and transcending the box of time in which we exist, to be everywhere present unbounded by the space limitations placed upon physical objects and creatures, or to know all things about all things throughout all time at the same time, or to be all powerful and unchanging in nature or character. A God you can comprehend is one of your own imagination and not the God whose attributes are infinite and who created all things out of nothing and lost no power in doing so. (See: The Incomprehensible God)
We also do not understand the triune nature of God. He describes Himself as one entity existing in three distinct co-equal persons who are each wholly God and yet all only one God. The trinitarian triangle is a nice diagram trying to bring some sense to it, but we don’t really understand the one in three that is three in one, but we believe it because that is what God has said about Himself. To disbelieve it is to have a different god or gods or a lesser god. There is only one God and He will not tolerate any other. If the Father is not God, there is no God. If Jesus the Son is not God, then He cannot save anyone. If the Holy Spirit is not God, He cannot do the work described in the Scriptures. (See: The Triune God)
We also do not understand the intersection of God’s sovereignty and man’s volition. God’s infinite attributes always act in conformity to His own nature so that His sovereign will is always done, and yet He has also made man in His own image granting him cognition (the ability to think), emotion (the ability to feel psychically) and volition (the ability to choose). Both are true. God is sovereign and He has given volition to man. And while we do know now where or how both of these truths intersect, we know they do not violate each other. To go to either extreme is to deny things God has clearly declared.
As I explained a couple of weeks ago, the best resolution to this I have been able to find is to simply believe what God has declared and leave the rest up to Him. God has given to man the ability and responsibility to make his own choices for which he will be held accountable. People can choose to either obey God and His commands or to disobey. That is volition. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve into sin, man’s nature is such that he will choose to disobey and violate God’s stated moral will. It is God in His mercy and grace that intervenes in the life of an individual to enable him by the working and power of the Holy Spirit to believe and trust Jesus Christ for salvation resulting in conversion from sinner to saint. While people can be and usually are outside of God’s stated moral will, they can never be outside of God’s sovereign will, for He is always at work even in those who are flagrantly rebellious against Him to glorify Himself in both the vessels of mercy and the vessels of wrath which He currently tolerates because He is longsuffering. (See: God’s Sovereignty & Man’s Volition)
Our topic this morning will not be as mind stretching as these past three sermons, but it will be a call to your mind and emotions to call into action the seat of your will as we discuss the purpose of life. Ultimately, the decisions that you make and even the emotions you feel are based in what you believe your purpose of existence to be.
I want to spend the bulk of my time today pointing out what God has revealed in His word about the purpose in life from a positive standpoint, but the negatives must also be pointed out. I don’t want to spend much time on that so I am going to point out just the more common ideas among people about the purpose of life and quickly summarize why they are fallacious and end in tragedy. For the most part this will be done by expressing Solomon’s conclusions in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
The general problem for man is that his sin nature has corrupted his understanding so that he usually does not even recognize his problem. Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Man takes a short view of life forgetting, whether intentional or by neglect, that God will hold him accountable. Proverbs 21:2, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.” God judges man for his foolish motives as well as actions (Prov. 16:2). Solomon’s conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 is based on this, “13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”
Is there hope for man? Only if he will recognize his foolishness and humbles himself to learn from those to whom God has given wisdom. Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6), and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).
The purpose of life is not pleasure. Ecclesiastes 2:1, I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. Solomon tried every form of pleasure – laughter, beauty, food, wine, comfort, music, sex – and in the end found them without meaning (Eccl. 2). Even if the hedonist manages to die with a smile on his lips, there will be no smile in eternity as he is condemned by God for his many sins committed in his hedonistic pursuits. Pleasure is good as long as you remember its source and purpose is a gift from God to His praise and it is not a purpose or the purpose of life.
The purpose of life is not materialism, the amassing of things you own. Solomon was the richest man of his time, yet he found wealth was also ultimately futile. There were not only the pragmatic aspects such as its being easily lost (Eccl. 5:14), stolen (Matt. 6:19), consumed by those who increase along with the wealth (Eccl. 5:11), and hoarded to the hurt of the owner (Eccl. 5:13) who was never satisfied (Eccl. 4:8), but you can neither take it with you nor can you control it after you go (Lk 12:20). He who dies with the most toys is still dead. Ecclesiastes 2:18-22 points out the one who inherits may be a fool. We all know those stories, and there are plenty of foundations that do not follow the intention of the one who established it. Wealth also is good as long as you remember you are only a steward of what God entrusts to you and you will give an account to Him for it.
The purpose of life is not fame for it is fleeting and you will eventually be forgotten (Eccl. 6:4). Ecclesiastes 1:11 summarizes, “There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come later still.” In addition, even if you attain fame and are remembered by people for more than a couple of generations or even make it into a history book, that people know your name is inconsequential. The only place your name really counts is whether or not it is written down in the Book of Life for Revelation 20:15 warns, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
The purpose of life is not position or power either. Life is more like a game of “king of the hill” than we would like to think, for as soon as you reach the top you will find others trying to knock you off and replace you. And even if you gained all the prestige and power you could hope for and beyond, so what? Your ego is brought down to proper size when you remember that there is only one that is sovereign and you are not Him! Having power is good only when used for the purposes for which God has placed you in that position. King Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that God does according to His will and His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride (Daniel 4:34-37).
The purpose of life is not found in academic / intellectual success. There are those that glory in having a PhD and being called “Doctor,” but Solomon set his mind and observed wealth of wisdom and knowledge and found it also to be striving after the wind finding much grief in much wisdom and increasing pain with increasing knowledge (Eccl. 1:16-18).
Those following evolutionary philosophy should take warning from that because they have come educated fools that have removed purpose from life. It certainly is not found in the continuation of the genetic line of any particular individual, for the genetic load of damaged chromosomes you carry may be detrimental to the species. And even if you do have many descendants, what difference does that make if all you are is a conglomeration of random chemicals interacting for a brief time and heading for certain heat death. If, as we are told, you are star dust, you are still just dust to be blown away by the wind. As I already mentioned, true knowledge and wisdom begin with the fear of the Lord.
God’s Purpose for Life
What is God’s purpose for life? The Shorter Westminister Catechism states it simply, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” But what is that based on? Actually, quite a bit. First, it is an extrapolation of the fact that everything is created by God as a display of His glory. Psalm 19:1 expresses it, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” The seraphim in Isaiah 6:3 declare, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” David blessed the Lord in 1 Chronicles 29:10–12 saying, “Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 “Yours, O Lord , is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord , and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 12 “Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.”
On the sixth day of creation, God created man, male and female, in His image (Gen. 1:26-27), and therefore man is to be a display of God’s glory just as the rest of the Creation. Paul says this plainly in 1 Corinthians 11:7 as he argues a point stating that man is “the image and glory of God.” We will be looking at some other verses on how man glorifies God in a little while, but this is the foundation for the purpose of life for any human. Man’s purpose of existence is directly tied to the fact that he had been created by God and all of creation ultimately exists for God’s glory.
The specific ways in which man will glorify God is determined by God for the Creator determines the purpose of what He creates. Isaiah 64:8 states, “But now, O Lord , You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” This is the basis for Paul’s argument in Romans 9:20-21 . . . “The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?”
Man’s problem with God begins right there. The sinful nature of humanity bends us to think that somehow life is about us. We think, “my purpose in life is what I want it to be, after all, it’s my life, so I can choose to do with it what I want.” Well, sort of. You can choose according to your own desires and waste the potential of your life, but you cannot escape the fact that the actual purpose of your life is determined by God who created you. You are not autonomous. If you refuse His offer of redemption and forgiveness of sin through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then He will still fulfill His purpose, though in your case it will be as a vessel of wrath instead of a vessel of mercy. How well then you fulfill the purpose for which God created man depends on how well you follow His design. Or to state this more directly, God as your Creator has given you a purpose in life. You can fulfill that purpose by humbly submitting to His plan and will, or you can rebel and foolishly waste your life chasing the wind of your own purposes which will end in vanity.
How can a mere human glorify God? I could list a lot of particular things such as worship, praise, thanksgiving, prayer and godly living, but I want to suggest to you two foundational ideas that encompass not only such specifics activities, but also show how God glorifies Himself in both the righteous and the unrighteous. The first is that God created man in His image to be a reflection of Himself which will glorify Him. The second is that God created man to be vessels upon which God will display His attributes and that will glorify Him.
Glorifying God by Reflecting His Image
God states in Genesis 1:26-27 that He created man in his image, and Paul uses that in 1 Corinthians 11:7 to argue a point he was making by stating that man is “the image and glory of God.” Why did God make man in His image? The inanimate objects of creation – Sun, moon, stars, earth, clouds and sky – all give glory to God without being made in His image. All the creatures God has created also give Him glory without being made in His image. Why then does God make man in His image and how does that glorify Him? Of course the answer to that is multi-faceted and we could spend many hours on the subject, but just a couple of foundational aspects of it will serve our purpose this morning.
The first clue is given to us in Genesis 1:28 in which God gives His first commands to Adam and Eve. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” All living things created on the third, fifth and sixth days were given the ability to reproduce after their kind and fill the environment in which they can live whether land or sea, so that is not a reference to being made in the image of God. However, the command to subdue the earth and have dominion over the other creatures is given only to man and would require qualities of personhood that God gave only to man as previously mentioned. The ability to think abstractly and make decisions are especially important to carry out this command to be God’s agent of rule upon the earth. God choose to rule the earth through the agency of man, and in the same way that a governor receives glory from the work done by his administration, God is glorified by man’s work over the earth. As man thinks through how to accomplish God’s command and then makes choices to carry those plans out, he reflects God’s image in Him and brings God glory.
I do not know if emotion was absolutely necessary for man to be able to carry out the dominion mandate, but emotion is part of man’s reflection of the image of God. God takes pleasure in the work that He does (Philippians 2:13) and man can do the same. Adam and Eve were created to express a full range emotions like the emotions of God and to experience them in similar way for similar reasons because they were originally without sin.
Adam and Eve would have glorified God by all the aspects of the work they would have done in carrying out God’s command to subdue the earth and have dominion over all the creatures as persons created in God’s image. However, their fall into sin has resulted in that image becoming corrupted in themselves and all of their descendants. There still is a reflection of the image of God in sinful man, but it is distorted and very unclear like a badly tarnished mirror. Humans still have all the attributes of being persons, but we do not think, feel or choose as we ought. Sin turns the mind and heart away from God to self resulting in the pursuit of purposes contrary to why God created us. Like Eve, we fall for the slander against God and seek what satisfies our flesh, our eyes and our pride (Gen. 3) believing we can somehow achieve success by doing our own will.
Yet, even sinful man still reflects God and glorifies Him whenever that image can be seen despite the corruption. It is seen in man’s ability to think great thoughts. The early men of science pursued a knowledge of the world around them and how it worked because it was a quest to think God’s thoughts after Him. They wanted to understand God’s design. Even those committed to evolutionary theory continue to expose God’s intricate design in creation. They vehemently deny such design attributing it to mystical forces in nature itself, but even though they are blind to the obvious truth, the rest of us easily see it and are awed by what God has done and glorify Him for it.
Sinful man’s emotions can also glorify God when they reflect God’s own emotion. The sacrificial love of good parents for their children reflects God’s great love for His creation resulting in Jesus sacrificing Himself to redeem man. The sense of indignation that arises when you see an injustice being done reflects God’s anger toward sin. The same is true with the sense of satisfaction when proper justice is carried out. Those of tender heart take pity and have compassion on those who have suffered some tragedy, and that reflects God’s pity and compassion by which He provides for the physical and spiritual needs of humanity suffering the consequences of sin. God is glorified when man’s emotions reflect those of God.
Sinful man’s will is corrupt, but God writes a moral code in the hearts of man to which his conscience bears witness. Whenever a man make a moral decision that is in keeping with God’s law, he reflects an aspect of the image of God and thereby glorifies Him. The conscience can be seared by training in evil, but even wicked cultures still have basic moral precepts. A gang may not blink twice about murdering other people, but they believe it is wrong to murder anyone in their gang and will react strongly to it. A band of thieves steal freely from others, but their code of conduct does not allow them to steal from one another.
What is true among the unrighteous is magnified immensely in those who are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Remember that among the purposes of God redeeming people is that they will be holy and blameless before Him (Eph. 1:4) and to conform them to the image of His son (Rom. 8:29). Jesus is the image of the invisible God (2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3), so to become like Jesus is to be a reflection of the image of God which glorifies Him. Paul expresses this in 2 Corinthians 3:18 saying, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” I think this is much beyond a restoration to the position Adam had before he fell into sin, for it is a transformation to be like the second Adam, Jesus Christ, the holy Son of God.
Certainly God is glorified in the sacred activities of Christians such as worship, prayer, thanksgiving and ministry, but for the true Christian, everything is sacred for the purpose of life itself becomes the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 states that even mundane things such as eating and drinking are to be done for the glory of God. We are to do all our work, whatever that may be, heartily as for the Lord rather than men (Col. 3:23). These ideas may seem very strange to the unsaved, but they are the natural desire for the saved because like Paul in Galatians 2:20 and Colossians 3:9-10, we see ourselves as crucified with Christ so that the old self is dead and a new self which lives by faith in the Son of God has been put on. We want others to see Christ living in us for He is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
The purpose of all creation is God’s glory, and one way in which God glorifies Himself through man is man reflecting God’s image. That image is very badly tarnished in unregenerate man, but it is being polished into an every clearer image in those who are saved.
Glorifying God in the Display of His Attributes
I have always found it interesting that when God agreed to show Moses His glory, the Lord did that by proclaiming His attributes expressed toward man. Exodus 34:6–7, 6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord , the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” God glorifies Himself in man by displaying His various attributes in His dealings with man. This applies to mankind in general and to both believer and unbeliever specifically.
Romans 1:20 states that God’s invisible attributes of eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen in creation itself. Modern studies of creation have certainly exposed much more of this, but even in ancient times a simple look up into a clear night sky caused people to wonder about God. An example of this is Psalm 8:3-4, 3 “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?” The immensity of the universe caused David to marvel that God would even give a thought to man much less care for him. In Psalm 65 David expresses that his observation of creation also caused him to recognize God’s faithfulness so that he trusted God to hear and answer his prayers. Psalm 104 and others recognize God’s goodness in providing for the physical needs of all living things and that causes praise to His name.
There are also distinct attributes of God that are revealed in how God specifically deals with both believers and unbelievers. Paul’s comments in Romans 9:22-23 is an expression of this. 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.
This is at least a partial answer to the question often asked about why God has permitted sin to exist. It allows for certain attributes of God to be proclaimed in what He does in regard to both the righteous and unrighteous. God’s patience, wrath and mercy are all seen in God’s response to sin in mankind.
Here are some of God’s attributes displayed upon all men. First are the characteristics related to patience which is the capacity to bear up under difficulty, and the Lord is a God of patience (Romans 15:5). In Acts 17:30 Paul preached to the philosophers in Athens telling them that God had previously overlooked – purposely did not regard – their times of ignorance but was now calling for them to repent. He makes a similar statement in Romans 2:4 to the moral unrighteous warning, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” Tolerance is the idea of enduring or forbearing while the particular word for patience here is longsuffering which is remaining calm in the face of provocation. 2 Peter 3:15 uses the same word advising, “consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation (NKJV).” The reason is that is the application of mercy in withholding the just punishment upon the guilty for the present time allowing time for repentance.
Those that do repent from their sins and place their faith in Jesus Christ become vessels of mercy upon which additional attributes of God are displayed. Among these are love, grace and kindness as expressed in Ephesians 2:4-9, 4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” This kind of love and grace could not be seen or understood except in its application to an undeserving sinner. Jesus’ sacrifice on behalf of sinners also declared His righteousness in being just for He justified the sinner by taking the penalty onto Himself (Rom. 3). God would have been unjust to acquit the sinner without the penalty of sin being satisfied, so Jesus became the propitiation that turned God’s wrath away and satisfied it in Himself.
Those that do not repent will have displayed upon them the other side of God’s justice as they are judged without partiality (Romans 2:11) for not obeying the gospel of the Lord Jesus (2 Thess. 1:8) and condemned according to their deeds of unrighteousness and cast in His wrath into eternal Hell (Revelation 20:11-15). God’s holiness and righteousness demand that His law be upheld.
The point this morning is actually fairly simple though there was a lot of complexity in making it. God created man – you – for the purpose of His own glory. That glory is displayed in you being made in God’s image and having personhood and reflecting certain attributes of God even if they are corrupted by sin. That glory will be best displayed in Christians as they mature in Christ and one day will be perfected when they are completely conformed into His image. God is also glorified in the display of His attributes in Creation and His dealings with man in general, sinful man and redeemed man. Some of these attributes could not be known except in the contrast of His response to sinners compared with the saved.
I want to end by challenging you to put this into practice. You must think about what it means that your purpose in life is bound up in God and His glory and not in yourself and desires. You must then make decisions to act so that God is in fact glorified in your life to the greatest extent of your capability. This applies in any and every situation you will ever face in life.
Diane and I were talking about Job this week and I thought about how he did this. God bragged to the devil about Job because Job’s life was glorifying to God. God allowed the devil to do horrible things to Job so that Job’s character would shine forth to God’s glory. Job’s lament is great, but His trust remains firm in God even if God would slay him. That glorifies God. The exchange between Job and his friends exposed what each lacked in their thinking and character so that each could be corrected and mature from it. God declared His own character and work by which He magnified Himself and humbled all of them. God restored Job’s fortunes two fold giving him a long life which would have been to the glory of God as Job continued as a man who was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Both the book of Job and Job’s life was about God and His glory. What will you do when you face adversity? May you actively pursue the fulfillment of the purpose for which God created you.
Sermon Notes – February 2, 2020
The Purpose of Life – Selected Scriptures
God is ultimately incomprehensible to us because His attributes are ________our ability to truly understand
We believe the ______- One God existing in 3 co-equal distinct persons – because He declares it of Himself
It is true that God is sovereign and man has volition even if we do not understand their ________________
It is best to believe what God has __________ and leave the rest up to Him
Sin has _________man’s understanding so that he usually does not recognize his problem. Prov. 14:12; 21:2
God judges motives & actions (Prov. 16:2), so ________Him and keep His commandments (Eccl. 12:13-14)
There is hope for those that fear God and ______themselves before Him (Prov. 1:7; 9:10; 12:15; James 4:6)
The purpose of life is not __________(Eccl. 2) for the hedonist will be judged. Enjoy the pleasure God gives
The purpose of life is not ___________(Eccl. 2:18-22; 4:8, 5:11-14; Matt. 6:19; Luke 12:20)
He who dies with the most toys is still _______. Enjoy wealth as a good steward what God entrusts to you
The purpose of life is not _____for it is fleeting (Eccl. 1:11; 6:4). Is your name in the book of life? (Rev. 20)
The purpose of life is not _________or power. You are not sovereign & you will be replaced (Dan. 4:34-47)
The purpose of life is not academic / _____________success – they bring pride, grief & pain (Eccl. 1:16-18)
Evolutionary philosophy is for educated fools for it destroys any __________to existence
True knowledge and wisdom begin with the __________ of the Lord – Prov. 1:7; 9:10
God’s Purpose for Life
The Shorter Westminister Catechism: “Man’s chief end is to __________ God and to enjoy Him forever.”
_______is a display of God’s glory – The heavens (Ps 19), the earth (Is. 9:4), everything (1 Chron 29:10-12)
God created man, male & female, to in His ________to be a display of His glory (Gen. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:7)
The Creator determines the __________ of what He creates (Isaiah 64:8; Romans 9:20-21)
Man’s sin nature directs him to think life is about __________ and pursue autonomy
God, your Creator, has given you a purpose in life. You either pursue that purpose or you ________your life
There are many ______________ways in which a human can glorify God built on two foundational ideas
Glorifying God by Reflecting His Image
____inanimate objects & all creatures glorify God without being made in God’s image, what differs in man?
All ___________are able to reproduce & fill their environment after their kind – so that is not the difference
The difference is ______________necessary to fulfill God’s command to subdue the earth & have dominion
As man thinks & then chooses how to carry out God’s command, he _________God’s image to God’s glory
_______is also part of God’s image in man – with Adam & Eve having the full range of emotion without sin
The fall into sin has _________the image of God in man who no longer thinks, feels or chooses as he ought
The image is diminished but still seen in sinful man’s ability to _________abstractly & have great thoughts
Sinful man’s __________can still reflect the image of God when they match God’s emotions
Sinful man’s will is corrupt, but every ________decision that keeps God’s law reflects God’s image in man
God’s image is seen more clearly in ___________as they mature, & one day will do so perfectly (Rom 8:29)
God is glorified in sacred activities, but for the Christian, ___________is sacred (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:23)
The purpose of all Creation is to glorify God, and man does that uniquely when He __________God’s image
Glorifying God in the Display of His Attributes
God showed Moses His glory by proclaiming His ____________- Exodus 34:6-7
__________ displays some of God’s attributes – Romans 1:20; Psalm 8:3-4; Psalm 65, 104
__________attributes of God are displayed in His dealings with believers and unbelievers – Romans 9:22-23
God has allowed sin to exist, at least in part, to _______________ certain of His attributes by contrast
Attributes displayed upon _____________: Patience, longsuffering, mercy (Rom. 2:4; 15:5; 2 Pt 3:15)
Attributes displayed upon the _________: Love, grace, kindness, righteousness – Eph. 2:4-9, Rom. 3:21-30)
Attributes displayed upon the __________: righteousness, justice, wrath – Rom. 2:11; 32 Thess. 1:8, Rev. 20
God created for His __________& it will be displayed in you reflecting His image & His actions toward you
You must think about God’s purpose in your life & make __________ accordingly
The book of _________ demonstrates life is about God’s glory and not man’s desires
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times God’s glory is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about how your life can be lived for God’s glory.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why is God ultimately incomprehensible to man? What is the proper response when trying to reconcile two Biblical truths that are in apparent conflict with each other? How has sin corrupted man’s understanding about the purpose of life? How can man gain proper knowledge and wisdom? What is wrong with each of the following being the purpose in life: Pleasure, Materialism, fame, position / power, intellectual success, evolutionary success? What is God’s overarching purpose for creation? How is that displayed in inanimate objects? In creatures? Who gets to determine the purpose of something – the maker or the things made? Explain. What does it mean that man is created in the image of God? Why is that necessary for man to carry out the command given in Genesis 1:28? How does personhood (ability to think, feel and make decisions) enable man to glorify God? Why are Christians able to reflect a better image of God in them? How can Christians glorify God in “non-sacred” activities of life? How did God display His glory to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7? What are some of the attributes God displays in Creation in general? What attributes does God display upon mankind in general? What attributes does God display in unique ways upon those who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? What attributes does God display in unique ways upon those who do not repent? Before this sermon, what did you believe the purpose of your life to be? Has that changed? If so, how? In what ways can you use your life to glorify God – generally? specifically? Consider the book of Job and write down some of the various ways it is revealed that God glorified Himself throughout the book. How could you glorify God if you faced difficult circumstances as did Job?
If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
For comments, please e-mail Church office