Why Did God Create Us?
James R. Aist
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.” – The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647)
Jesus is the perfect image and likeness of God the Father, reflecting His glory back to Him perfectly (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15). Jesus, however, was not created, having been with the Father, and one with the Father, for all eternity past (John 1: 1-2). God’s creative acts began with the angels, who shouted for joy when the earth was created (Job 38:4-7). Angels, like God, are spirit beings, and they surround the throne of God, constantly worshipping Him and proclaiming His glory (Revelation 5:11-2 and 7:11-12). Next, God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it (Genesis 1-2). This was the first ever creation of material, physical objects, including living, biological beings, with mankind being uniquely created in the image and likeness of God.
From this biblical, historical background, we can now consider the important question of why God created mankind. After all, He already had Jesus and the angels reflecting His glory back to Him. The rest of His physical, material creation was already reflecting His glory (Psalm 19:1). Wasn’t that enough, or is The Westminster Shorter Catechism correct in saying that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever”?
The Genesis account of the creation of mankind only tells us that God decided to create mankind; it doesn’t tell us why. What was God’s motive for creating mankind? To answer that question, we have to search the Scriptures more thoroughly. The first thing that comes to mind is that, until God created mankind, there was none in all of the created, physical universe capable of knowing God and reflecting His glory intentionally. This fact suggests that, perhaps, God created mankind because He wanted a created, physical being who would reflect His glory like no other can: not the angels, because they are spiritual, not physical, beings; and not the rest of creation, because these inanimate objects and living things are not capable of knowing God and reflecting His glory intentionally. Can it be that God created mankind to reflect His glory back to Him in such a new and unique way? Let’s open the Bible and find out:
Created for His glory
Isaiah 43:7 — “…even everyone who is called by My name…I have created him for My glory”
Ephesians 1:12 – “…that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, should live for the praise of His glory.”
Ephesians 3:21 – “…to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.”
Declare His Glory
Isaiah 43:21 – “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.”
1 Chronicles 16:24 – “Declare His glory among the nations”
Psalm 29:2 – “Give to the Lord the glory of His name”
Psalm 96:3 – “Proclaim His glory among the nations”
Philippians 2:11 – “…every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Exhibit His glory
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
Micah 6:8 – “what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
As you can see from these Scriptures, we can conclude that God did, in fact, create mankind to declare with our mouths and exhibit with our actions, His glory. And, in doing so, we reflect His glory back to Him in a unique way that pleases Him.
Having this understanding of why God created mankind, we can now contemplate a very important implication of this understanding: namely, that our universal and supreme purpose for existing – our God given destiny — is to glorify God as only we can. The Bible says, “…whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31) and “…that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever” (1 Peter 4:11). All of our good works – e.g., praise, worship, obedience, generosity, compassion, mercy, praying, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, making disciples – have one thing in common: they all ultimately reflect and magnify God’s glory. The Bible says that God has prepared – in advance – work for each one of us to do, and that, in doing these things, we are fulfilling the purpose for which God created us (Ephesians 2:10). And, it is within the work that God has prepared for each of us that we can find God’s specific calling to serve and glorify Him in particular ways while we are in the world, such as apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various tongues (1 Corinthians 12:28).
But, what about the unbelievers; does God have a supreme purpose for their existence too? It is my assumption that it was God’s original purpose in creating mankind that He would receive praise and glory from all of them, not just His elect. But, because sin entered the world through Adam’s disobedience, only the chosen ones, those whom He saves, actually give Him praise and glory. The others give praise and glory to anyone or anything except God. And, in doing so, they have, sadly, missed their supreme purpose for existing. Paul even went so far as to strongly imply that God’s purpose for creating unbelievers is to make known the riches of His glory in the abundant mercy extended to those He will save, His elect (Romans 9:22-23).
Finally, when Jesus comes again to renew all things, only His elect will remain on the earth to rule and reign with Him there for eternity. And so, God will accomplish His original purpose in creating mankind, as all of His elect will joyfully give to God all the praise and glory due him, forever. “God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” (Psalm 115:3).
(To read other biblical teachings on my website, click HERE.)