What Is Life’s Purpose? By Glenn Kenadjian
Introduction • What is the point of life? • Why are we here? • i.e., What is life’s purpose?
Introduction • Life has no purpose apart from God. • Why? Analogy of a phone / coin flip • Conclusion: If life has a purpose, it must come from God and his purpose for making us.
Does It Matter If Life Has a Purpose? • “No” #1: “Life doesn’t have or need a purpose” • “‘What is the meaning of life?’ is a stupid question. Life just exists. You say to yourself, ‘I can’t accept that I mean nothing so I have to find the meaning of life so that I shouldn’t mean as little as I know I do.’ . . . I see life as a dance. Does a dance have to have a meaning? You’re dancing because you enjoy it.” – Jackie Mason
Does It Matter If Life Has a Purpose? • “No” #2: “I can find meaning for my life apart from a purpose for life.”
Does It Matter If Life Has a Purpose? • “Yes” #1: If we were made for a purpose, we can expect God will judge us according to the reason he made us. • “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” - Romans 14:10
Does It Matter If Life Has a Purpose? • “Yes” #2: When we live for what we want, satisfaction often escapes us. • “Life has been good to me. I’ve had great success, many friends, prestige, a great wife and a beautiful family. And yet sometimes I sit at home in my mansion and get so lonely. I used to wonder why so many rich people commit suicide—now I know.” - O. J. Simpson
Does It Matter If Life Has a Purpose? • “Yes” #3: We can make our own meaning for life, but it will never be a lasting meaning. • Work, Sports, Sex, Etc.- Eventually can’t do • Family, Community, world population, Future generations – All will die some day
Does It Matter If Life Has a Purpose? • “Yes” #3: We can make our own meaning for life, but it will never be a lasting meaning. • To have a lasting meaning, we need God. • My story
How Can We Know Life’s Purpose? • Can we figure it out ourselves? • Only one reliable way I know—God tells us • The Bible claims it is a record of God speaking to us. What does it say? • There is no direct statement like, “The reason God made people and the world is this . . .” • However, scattered throughout many parts of the Bible, God’s reason seems to emerge from what he says.
Made for God’s Glory • “. . . everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory whom I formed and made.” - Isaiah 43:7
Made for God’s Glory • “But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” - Numbers 14:21
Made for God’s Glory • So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31
Made for God’s Glory • The majority of the books of the Bible plainly state a desire that God be glorified. • Conclusion? • “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” – Westminster Shorter Catechism
What Does This Mean? • The word, “glory”, contains the idea of greatness, particularly recognized and honored greatness. • E.g., “glory” of a country, • . . .sports team, • . . .sunset.
What Does This Mean? • People sometimes want to make something great that will be their glory. • Artist – painting • Architect – building • Author – book • Parent - child
What Does This Mean? • Your glory reflects something about who you are. • God made people to be a great expression of who he is.
What Does This Mean? • God made us so that our lives would express his glory as we trust in and follow him. • “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” -John 15:8 • God made us to be living expressions of his glory!
What This Does Not Mean • 1. “God does not have any individual purposes for us” • An example of God speaking about an Egyptian king: • “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16) • God has specific purposes for particular individuals, groups and even nations over different time periods.
What This Does Not Mean • 1. “God does not have any individual purposes for us” • However, God’s overall purpose is most important. • His individual plan for you depends on if you accept God’s overall purpose or not. • When you accept God’s overall purpose, His individual plan involves bringing you in line with his overall purpose. • When you reject God’s overall purpose, His individual plan is either to turn you around or, knowing you won’t do that, use you to advance his overall purpose in others.
What This Does Not Mean • 2. “God has no other purposes for humanity and for his followers.” • Examples in the Bible: To do good works, manage the earth well, relate with other believers as in a loving family… • However, these are all to be done in order to fulfill an ultimate overall purpose of expressing God’s glory. • When they are not done like this, disharmony and conflicts result!
Review • Life only has a purpose if we were made by God for a purpose. • We can only know life’s purpose if God tells us what it is. • According to the Bible, people were made for God’s glory. This means being living expressions of his glory—reflecting his nature, greatness and joy. • God has other purposes and plans for people, but they all center on developing a people who will be his glory.
1. Recognize We Have All Failed • We have all turned to our own purposes, not caring about God’s purpose for us • We seek our own glory OR • We just want to be left alone to do our own things • Our rebelling against God has corrupted us, and our lives express brokenness and disharmony—not God’s glory • “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” - Romans 3:23
2. Look to Our One Good Model • “Christ, who is the image of God.” - 2 Corinthians 4:4 • “He is the radiance of the glory of God” – Hebrews 1:3 • “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” - John 17:4
3. Know Christ Wants to Save Us • “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – 1 Timothy 1:15 • “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” – Luke 19:10 • To save us is to forgive us and to work to change us so we can fulfill life’s purpose.
4. Trust in and Follow Christ So He Can Make You More Like Himself • “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” - Revelation 3:20 As we receive him and follow him, he makes us more like himself. We then increasingly express God’s glory through our lives and actions—and we fulfill our purpose!
Discussion Questions • Why do you think people across the world think about life’s purpose? • Do you think this is an important concern? Why? • What do you think about this idea that life’s purpose is to express God’s glory? Do you have any questions about this?