In our previous Why Am I Here? (The Answer) daily teaching we saw how, according to to the Genesis account, mankind was created to image God (Gen. 1:26a). But there’s still plenty more to see. So, as we make our way to the ultimate reason for man’s existence we will first continue to survey the opening chapter of God’s Word, looking back to the initial revelation of man’s creation to understand why we are here. We pick up today in the second half of Genesis 1:26.
An Early Explanation for Man
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Thankfully, very early on in the inspired text of Scripture we are told why God created man. That reality in itself, the fact that the uncreated God is the creator of all creation, and particularly the creator of man, is not to be taken for granted. Man’s origin is inextricably connected to his purpose; and here we see that man did not grow out of rocks like the ancient Greeks believed, nor was man the result of primordial ooze being supercharged by electricity, mingled together with the variables of time, motion, and chance, as naturalistic evolution teaches. Man was created by God as the crown of His creation.
There Must Be More Than This
Some years back 60 Minutes did a piece on Tom Brady, the Super Bowl winning quarterback of the New England Patriots, entitled “Tom Brady: The Winner.” The idea of the segment was that he would discuss both his career as well as other aspects of his life. At one point during the interview, the CBS News correspondent prefaced a portion of his forthcoming video interview by saying,
Imagine that you just graduated from a Masters’ degree program and received a promotion at work as a result, and someone asked you, ‘What does it matter?’ with reference to your graduation and promotion. You might be taken back by the brashness of their question but you’re a polite person so you respond by saying, ‘Well, it helped to equip me to do my job better and now, as a result of taking a position of greater responsibility, I take home more money to benefit my family.’ You think you hit their underhanded, off-speed, softball pitch of a question out of the park. But they don’t. Unmoved, they unleash a series of existential questions with more than hint of nihilism to boot: ‘So what? What does it really matter if you do your job a little better and bring home a little more money? So you make someone’s day potentially a wee bit brighter? Eventually darkness will set in and your ‘momentary brightness’ will be eclipsed and forgotten by the pain of life’s tragedies. And what exactly does a little bit more money do for your family? Add a little bit more activity, entertainment, and comfort to your fleeting life? You won’t even remember 1% of it when you’re on your deathbed and neither will those you spent that time with.’ It’s at this point you realize why this person doesn’t have many friends. He lacks a filter but he is asking questions that demand an answer. In the final analysis, what profit is there in wisdom – whether it be intellectual or moral?
32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. (1 Cor. 11:32)
Lest someone were to misinterpret what Paul meant by the language of “judgment” (1 Cor. 11:29), in comes verse thirty-two to provide clarity and a surprising witness to the doctrine of eternal security. The judgment that Paul was speaking about (“But when we are judged”) was akin to divine discipline (“we are disciplined by the Lord”). And divine discipline is a witness to divine affection – “…those whom the LORD loves He disciplines” (Heb. 12:6a). The absence of discipline means that an individual is not God’s child (vs.8). No chastisement feels pleasant, whether it be human or divine; but its typical end is to produce a harvest of righteousness (vs.11).