Thursday, January 21, 2021

What Were You Designed to Do?

Today I am beginning a series of posts based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism. This catechism is one of the doctrinal standards of our church and has been used for centuries by Presbyterians, Puritans, and others to give instruction in the Christian faith. I will still post other things as well, but you can count on a regular post from me on the Shorter Catechism for a while (there are 107 questions). Here is the first, and most famous, question of the Shorter Catechism: 
Q 1: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
First we need to appreciate that man has an end (that is, a purpose or goal). In a consistent evolutionary worldview, man has no intended end and has no design except that he is accidentally fitted for mere survival. We have no purpose in this worldview so we are left to determine our own identity and purpose out of nothing by mere choice.

But through a good reading of nature and especially through the word of God, we find that we were made by God with purpose and design. We were designed to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. Everything else we were designed to do serves this chief end. 

First, "to glorify God," as his image, filling the earth with his glory as we reflect and represent him. We glorify him in worship (Mal. 1:6-8, 11) and by serving him in all of life. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31). 

Second, "to enjoy him," gratefully receiving his gifts and favor, communing with him, delighting in him, his blessings, and his image in one another. Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden not only to serve God, but also to enjoy his fellowship and favor. Psalm 16 meditates on this reality and culminates by saying to God, “in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).

And this verse also mentions the third point in our catechism answer: "for ever." We were not created as cheaply made toys, to be discarded after a time. We were designed to fulfill this end forever. And through Jesus Christ, God has restored us to our original end and given us an eternal life of fellowship with God unto the praise of his glorious grace.

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