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THEOLOGY > Man > Purpose of Man > Fellowship with God 


The Genesis account speaks of God “walking in the garden in the cool of the day,” and by this description the Scriptures suggest that Adam and Eve had constant fellowship with God (Gen. 3:8). The Creator created man so He could commune with him, that is, so man and woman would enjoy companionship with God, a companionship which was personal and direct in the Garden.

Scripture supports this idea of individual fellowship with Deity; in fact, Scripture attributes the initiation and implementation of it to God:

I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God (Ex. 29:45; see: II Cor. 6:16);

I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people (Lev. 26:12);

I will make a covenant of peace with them . . . and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore . . . the nations also will know that I,the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore (Ezek. 37:26-28);

Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God (Rev. 21:3).

It is God who establishes this fellowship with man, for man cannot fashion such a companionship; God creates it and sustains it. Note that in the above passages from Exodus, Leviticus, and Ezekiel, there is the repetition of “I will”; it is God who is accomplishing this. He “will dwell,” He “will walk,” and He “will make”; in each text the emphasis is on God. In the Revelation of John it is God who prepares the city and brings it to earth in order that He might “dwell” with “His people.” The city “comes down out of heaven from God,” and it comes “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2; see: The Holy City). The Preparer is God.

Fellowship is not what man discovers and nurtures; rather, it resides in the determination of God to reveal Himself to man, and it is by His Revelation to man that God relates to man.

In this sense, man’s authentic value is relational not ontological; man was not created just to be, but to be in fellowship with God. This capacity to communicate and have a relationship with God on the personal level is what gives man worth and defines part of his purpose. Man’s significance is not primarily in what man is, a creature made in the image of God, but in the reason for the image and the capabilities that are inherent within the image. Because man is like God, he can converse with God. Again this is a reflection on God not man. Because of the life God has given to man, man can have life with God.

And, again, from this perspective it is seen that man’s purpose and significance can only be grasped when man is interpreted from the perspective of God. Without God man has no temporal significance, and he has no eternal hope. From chance, purpose does not arise and optimism is lacking a foundation. A valid anthropology must be developed in terms of Biblical Theism—the study of man is the study of God. And the understanding of man resides in an understanding of God (see: Starting Point and Foundations).

As the believer develops in his fellowship with God, he comes to the conclusion that all that matters in life is fellowship with God:

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Ps. 73:25-26

The believer comes to understand that there is no life apart from fellowship with God, there is only death.

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