Embraced  by  Truth . . .
                                    reflections on theology and life

THEOLOGY > Man > Purpose of Man > Fulfill the Will of God


The purpose of man is to fulfill the purpose of God. That purpose is not so much one of doing as one of being—it is not searching and finding God’s will but it is the acceptance of God’s will. It is the submission of the individual to Sovereignty, coupled with profound trust in that Sovereignty that inevitably leads the believer to comforting peace.

All of life is determined, from beginning to end; “luck,” “chance,” “coincidence,” and “accident,” and other such terms, do not belong in the vocabulary on one who interprets personal life and all of reality from the perspective of Theism. The days of one’s life, meaning all the events of life, are written in God’s book:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them (Ps. 139:13-16).

The wise man declares: “Yahweh has made all for Himself . . . ” (Prov. 16:4). In Scripture the purpose of man is not determined by man’s desires or ambitions but is determined by the purposes of God. In other words, the purpose of man is that which God chooses not that which man chooses. The text asserts that “Yahweh has made all for Himself”; every aspect of creation, including man, is for God not for man. God is sovereign (see: Providence and God is Sovereign)—He is the divine Potter (Jer. 18:1-11). Man’s purpose is to fulfill God’s purpose—it is all written in His book!

Even the wicked fulfill the purposes of God, as revealed in the complete statement of the wise man: “Yahweh has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom” (Prov. 16:4; “doom” is lit., “evil”; see: Rom. 9:17-23). While this concept may be repulsive to most individuals whose minds are set on the idea of self-fulfillment and personal gratification as rights that belong to every member of the race, the careful reader of Scripture will discover a different perspective.

God does what He pleases; Jacob He loves, and Esau He hates. And His posture toward each is determined before either is born; it is He who determines that “the older shall serve the younger” (Rom. 9:10-13). Evil and evil men do not operate outside of God’s determination but by their very existence both are proceeding according to His plan.

Life does not consist in personal pleasure and fulfillment, nor in the accumulation of goods. By his existence man has no intrinsic right for so-called happiness or the pursuit of happiness. Such an emphasis is extremely self-centered and is the epitome of sinful humanism. Man exists because of God’s act and exists for God’s purpose. A life interpreted in terms of the earthly is a vain life, for the true value of living is in living for the heavenly, not for the earthly:

Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven (Prov. 23:4-5);

For one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (Lu. 12:15; see: Matt. 6:19-21, 25-34; 16:25-26);

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? (Lu. 9:25);

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:19-21).

Man stands before God in his creative state, not to fulfill the purpose of himself but to fulfill the propose of the Creator. Life is not about man; life is about God. Life has to do with relationships, and man’s true value is found in his relationship to God, in a relationship that accomplishes the will of God. Man exists because of, and for, God.

In this relationship there is no place for the assertion by man of his rights; man has no intrinsic right of existence nor right of self-determination. Contingent is the state of man’s existence, dependent totally and in every aspect on God. Theistic determinism is the only acceptable philosophy and theology (see: Theistic Determinism).

In such an arrangement the only appropriate posture is the posture of the Son before the Father: “not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39; see vs. 42, 44). The attitude of the creature must be submission to the Creator.

In our humanistic culture, two questions cry out for answers; and the correct answers condemn the self-exaltation of man that asserts a supposed freedom that does not exist:

Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" (Rom. 9:20);

Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (Rom. 9:21).

If God is the Potter, then He has the right to do what He deems proper with the clay in His hands. The clay must acquiesce; there is no other option—the posture is submission. And in this posture the God of glory gets glory!

Return to: Purpose of Man; Next Article: 

For overview of THEOLOGY, see: Site Map - Theology
Copyright © Embraced by Truth
All rights reserved.
Materials may be freely copied for personal and academic use;
appropriate reference must be made to this site.
Links are invited.