Jesus, Creation, and Your Purpose Here on Earth

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This is part of a series on seeing how the Old Testament points to Jesus Christ. Read Part One.

There are some questions about life that every human being asks:

  • Where did this world come from, and how did it come to be the way it is?
  • Is there a God?
  • If so, who is he?
  • Is there something special about human beings, or are they just like the animals?
  • What is our purpose in life here on earth?

As Christians, it is crucial to know what the Bible has to say. Genesis 1:1-2:3, one of the most helpful passages addressing these questions is also one of the most familiar passages in the Bible–which means its awesome truths can be overlooked and not fully contemplated.

Genesis 1:1 starts off with the famous words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” That verse answers the first two questions from above and starts to answer the third–we know that God is a Creator God. This creator God existed before creation and created the universe out of nothing, or ex nihilo.

One of the striking features about the creation account is that God is the central figure in creation. God created the heavens and the earth by merely opening His mouth. During days one through six of creation, God created the heavens, the earth, made light, the sea and sky, and filled His beautiful creation with plants, animals, lights and luminaries, and the pinnacle of His creation, man, whom He made in His own image. While God’s conclusion for His work days 1-5 was to declare His work “good” (Genesis 1:410121825), the conclusion for the day God made man was “very good” (Genesis 1:31, emphasis added). Creating mankind in His own image shows that we have dignity above the rest of creation, capacity for reflecting God’s image as image-bearers, and responsibility to work and keep God’s good creation.

Unfortunately since the fall of man, we have corrupted God’s creation by putting ourselves at the center of the story instead of giving God His proper place. Men have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness, darkening their hearts, and dishonoring God by rejecting His eternal power and divine nature shown at creation (Romans 1:18-21).

The One at the Center

This rejection of God is also a rejection of His Son, Jesus Christ. The New Testament reveals that Jesus Christ is the creator of all things and at the center of the story:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16).

We were created by Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ. Our purpose in life is totally wrapped up in who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us. Yet, if you’re like me, your life can quickly become wrapped up in your own interests and pursuits instead of our Creator. I liked how, Michael Horton describes this tendency in his book Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church:

There is the tendency to make God a supporting character in our own life movie rather than to be rewritten as new characters in God’s drama of redemption.1

Who’s the Main Character in Your Life?

When you think of telling the story of your life, what role does God have? Is He a small, supporting character that can fade into the background and easily be forgotten, or is He the most important person and influence in your life? How would your life’s movie look if Christ wasn’t in it? Drastically different? Eerily the same?

Living a Christ-centered life is not easy. The default setting of my heart is to put myself on the throne of my life instead of putting God on the throne, His proper place. This tendency even weaves its way into ministry. I like to think about who I have touched, what I have done for God, or what I will do for God instead of remembering what He has done for me and that my life is all about Him. And when I forget my purpose in God’s greater story, I lose sight of my purpose on earth. Michael Horton diagnoses this problem and prescribes the remedy:

When we try to fit God into our life movie, the plot is all wrong–and not just wrong, but trivial. When we are pulled out of our own drama and cast as characters in his unfolding plot, we become part of the greatest story ever told. It is through God’s Word of judgment (law) and salvation (gospel) that we are transferred from our own pointless scripts and inserted into the grand narrative that revolves around Jesus Christ.2

When we are tempted to care too much about ourselves, our busy schedules, our relationships, and even our suffering–we must remember the gospel. We must remember that God created the world and everything in it for Himself and that our lives find their purpose in Him. Christ died on the cross to forgive us for putting ourselves on the throne, and gave us new hearts that would desire to see Him exalted and put in the proper place.

We must cling to the historical facts of the life, death, and resurrection of our Living Savior and know that by God’s grace we play a small role in the greatest story ever told of God reconciling sinful humanity to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.

Only by remembering our part in God’s Great Story will we enter the rest that we were created for that God modeled on creation’s seventh day. This rest and the peace God provides will fill our hearts with thankfulness and energy to live out our God-given purposes here on earth for His glory.

Related Links:

1 Michael Horton in Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church, page 19.

2 Ibid, page 98.

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Kevin Halloran

Servant of the Word. Husband. Blogs weekly at Anchored in Christ. Content Strategist/Trainer in Latin America with Leadership Resources International.

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