The wise men of every age ask the same questions: “Why are we here?” “What should we be doing?” “What is the meaning of life?”
For answers some look to Confucius, Aristotle, or Nietzsche. Or, more likely these days, we look to books, blogs, or YouTube channels. There we find no shortage of wise people willing to tell us what our lives should look like, how to be happy, and to live a meaningful life. But the truth is these great philosophical questions cannot be answered by looking to experts, the stars, or at our own navels. These are questions that must be answered by God. And indeed they are answered in the gospel of Jesus Christ which is found in the Bible.
If you want to know why you are here, you have to start in the beginning. And in the beginning, there was God. There is only one God and He is holy and eternal (Deuteronomy 6:4). When the Bible says that He is holy it means that He is perfect (Matthew 5:48). There was never a time when God did not exist, He has been around forever and will be around forevermore. And it is this God who created everything, including you and me (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 45:12). Since He made us, it is God who gets to say why we are here and what we were made to do. That is the right of the Creator. But it is also the answer to our deepest questions. So why did God make us?
The Bible says that we were made “in the image of God.” (Genesis 1:25–27). That means our function, the purpose for which we were made, is to reflect what God is like. We exist to showcase God’s attributes of love, justice, and holiness. By acting like God in those ways, we make Him look as He is, which is glorious. That is the meaning of life, to glorify God by bearing His image rightly.
Just one problem: We have all utterly failed in this task.
A Big Problem
We were made to glorify God by bearing His image, but the Bible says that we have all fallen short of this perfect standard (Romans 3:23). We have all sinned. We try to excuse this failure by saying things like, “Well, I’m not that bad.” But God doesn’t grade on a curve. The standard for image bearers is perfection, and we have all failed to meet it. This failure is no small problem.
The Bible says we are all guilty before God. “as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one;'” (Romans 3:10). We are all sinners. And the consequences for our sin are steep. What we have earned for our sinfulness is death. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). This is more than just physical death; this is talking about hell. Because we have failed to be what God made us to be, His image bearers, we deserve eternal punishment (Romans 2:6–8; Revelation 21:8). As things stand for you, apart from Christ, you should be terrified to die because judgment waits for you on the other side. Hell is not some “Christian bogey man.” It is real. It is eternal. It is just. But it can be avoided.
But how can we possibly make ourselves right before God, when what He requires from us is perfection? The truth is we are helpless to resolve our guilt or reform ourselves. There is literally nothing you and I can do for ourselves that would earn us a ticket out of hell, much less earn us a place in God’s heaven (Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8–9). No, if we are to have any hope at all, our help will have to come from outside of ourselves. We need a solution. We need a savior.
A Big Solution
Thankfully God has provided just the solution that broken image bearers like you and me require. He has given it in His Son, Jesus Christ. Two-thousand years ago, God did something sinful man did not even think to ask for—God sent His own Son to Earth, as a man, to make men right with God. God Himself took on human flesh; He became like us (Colossians 2:9). But why would He do this? Why was it even necessary?
God did this in Christ because the standard which was broken, God’s perfect law, was one that humans must keep, but could not. And the penalty which must be paid for breaking that law was one that humans must pay (eternal punishment in hell). Jesus lived the perfect life, and in our place He died on a cross where God the Father poured out the wrath that was due to sinners on Jesus, His own Son. So, what Jesus did was live and die in our place, as our substitute, as a human. “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Think about that! The God whom we sinned against, paid the price to reconcile us to Himself! What an amazing act of love!
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8
What kind of God turns His wrath upon His own Son so that His people might not perish under it? A God worthy of your submission and worship, that’s what kind of God. But let me tell you a little more about this Jesus. Jesus Christ was the perfect image-bearer and the perfect sacrifice for us.
But Jesus wasn’t done yet.
After three days in a tomb, God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24; 13:30; 1 Corinthians 15:4). This vindicated Jesus’ sacrifice, it demonstrated that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice as a substitute for the payment of death that we owed. Also, in rising from the dead Jesus defeated the power of death for all those who would be united with Him by faith (Revelation 1:18; 1 Corinthians 15:55). That means that now those who put their faith in Jesus Christ receive from God not death, but the free gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Romans 6:23b)!
That, my friend, is why the gospel is called “good news.”
Now, it’s time to stop asking “why?” and start asking, “what will my response to Jesus be?”
A Reasonable Response
To be be forgiven for your sins and be counted righteous in God’s eyes, you must simply repent of your sin and put your faith in Jesus Christ. That does not mean that you must stop sinning and become perfect before you come to Christ. What God calls you to do is turn away from the path of sin, and turn instead to Jesus Christ. That is called faith. Faith is you putting your entire trust in Jesus Christ, His perfectly righteous life and His substitutionary death, to restore you to fellowship with God.
When you put your faith in Christ you are united to Him in such a way that when the Father looks at you, He does not see your sinfulness, but instead, He sees Christ’s righteousness. And as such, God can declare you righteous—justified. Jesus’ righteousness is credited to your account! God also gives you a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). This new heart is one that hates sin, instead of loving it. It’s a heart that is filled with love for God and a desire to please Him with your life. You will treat Him has your rightful King, joyfully obeying His commands because you know they glorify Him and are for your highest good. Once you are reconciled to God, you can start living out your true purpose: to be an accurate image bearer of God.
How will you respond to what you’ve just read? Will you reject God’s offer? Will you put it off for another day? I must advise you that there is nothing more foolish than to disregard this unparalleled gift from God. Today, you have read the truth. Do not delay! Do not spend another hour wasting your life and heaping condemnation on yourself. Repent and believe. Turn away from your sinful life, and turn to Christ. He alone can pardon you from your sins and grant you the righteousness required for eternal life. For He alone was the perfect image bearer.
This is why you were made. This is the meaning of life. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Believe on Him and be saved.