By Bill Brandstatter
In answering the above question many are confused. Some think that we are merely a product of evolution. Others might think that our purpose in life is primarily to enjoy ourselves. Yet the Bible teaches that the individual is a creation of God. God wants to be first in the lives of everyone. We are not here to just enjoy recreation, and the other creature comforts. We are here to glorify God. Consider the evidence.
Paul states: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Col 1:16, 1:17 (NKJV) The apostle from Tarsus is referring to Christ. Notice he states: “all things were created through Him and for Him.” The reason we are here is for Christ. Does our life reflect that? Is Christ first in all that we do. Paul adds to this by commanding: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:17) Before doing something do we look to Jesus to see what He would think of that activity, event, or function?
God is in charge of the world. To those on Mars Hill, Paul stated: “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings." (Acts 17:24-26) (NKJV)
Unfortunately, there is a desire in our world to put ourselves or others in first place. Many are trying to make God in their own image. Some, in order to justify sin say, “But God is just and loving, He will understand.” Such may result from a misunderstanding of God. God is good, but also severe. (Rom. 11:22) God is jealous and wants to be first in our lives. (Ex. 20:5) I have observed people who knew what God wanted them to do, but refused to do it. (Rom. 1:28)
Who am I? I am a creation of God. I should glorify Him in all I do. Paul tells the church at Corinth this very idea: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20) Paul also told them that His writings were the commands of God (1 Cor.14:37). Are we following these commandments as we should? Have we done anything lately to glorify God? Are we just enjoying life day by day without ever mentioning God to anyone else? Are we “doing our own thing” and expecting to go to heaven?
These are some things to think about when we consider who we are. The world should not tell us. The influences of worldly people or ideas should not determine the answer to the question. We should follow God, glorify Him, and heaven will one day be our home.
– Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/