"The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose." —Michel de Montaigne
Hello Cornerstone FRamily!
“Who say, “Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it; and let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come to pass, that we may know it!” — Isaiah 5:19
Humans have always tried to discern the purpose as to why we were created. In that search Man, as the quote above illustrates, ascribes ‘great and glorious’ meaning to this resolve. I love how the end of the quote is worded - “know how to live to purpose”. This implies moving past simple head knowledge and into the experiential realm of application. If we were talking about driving, or making a cake, or playing baseball this would possibly be something to absorb and understand.
But we are talking about the purpose of Man as laid forth by our Creator.
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” — Isaiah 46:10
Charles Spurgeon, the famed 19th century preacher, simply and yet with confounding complexity answered this question as he wrote in the ‘Puritan Catechism’, “The chief end of man is to glorify God.” He rightly took the topic to the source – man is made to do nothing apart from glorifying God and His Son Jesus Christ. So, going back to the above quote, how does Man “know how to live to purpose” when the purpose is to glorify God? The answer was laid out beginning with the creation of the universe, moving to the raising up of Man, progressing through sin and conflict, and resolving through the sacrifice by God of His Son for our sins in the person of Jesus. When we see the historical journey taken to intentionally demonstrate and explain our purpose for existing, we can and should only respond in reverent awe.
Look at the verses from Isaiah. As a prophet ministering to Israel around 740 BC, he was aware of the natural call to purpose the people would present when shown the revelation of the Gospel. He writes, “let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come to pass, that we may know it!” And again near the end of the book where he records, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” The question which jumps off the page to me is, “What’s the purpose of the Holy One, and what is His good pleasure?” If we believe we are here only to glorify God, then we should want an insight into these things, right?
The only revelation on this is found in the Bible…period. God’s purpose and pleasure was to create us to enjoy and experience loving fellowship with Him. He allowed this fellowship to be fractured by the free will choice of Adam and Eve to step into sin putting into motion His plan of the salvation of His people. He demonstrates once and for all eternity through the account of the Bible His absolute sovereignty over satan, and any who would have a thought of a usurping rebellion against Him in their minds to draw His people away. He confirmed this from the beginning with His loving pursuit of us as sinners (Genesis 3:9), His path of redemption through the kings and prophets in the Old Testament (1 Kings – Malachi), His grace by giving us a sinless substitution on which the punishment for our sins can be carried out (Romans 5:8), and His love for us by establishing Jesus in victory over sin reigning in heaven with our place prepared (John 14:2-3; Revelation 4:8-11.)
So what can we take then as the purpose of Man? As Paul writes in Acts above, “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” As we have acknowledged God’s purpose explained above, OUR purpose simply becomes bringing glory to Him. The application of this – the way to “know how to live to purpose” – is shown here. We are to declare the person of Jesus through thought, word, and deed to all those around. We are to be the “city on a hill” proclaiming our gratefulness for our unmerited favor in salvation from sin. We are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:37), and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
Living a distinctly different life this way moves us past head knowledge and into heart application as we understand our foundation. Knowing our purpose guides our path. That path is one of glory to God for His Son Jesus, and that alone. Walk worthy of the calling you received today!
“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” — Acts 20:27
Please call on me if I can serve you in any way!