What is Man?

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Our Men’s theology study continues with chapter 7 in Grudem’s “Christian Beliefs.”  That man is created in the image of God for the glory of God are the two main ideas in this theological examination.  Both ideas are profound.  Both ideas could separately fill books.  For the purpose of our study we will briefly interact with the idea of mankind being created for God’s glory.

Man is created for God’s glory:

What does it mean that man is created for God’s glory?  We know it doesn’t mean God needed man to give him glory.  God wasn’t lacking something that could only be satisfied through the existence of mankind.  Yet this doesn’t negate that mankind does bring God glory (Isaiah 43:7).

Perhaps the best way to understand what it means to be created for God’s glory is to think of examples of “glory.”  The Elephant’s trunk is his glory.  A sunset over the mountains or reflecting off the ocean is glory. A horse running with might and speed is glory.  Piper defines God’s glory as…

The glory of God is the beauty and excellence of his manifold perfections. It is an attempt to put into words what God is like in his magnificence and purity. It refers to his infinite and overflowing fullness of all that is good. The term might focus on his different attributes from time to time—like his power and wisdom and mercy and justice—because each one is indeed awesome and beautiful in its magnitude and quality. But in general God’s glory is the perfect harmony of all his attributes into one infinitely beautiful and personal being.

Being created for God’s glory means we display his gloriousness.  Through us God’s glory is known and praised and adored.  God’s glory is not ultimately about our joy or satisfaction or delight – although a life arranged for God’s glory will bring all of that.  God is ultimately preoccupied with himself because there is none better, greater, or grander.  We should be too.

Think about it:

Much is made of man today.  Even expressions of worship are measured in how much they engage man, how deeply man is affected, and how delighted man is.  The church needs to reclaim God’s “Godness.”  Christianity needs large does of a God-centered perspective.  John Piper again states…

And surely I don’t have to tell you in detail that this perspective of God-centeredness has been lost in our day, even in the churches. Man is the star in our contemporary drama and his comfort, his prosperity, and his health are the great goals. Of course God is there on the stage, but only as a kind of co-star or supporting actor to round out the picture for religious and cultural expectations.

Now What?

Of what were you reminded as you considered God’s ultimate purpose for you is to bring him glory? How do you see God being sidelined as a “co-star” or “supporting actor” in Christianity or in your own tendencies?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment below.

 

*Quotations from God Created Us For His Glory by John Piper, July 27, 1980

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