Question: “What is man’s purpose in life? Why did God create man?”
Answer: The fact that God created man within itself would not necessarily tell us a great deal about man because God created everything else, too. But the time, manner and condition in which He created him tells us much about man. There is no other part of the entire creation like unto man. Because God created man last of all we conclude that He was preparing the world He had made with all its living things; animals, herbs, fruit bearing trees, etc., and with the sun, moon, and stars, etc., to light, warm and control the climate and atmosphere of the earth, etc., to be suitable residence for the tenant He was to make and place in it. It was out of special deference to man that He made all the rest.
In Genesis 1:26 we read: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…” This was said of none of the other creatures God created but when it came to man He made him an intelligent, reasoning, spiritual, discriminating, free acting agent with the power and right of free choice. Holiness, righteousness, and truth were in his inward parts since he came fresh from the hand of God. All of these things were existent attributes in God and man must possess them also to be in the image and likeness of God.
God is love, but love is an attribute which can never be satisfied without a full return of affection from the object of its love. Hence, man was made with an inherent, built-in capacity for loving God and responding to Him. Man in his creative state fresh from the hand of God was perfectly fitted for an association with God. This was the prime objective God had in creating man that they might associate together and love each other and hold communion and sweet fellowship together. In Genesis 3:8 we read, “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:…” It was, no doubt, common practice for God to walk and talk with the man He had made.
It seems also in Genesis 1:26-28 that God had in mind for man to be a kind of general manager and overseer of all the work of God’s hands in the earth he was to have dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth and was to subdue it verse 28.
In Isaiah 43:7 we read, “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory,…” Ah! there we have it; created for God’s glory.
Man lost all of this image and likeness of God out of his nature through the fall into sin which corrupted the entire human race. Consequently he had to be banished from the presence and fellowship of God. (Genesis 3:22-24.) God still loved man and had the same purpose and objective for him, so He devised a plan of salvation for him and sent Jesus to make an atonement for man’s sin and to perfect an arrangement for restoring man back to his creative state in communion and sweet fellowship with God, by the sacrifice of Himself and the shedding of His own blood for our cleansing from sin.
In describing the work and effects of salvation the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:10, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” He is then restored back into the image and likeness of God. Also Ephesians 4:24 says “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” This puts man right back where he is qualified to associate with God and hold communion and sweet fellowship with Him as at the beginning. In fact we read in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” This is an enlightening text pertaining to the question under consideration. It makes it clear that God ordained before (even from the beginning) that we should walk in good works and be eligible for sweet fellowship with Him.
Again we read in II Corinthians 6:16, “…for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This text makes it clear again what God’s real purpose and objective was in creating man to dwell in them and walk in them and hold sweet fellowship with them. Job 7:17 says, “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?” And verse 18 says, “And that thou shouldest visit him every morning,…?” This makes it clear that God loves man, has His heart set upon him, and desires to hold communion with him daily.
Then it is evident from these texts and many more that God made man that He might have a being upon whom He could bestow His love and who would be capable of responding to that love and returning it to Him by loving Him with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength and thus to glorify God.