The word of God is an inexhaustible treasure of truth. Selected here are seven that speak to the circumstance and reason for humanity’s existence. These truths directly address how we should live and the consequence of a misspent life.
1. Humanity is Made in the Image of God
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26
God created man and set him above all other creatures with the qualities and competencies of a self-conscience and rational being (a person). He gave us intellect, the ability to grasp abstract concepts (morality, truth, evil, etc.), faculties of communication, and feelings of deep emotion. We also possess the independent capability to act of our own will, as we are individuals with agency, free will, and the ability to make choices. We are not slaves, though many will choose to be, nor are we creatures kept as unwitting companions. These are attributes of the image of God, elements of personhood, and qualities that make us valuable. We have dignity and worth, creatures built for relationships; God created us to have a relationship with him.
2. Every Person Needs a Savior.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:10
The elements of the image of God in which we were made are elements of capability, not character. Man is a very smart and resourceful creature, but on his own, he does not possess, in any meaningful way, God’s divine characteristics, particularly that of righteousness. To be righteous is to be morally correct, and we all fall far short of God’s standard of perfection. We are not worthy of being in his presence nor capable of entering heaven on our own merits. Born sinners, we will remain so until the day we die. The fate of unrighteous humanity is extermination, to perish forever in the fire of hell. Mankind desperately needs a savior to redeem us from the penalty of sin and the coming wrath of God.
3. Jesus Christ is Our Redeemer
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
To redeem is to buy or pay off, to clear by payment. Jesus, “the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” Read John 1:29 is God incarnate, the perfect embodiment of righteousness who redeemed us by his blood on the cross; paying our debt for sin so that we are declared righteous and reconciled to God. Salvation is being justified to God, it is a gift by his loving grace (undeserved favor) and mercy (relief from deserved punishment). It cannot be earned but realized only by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus is not one of many saviors, but the only way to heaven. Sadly, most will choose another path. Read Matthew 7:13-14
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
4. Jesus Transforms Lives
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Hearts that turn to Christ abide in the word of God and are given the Holy Spirit of God, who comforts and convicts us. Our conscience is quickened, active, and loud as obedient and moral behavior becomes clear and important. We recognize and reject the world systems that are rooted in evil. We resist temptation. We resist Satan. We are continually sanctified, becoming more like Christ. We are light, and we are salt; we are evangelists. This is the transformation – from a creature pursuing its desire, headed to destruction, to a child of the living God, headed to eternal life in paradise. We live in loving obedience and in fear of God as we wait for our savior to return.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
5. Our Mortal Life is a Grand Test.
Two clear objectives are set before us in mortal life. The first is to come to Christ for salvation. The second is to grow and mature, to be sanctified by God, and to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Whose (winnowing) fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his (threshing) floor, and gather his wheat into the garner (barn); but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12
In the verse above, the agricultural symbolism is clear. The saved are gathered into heaven, while the lost spend eternity in hell. His “threshing floor” is a place of God’s judgment, and the verdict is set during each man’s mortal life. God’s children, those saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, and also those forever lost and condemned, will be determined during our brief time here on earth. To be saved from the wrath of God is the primary reason we are here. We will look back on this time when the quality of our eternal life was settled in gratitude and joy or deep remorse and sorrow. This life is God’s sieve to separate those who are his from those who are not.
Transcendent, eternal joy and peace await those who successfully navigate their circumstance, trials, and opportunities to arrive at the threshing floor as wheat and not chaff. The word of God is crystal clear on how this is accomplished . . . it is by faith Note 1 in Jesus Christ alone.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:3-4
In this life, we will be tried and tested. It is the time to realize our possibilities, perfect our capabilities, and establish our faith. Our character, good or bad, will be developed, and our lot in the next life will be set. To glorify Note 2 God during our time here is another critically important reason we are here. Living our lives with unwavering faith in the face of adversity and also when life is easy and prosperous.
For Christians, God puts us through trials to build our endurance and strengthen our faith. Testing brings maturity and develops us into stronger Christians, conformed to be like Christ, ultimately perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Trials humble us, build dependency on God, and illuminate what kind of person we are. Those in Christ can face distress and trouble with calm delight, stability, and confidence. We know that for those who love God, all things are in his hands and work for our ultimate good. The Christian that remains strong in the faith in the face of adversity is a powerful testimony to God’s love, power, and peace.
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10
The man without faith pursues the desires of his heart. He believes peace and happiness result from a successful life according to the values of the world (lots of money, validating relationships, status, power, attractiveness, more and better stuff). For them, trouble in life is attributed to the malevolence of others, bad luck, or a result of stupidity. Without God, man is on his own, and though he may enjoy prosperity during his brief time here on earth, he has failed the test that matters. But there is hope that tough times will turn a soul to Christ. Those who are broken are often those who know they need a savior.
Note 1 Faith – belief in the veracity of God’s word, confidence in his promises, and trust in a savior we cannot see.
Note 2 Glorify – giving weight, meaning, importance, and significance.
6. God is in Control.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
God is sovereign, the ultimate authority, and we take great comfort knowing that God is in control of our lives and everything we encounter has gone through his hands. We rest in complete confidence that God ultimately uses all things for our good, though it may not seem that way at the moment. He will use every event and circumstance (the good, the bad, and the terrible) to accomplish his will for those who belong to him. He intends to mold us to be more like his son, and there is no better outcome that we could hope for than to be more like Jesus Christ! Even though we may not understand the why, how, and when of what God weaves together, we trust him because we are his possession, and he takes care of us. This is the comfort that the children of God enjoy. Those who have rejected Jesus are on their own, and all things do not happen for their good.
7. All Will Face Judgement.
27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:27-28
We all will face our mortal death; nobody gets out of here alive! Note 3 Many expect that to be the complete and final end, but it is not. Death is more serious than that; no one gets off that easy. After death, all will give an account of themselves to Almighty God, and those not clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ will be condemned to an eternity of fiery torment and agony. Read Revelation 20:15
But know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ! Read Romans 8:1 Instead of judgment to condemnation, Christ will judge the Christian for eternal reward.
Note 3 Only those who believe and trust in Christ when the church is taken from the earth at the rapture will not experience mortal death. Read Thessalonians 4:16-18
This life is a grand test, a proving ground to separate the wheat from the chaff. The Elect will come to Christ and eternal life; the lost will die in their sin. The faithful Christian will be sanctified and made more like Christ; the profane man will be given up to the lusts and depravity of his mind. Our purpose in this life is to come to know Christ, be obedient to God, fear him, glorify him, mature in the faith, and tell others of the incomparable gift of salvation available only by faith in Jesus Christ. There is an urgency to this as time is short and judgment of the unrighteous is coming.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13