The Grand Purpose of Life

The Grand Purpose of Life

by James Sanderson

Estill Springs, Tenn.


Have you ever seriously considered why you are here?

I don’t mean why you’re sitting where you are now, but why are you here in this life? In other words, what is the reason for man’s existence on this planet?

It’s so unfortunate that the vast majority of people come into this world, then live and die with no real fulfillment. It’s as though they had never lived. Their lives are structured around the physical aspects of life.

There is more to life than the physical. Jesus posed the question, “Is not life more than meat [food], and the body than raiment [clothes]?” (Matthew 6:25)

There is a divine purpose for life, and that purpose is found in the Bible, God’s Word.


Here’s the purpose

The Bible reveals that God Himself created humanity and placed every individual on this planet with a definite purpose in mind. God didn’t place us here to accumulate wealth or build bigger barns to store our earthly possessions.

Nor did God intend for man to merely eke out a living to meet his physical needs. Admittedly, those needs must be met. How sad that most of mankind waste their few short years focused on goals and ambitions that have no eternal value.

These are serious matters. The Bible points to a most wonderful purpose for life—a purpose that will enrich one’s life now and will also bear fruit in eternity. That purpose is to know God.


Paul changed priorities

Let’s look at Philippians 3:3-10. The Apostle Paul had everything going for him in this life. He was a man born into the right family, a “Hebrew of the Hebrews.” He had an outstanding reputation among all the religious folks of his day.

He was well educated, belonged to the highest political and social groups, and had a well-paying job. Nevertheless, by the mercy of God, Paul came to the realization that he was missing the most important aspect of life: to know God.

There was a tremendous transformation that occurred in Paul’s life after he came to this crossroads. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (v. 8).

Knowing God became the paramount desire of Paul’s life, his highest priority. This purpose consumed every aspect of his life. Verse 10 emphasizes “that I may know Him.” We are here in this life to know God.


We can know God

The Bible also reveals that an individual can actually know God personally. In John 17:1-3 we see a prayer of Jesus to the Father. Notice that Jesus prayed that men would know God. “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God…” Here again is the grand purpose of life: knowing God.

What does it mean to know God? John 1:10 says, “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him; and the world knew Him not.” They saw Him. He lived among them. They knew His name. He visited their homes. He miraculously fed them and healed their sick. They even went to the synagogues with Him. But they never really knew Him.


Some may think they know

The Bible reveals that there are only two classes of people in the world: those who know God and those who do not. When Jesus returns, He will take “vengeance on them that know not God” (2 Thess. 1:8). Only those who know God in this life will be with Him in heaven. The Bible also declares that some people will think that they know God, but in reality do not. They “profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him” (Titus 1:16).

Maybe some believed they knew God because they went to church or performed certain religious duties. Maybe they had quit smoking and drinking. The fruits of their lives proved that they didn’t know God.

One can know for a certainty that he knows God: “He that saith, ‘I know him,’ and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him” (1 John 2:3-4). Paul was confident that he knew the Lord (2 Tim. 1:12). Again, what does it mean to know God?


It gets personal

Most people are acquainted with the explorer Christopher Columbus. From school, we know quite a few facts about his life, but has anyone ever met Christopher Columbus? Does anybody know him? I don’t. It is possible to study about God and know many facts about Him, but never really know Him.

The Greek word for know means “a knowledge grounded in personal experience” (Thayer). This Greek word carries the idea of relationship. In other words, one needs to have a personal relationship with God in order to know Him.

Christ no longer lives in the flesh on this earth (2 Cor. 5:16). God is a spirit. Therefore, one must experience Him and His presence spiritually. In other words, knowing God is a supernatural experience available to any man who truly wants to know Him.


Time to meet God

In order to know another person, you have to meet that person. God is a real Person, not a figment of one’s imagination. Because Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary, you can now meet and know God. The Bible declares that He stands at the heart’s door and knocks (Rev. 3:20). In order to know Him, you must invite Him in.

Jesus also stated, “If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). God will never force Himself on anyone. He draws men in love. “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).


Open your heart

To know God is to have Jesus Christ dwelling in your heart (Ephes. 3:17; Col. 1:27; 2 Cor. 13:5).

To know God is to have an intimate, personal relationship on a daily basis with the Lord. It is so wonderful that God would reach down to sinful, finite man and give him the opportunity of truly knowing Him.

Let us come to God with hearts of praise and gratitude! Let us open our hearts to Him that we might know Him in all His fullness!


       James Sanderson is a member of the Paint Rock, Ala., SDB Church. His daughter, Brenda, is married to Pastor Shay Rankhorn of the Shepherd’s Fold SDB Church in Johnson City, Tenn.

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