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What Is the Chief End of Man?

by Corley Moses

You know, I admit that lately I have been frustrated and bitter at the sin I see in others.  What’s troubling is that I have every reason to feel this way.  It’s been discouraging to me how many people I interact with in business that are dishonest or unjust.  You expect little kids to tell a lie or be selfish at times, but grownups?  This can wear you out and lead to an unproductive life if you let it.  There is always someone to blame and usually with a good reason.  What adds more grief to this is that I am a wretched sinner also, and constantly make unbiblical decisions, which I end up regretting.  A hard attitude and bitterness have been creeping around attempting to rob me of joy. 

Yet, this is where the story turns, and why we must constantly consume the Word of God.  At random, I started reading 2 Corinthians for my daily bible reading.  One morning I made it to chapter 5:21 and the scripture just spoke so clearly to me. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.  This challenges the bitter or discouraged attitude in all of us.  The God of the universe who is perfect, takes upon himself our sin and the death that comes with it, and gives us his righteousness.  We are loved beyond our understanding and made just, despite our sin nature.  This should make us swell up with joy and thanksgiving! 

God’s word is so complete and connected and I was encouraged as I read further into 2 Corinthians.  In chapter 8:1-5 we see the action that comes from God’s grace and the joy of the gospel.  The Macedonians were so full of joy over the gospel that they overflowed with generosity to others, even when their own circumstances were not good. 

Yes, we see the gospel and good works going hand in hand and 2 Corinthians 9:6-13 ties them together so well.  This portion of scripture is laying out the case for a cheerful giver.  2 Corinthians 9:12-13 “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.  By their service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others”.  God was glorified through the service and generosity of those who trusted him.

To wrap this up: 

The Shorter Catechism question #1.  What is the Chief end of man?  Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

In 2 Corinthians 5 we see that we can have joy in Christ because he loves us enough to take our sin away.  We see the joyful response of the Macedonians (Chapter 8) because of the good news of Christ, and in Chapter 9 we see that the generous response of those in Christ can bring glory to God by helping those in need and overflowing with thanksgivings to God. 

So, cheer up out there and forgive others!  In Christ, we are made righteous without any help from us.  We also see our purpose in life that can only spring up from our joyful response to the gospel.  

 Joy and a purpose to glorify God!

 God’s word is real medicine.

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