I'm not sure that I know of any place in the Bible that directly states, "this is the purpose to life." But does it give us any idea as the exact purpose as to why we were created.

If God is truly Sovereign then he did not Need us for any reason, so why did He create us? Please provide scripture in your answer.


4 Answers 4


The Westminster Shorter Catechism has as its first question:

What is the chief end of man?

and the answer provided (with references):

Man's chief end is to glorify God, [a] and to enjoy him for ever. [b]

[a]. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11
[b]. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4

  • 1
    It amazes me how many things those guys at Westminster got right.
    – user1694
    Aug 20, 2012 at 12:11

I believe that the "chief end of man", or "why man was created" can be summed up in what Jesus said when a lawyer asked him a question.

Matthew 20:36ff

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment.

How do you love the Lord? You love His kids!

Matthew 20:39

"The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

Love God and love others. This is the "chief end" of man; in doing these two things you bring glory to His name.


The ultimate purpose of man must not, it seems, be tied to that which is not ultimate. It is true that God does give mankind commands such as "Be fruitful and increase in number".

However, it is important to note that mankind's fulfillment of this command did not prompt God's greatest act. It was rather the separation of mankind from God through sin that prompted God to become incarnate, die and rise again. The entire Bible focuses on the redemption of mankind through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, it is instructive to note what this accomplished. The key thing, it seems, is the restored relationship. God wanted mankind to be in fellowship/union/relationship with Him.

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3 ESV

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24 ESV

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God... John 1:12 ESV

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 ESV

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:2-3 ESV

So, if we look at the greatest act of God in all time--the atonement through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ--it becomes apparent that all of this was done to restore a relationship between God and mankind. So, we were created to know Him, to abide in Him, and to be with Him forever.


I am quite a fan of Bible.org and have read many of their articles. J. Hampton Keathley III has an excellent article titled “What God is Doing” with a section that, I believe, provides a really good answer. I have included the section title and content below (though the entire article would be a good read!).

The Purpose of God’s Sovereign Plan

The ultimate purpose of God’s plan is the praise and manifestation of the glory of God (Eph. 1:6, 11, 12, 14; 3:21; Rom. 11:36; 16:27; Rev. 4:11; 5:13). It is essential to the very Being of God and by the very nature of God that His glory be manifested and appreciated because of what God’s glory is and does within the universe. This is not the action of some pompous person who wants to be seen to feel good about himself. Not for a moment. Rather, this is more like the blessing, the joy, and the awe we may experience when we see some highly-skilled acrobat, athlete, actor, musician, or some majestic part of creation. Because of the beauty, grace and skill, it needs to be seen and appreciated by others. When we view a glorious mountain in its beautiful setting or see an athlete perform in an outstanding way, we often think, how awful it would be if such talent or beauty were never seen and appreciated, not for the ego of the person, but for the joy and thrill it gives to the viewers.

So God’s plan is designed to manifest the various facets of His glory or perfections. How? By allowing sin through the creature, God’s plan brought out all aspects of God’s glory much like sparkling diamonds against the backdrop of black velvet. The presence of sin and rebellion manifests God’s love, patience, holiness, mercy, and grace to a magnificent degree.

Does the Bible give us a purpose to life? Absolutely - to stand in awe and worship of a Creator who is willing to go to such great lengths that we might live with Him and be witnesses of His glory throughout eternity. And thinking about it, as a witness to such glory, isn't it reasonable to expect a time will come when I also live a sin free life? To Him, alone, I bow.

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