The purpose of life according to the bible is to follow God’s commandments and receive his blessing. This thesis describes some of the great life principles revealed by God through the Holy Bible.
In the Bible, the purpose of life is to serve God.
According to Genesis, God created man in his own image and told him to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). In other words, he was telling them to procreate.
This is why God later tells Adam that he must die because he ate from the tree of knowledge. This is an example of how sinful people can go against God’s will.
Jesus Christ was sent by God to redeem mankind by sacrificing himself on the cross so that we could return to live with him in heaven after we die.
The Lord Jesus Christ said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes unto the Father but by me.”
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What Is the True Meaning of Life?
The meaning of life, according to the Christian faith, is ultimately found in Jesus Christ. We are the beloved children of God, created by our heavenly Father to reflect His glory, walk in His love, and do His will in our lives.
We, humans, are born in this world without knowing exactly who we are (identity), where we come from (origin), why we are here (meaning), what to live for and how we should live (purpose), and where we are going (destiny).
The question about the meaning of life has been raised in every generation and investigated throughout history. There have been different views on this matter from different people and cultures. Our understanding of the meaning of life is important because it shapes our way of life.
Secular and Christian Views on the Meaning of Life
So, what is life all about? Love. Wealth. Happiness. Self-development. Wisdom. Influence. Service. Those are some popular answers we might have heard, and although some views are biblically relevant, could life have a deeper meaning?
Suppose life is about all the above-mentioned, would someone then be truly fulfilled after achieving all those good things (Matthew 16:26)? How about people who, unfortunately, could not do likewise? For instance, war victims, natural disaster casualties, stillborn babies, etc. – was it fair to conclude their lives were simply meaningless? Of course not. Just because someone has had (or done) more good things in life does not necessarily mean their life is more meaningful than those who do not. More fortune does not simply represent more meaning.
The author believes before we examine the meaning of life, we need to first embrace the miracle of life. Science has shown evidence for the existence of the Creator. The vastness of the universe, the wonders of nature, the complexity of living organisms all testify there must be a supremely intelligent Designer, who set everything precisely in order.
In light of this, life cannot be without meaning – and it must revolve around the Maker of all things (John 1:3). The real meaning of life must, therefore, be viewed from the lens of, and be found in, the Life-Giver.
the purpose of life according to the bible
King Solomon: Fear God and keep His commandments. Solomon, the son of David and King of Israel, is described as the wealthiest and wisest man of his time (1 Kings 3:12-13). Yet, despite all the power and pleasures he had, he felt an emptiness, and everything seemed meaningless.
He confessed there is something beyond earthly life that God has put in the human heart and that God the Creator is always in control, even though no one can perfectly understand His work (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
He also implied that life could mean enjoying the gift of God (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13), and after all what matters in life is our reverence and obedience to God because His judgment is sure (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Job: Trust in God, no matter what. Job was among the most prosperous men in the Bible, known for his life example of a blameless, sincere man who suffered. He is perhaps the man who has gone through the highest “highs” and the lowest “lows” in life by enjoying, then losing his family, health, and wealth. Amid his suffering, Job desperately cursed his birth (Job 3), but he still had faith in the redeeming power of God (Job 19:25).
After all his painful experience, Job’s eyes were opened to know God more personally. His relationship with God was renewed (Job 42:5), and “the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).
Through Job’s life, we can learn about God’s sovereignty over the suffering of His saints. Life for Job could mean a journey of knowing God and trusting Him in every moment, especially the darkest ones.
Jesus Christ: Seek and save the lost. Jesus Christ came to this world with a clear mission: to seek and save sinners (Luke 19:10). Jesus is God himself who lived on earth in a human body (Colossians 2:9-10), and he is the only mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5). He identified himself as the way [to the heavenly Father], the truth, and the life; and clearly indicated that knowing him is equal to knowing God Himself (John 14:6).
Although his life was relatively brief (about 34 years), his impact is tremendously incomparable because he dedicated his life to doing the will of God by finishing the work of redemption on the cross (John 4:34, 19:30).
Jesus is the Son of Man who came to serve and offer his life for the salvation of mankind (Mark 10:45). The purpose of his life is to give us abundant life in him (John 10:10).
Paul: Know Jesus Christ. Paul, formerly known as Saul, is the real example of a man whose life was radically transformed after an encounter with Christ. He used to persecute Christians but after his conversion, he became the apostle of Christ. He is the author of 13 books in the New Testament (possibly 14 if we include Hebrews), which lays out important foundations of Christian faith we believe today.
Life for Paul means Christ – he fully committed his life by faith in Jesus, to bear fruit for the kingdom of God (Galatians 2:20, Philippians 1:21-22). His ultimate goal is to know Jesus and experience the power of his resurrection through his suffering and death (Philippians 3:10-11). Life is like a running race as he aimed for the prize: an imperishable crown from the Lord on the judgment day (1 Corinthians 9:24-25, 2 Timothy 4:7-8).
7 Aspects to the Meaning (Goal) of Life According to the Bible
1. To display the glory of God. Among all the creation, only humans were created in the Creator’s image. The first of God’s blessing to humanity is fruitfulness, to multiply and fill the earth and govern it (Genesis 1:26-28, Psalm 8). Notice that work is a blessing from God, not a curse. Our work is supposed to be a display of God’s greatness, and therefore in everything we do, we are to do it with the right motive: for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
2. To seek the kingdom of God. Our first and foremost priority in life is to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness, to do what He wants us to do (Matthew 6:33). We pray according to God’s will when we ask for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). The kingdom of God is about living in truth, peace, and joy through the work of His Spirit in our hearts (Romans 14:17).
3. To proclaim the works of God. Before knowing Christ, humans live an empty, sinful life. But once we trust in Christ, through his work on the cross, God sets us free from the slavery to sin, saves us from eternal death, and we are given a new identity to declare the wonderful things He has done (1 Peter 1:18-19, 2:9).
We are uniquely created by God and equipped with natural talents and abilities to accomplish good works, which God has called us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
4. To grow in the knowledge of God. The ultimate goal of human’s pursuit of wisdom and knowledge is to understand God, the greatest of all (Proverbs 9:10). Since we believe in Christ, we are born again and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Our desire is renewed: to always honor and please God, bear good fruit, and know Him better(Colossians 1:10). The knowledge of God leads us to worship and love Him more.
5. To believe in the Word of God. Knowing that Jesus is the perfect representation of God, the best thing we can do in life is to believe in him. Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1), the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God (Revelation 1:8). We not only need to know him but also to believe in him because faith helps us when we cannot understand.
Jesus himself said that believing in him is the only work God wants from us(John 6:29). As we abide in him, the source of grace and truth (John 1:14), we continue to live by faith in the power of God (Romans 1:16-17). Believing in Christ means we have everything we need.
6. To share the love of God. The Bible tells us to live with eternal values: faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13), which can only be found in Christ. As we have been fulfilled with God’s love, we must also share it with others, through bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20).
Naturally, we were born with self-centeredness, however by His love, we are supernaturally transformed into a new person with a Spirit-driven ability to love God and others (Luke 10:27). God’s love (agape) is unconditional and throughout this life, we learn to love like He has loved us (1 John 4:8).
7. To imitate the Son of God. It is the culmination of all the goals we have in life. Here, the sinful desires of humanity to be like God (Genesis 3:5) are replaced with the divine invitation to imitate His Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:48). We are a reflection of God’s glory, created in His image, and being converted by the Spirit into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Life is a process of becoming more and more like Christ in which we exercise our endurance by fixing our eyes on him, the author, and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
What Does This Mean
The meaning of life, according to the Christian faith, is ultimately found in Jesus Christ. In him, the questions about identity, origin, meaning, purpose, and destiny are answered with profound hope. We are the beloved children of God, created by our heavenly Father to reflect His glory, walk in His love, and do His will in our lives.
Life on earth is a journey of our transformation to become more like Jesus, who has delivered us from evil, sin, and death, until the glorious day when we spend eternity with him.
walking in your purpose scriptures
Waking up feeling purposeless is incredibly frustrating. You look around and see your friends and coworkers living passionate, engaged, meaningful lives. They have deep relationships, rewarding jobs and a sense of direction that compels them to hop out of bed each morning with a spring in their step.
You know that God has something good in store for you. You don’t believe he intends you to live a life of painful drudgery in which each day is a total drag. After all, the Bible is chock full of passages about joy. While this certainly doesn’t mean that every single day is a parade and circus, it does mean that an overall sense of gladness should permeate your life.
In Psalm 63:7, David said, “…for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” How can you get to that place? Where, instead of wandering aimlessly through life, you’re actually singing for joy (or just making a joyful noise if you’re not the singing type)?
In this post, we’re going to first talk about some key signs that you may not be living in the fullness of God’s purpose for you. Then we’ll give some key suggestions for how to begin living a meaningful, enthusiastic, joyful life.
6 SIGNS THAT YOU MAY NOT BE LIVING IN GOD’S PURPOSE
Before we dive into this point, we need to make at least one caveat. In one sense, you are always living in God’s purpose. God is God and He works all things, including your life, according to his purposes. Nothing can happen without God ordaining it.
Psalm 57:2 says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” This is key in understanding God’s purpose for your life. God has numbered your days and will fulfill every purpose He has for you.
However, our choices and actions also really matter. In some ways, this is a mystery we can’t fully understand, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. We can choose to do things that will bring us more joy and give us more of a sense of purpose. That’s where we’re headed in this post. We want to help you identify those choices you can make to bring more excitement and God-given purpose into your life.
But first, here are 6 signs that you don’t have much purpose in your life.
YOU’RE BLATANTLY LIVING IN SIN.
Let’s start with the obvious here. If you’re blatantly disobeying the Bible, you’re not living in God’s purpose and you will certainly experience a sense of aimlessness in your life. This one is pretty straightforward so we don’t need to spend too much time here.
YOU LACK JOY AND EXCITEMENT.
If you wake up every day filled with apathy or dread or total boredom, you’re probably not doing what you were meant to do. God has created you uniquely, has really good things planned for you and one of the fruits of the Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22). Sure, there will be difficult things you encounter that require patience and persistence, but overall you should have a sense of joy and excitement that fills your days, your work and your relationships.
In his book “Desiring God,” John Piper says:
The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an “extra” that a person might grow into after he comes to faith.
YOU DON’T FEEL MUCH FULFILLMENT IN LIFE.
If you go about your days experiencing little fulfillment, you may be wandering from your God-given purpose. Fulfillment comes from doing rewarding, meaningful, purposeful things. From a job that taps into your skills and passions. From a relationship that involves giving and receiving. From hobbies that are invigorating instead of mind-numbing. Yes, you’ll have to do certain things that are boring and unfulfilling, but if you’re entire life is gray, you probably need a change.
YOU WORK SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORK.
You know the feeling of pointless work. You go to the office, clock in, do your job, then go home and collapse in front of the television. You work for the weekends and for retirement. All true joy you experience comes from things outside of work. From hobbies or friends or side jobs.
Ecclesiastes 8:15 says, “And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.”
Would you say that this kind of joy characterizes your life and work? If not, you may need to rethink where you’re headed.
YOU FEEL STUCK.
If you desperately want a change but also feel totally stuck in your life, that’s almost certainly a sign that you’re not walking according to God’s purpose. Those who are stuck want to go in a particular direction but don’t know how to get there. So they spin their wheels, feeling endlessly frustrated but unsure of how to make the frustration end. Do you feel trapped?
YOU HAVE NO DIRECTION.
If you don’t know God’s purpose for your life, you constantly feel a sense of aimlessness. You feel as though you’re wandering from thing to thing without any forward progress. Nothing excites you and you don’t have any specific goals you’re working toward. Unlike the Israelites, who wandered for 40 years yet still had a goal (the Promised Land), you don’t even have a goal in front of you.
6 WAYS TO REGAIN YOUR PURPOSE
In his classic book “The Lord of the Rings,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a poem that included the line, “Not all who wander are lost.” The same applies to you. Even though you feel like you’re wandering without any true purpose, that doesn’t mean you’re lost. You can regain your sense of purpose and discover what God has for your life.
Here are 6 ways to discover God’s purpose for your life.
GO TO GOD IN PRAYER.
Again, let’s start with the obvious. If you feel purposeless, ask God to give you wisdom and direction. James 1:5 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
That’s incredibly good news. God wants to give you a purpose. He wants to bestow divine wisdom on you. It’s not like God is holding out on you to make you miserable. He desires you to have a joyful, ambitious, purposeful life. Ask God for purpose and expect Him to give it to you.
DIG INTO GOD’S WORD.
The primary way God speaks to us is through the Bible. This means that one of the first things you should do in your search for God’s purpose is to start digging into scripture. Now, you won’t find any verses that tell you to become a dance instructor or painter, but you will begin to understand the heart of God.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God’s word brings light to paths that otherwise seem dark. In the Bible you learn how to live wisely in God’s world, which is the first step toward finding your purpose.
DETERMINE YOUR GIFTS AND STRENGTHS.
God has given you very specific gifts and strengths. Maybe you’re a math whiz or a wise counselor. Maybe you have a mind for electronics or business. Maybe you’re great at organizing people and getting things done. God’s purpose for you probably involves the things you’re already good at.
This is where education can be particularly valuable. Going to college or going back to college allows you to discover your gifts and then determine how you’re going to use them. It also connects you with people who want to help you find your purpose.
DETERMINE YOUR PASSIONS.
What is one thing you’re particularly passionate about? Really, this can be anything. Business, art, economics, alleviating poverty, whatever. If money wasn’t an issue, what would you love to do?
Determining your passions often helps you figure out what God has called you to do. It’s often said that God works at the intersection of our gifts and our passions. Where do your gifts meet your passions? That may be God’s purpose for you.
BRING OTHERS INTO YOUR LIFE.
Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” In other words, one of the main ways God will help you find your purpose is through others.
A caveat needs to be made here. Your counselors should be people you trust. Whether this is your professors, parents or friends, it needs to be people who have your back and want the best for you. You want wise counselors to help you find God’s purpose for you.
TAKE A SOLITUDE RETREAT.
Sometimes it can be incredibly helpful to get away from it all and take some unhurried time to think, pray and journal. You don’t have to spend a week in the woods for this to be effective. Even just a day away from the hustle and grind can be hugely rewarding.
During these retreats, allow yourself to simply be still. To ponder. To ask God for direction and listen for His voice. This doesn’t need to be complicated and doesn’t require any elaborate rituals. Hebrews 11:6 is a reminder that God always rewards those who seek him. He’s not hiding in the dark, trying to keep his will hidden from you. He wants to guide you.
IN THE END, TRUST GOD
Trying to discover your life purpose can be a stressful, overwhelming thing. It can seem like such a big, confusing, frustrating subject. You want to move forward, but you’re not sure how. You want to find your purpose, but you feel like you’re aimlessly wandering.
But you can trust God to lead you where he wants you to go. As Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
You may feel confused, but God doesn’t.
PURPOSE IN A CHRIST-CENTERED PERSPECTIVE
Our programs at PGS focus on more than just the content learned in the classroom. We care about how you live out what you’ve learned in your everyday life. In whatever vocation you find yourself in, our foundation brings a Christ-centered perspective.