People often ask the question what is the meaning of life? The Bible gives the clear answer. The answer is to know the true God and the One whom he has sent, Jesus Christ (John 17:3). The writers of the Westminster Catechism, published in 1649, got it right: “The chief aim of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” But that is asking the meaning of life question from our human perspective. What if we ask it the other way around: why did God create the world? I am going set out to answer that in this pastor’s page. What the Bible teaches is that the one true God of the universe is three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person of the trinity fully has all the attributes of God. They are entirely equal in deity and hold a unity that surpasses our understanding. The Bible teaches that each of these persons was fully satisfied with the fellowship they had with each other in eternity past (John 17:5). The Father loved the Son, the Son loved the Father, and the Spirit was (and always is) the love between them. In Scripture, Jesus mentions the glory he had with the Father before the world existed (John 17:5). God is also referred to us the blessed or happy God (1 Timothy 1:11). Furthermore, the Bible teaches that God is infinite in his being (Romans 11:33). What that means is that he has no limits. He is perfect in every way and therefore he has no needs. So clearly, God did not create the universe and specifically humans because he was lonely so that he would fill emptiness inside. But rather God was fully satisfied in himself as the Triune God worshiped and adored one another.
So then why did God create the universe, and specifically humans? The Lord said through the prophet Isaiah concerning mankind that they were “created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7). So the reason that God created the universe was to have creatures that would glorify him for his greatness. This gives us a clue as to what glory means. We know that Scripture teaches that God is great. The Psalmist wrote, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised” (Psalm 48:1). So when we are talking about glory we are not talking about God’s greatness in his attributes, but the praise of his attributes. Glory is the honor that he is due for who he is, and this leads us to praise and delight in him. In America we have a majestic mountain range known as the Rocky Mountains. Someone may say that the Rocky Mountains cascade over Denver in all of its glory. What this means is that people talk glowingly about these mountains because of their majestic beauty. The Being who deserves all the praise, honor, and glory is the greatest of all, our Great God and Creator. Therefore, God created humans to glorify his majestic name.
Now that we know what glory is and that God created humans to praise him for his greatness. We need to once again ask the question why did God do this if he was fully happy in eternity past? The answer to this comes from John 17. In this passage Jesus is praying to his Father before he goes to the cross. He talks to his Father about the relationship he has with Him and the relationship that God’s people are invited to enter. Jesus explains in this prayer that God’s purpose for mankind is to know God, enjoying this sweet fellowship with him forever (John 17:3). What Jesus prays is “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us” (John 17:21). Then he prays, “the glory that you have given me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one” (John 17:22). The glory that God had even before there was a creation Jesus says he wants the people created in his image to join this fellowship. Jesus desires that these people will be preserved into future glory in heaven. So he prays, “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). Jesus desires for those redeemed by his blood to see him in all of his glory as he sits at the right hand of the Father. In this prayer Jesus longs that his people would see the glory that he had with the Father and the Holy Spirit when nothing but them existed. This is truly amazing!
So to answer the question why did God create if he was fully happy in himself? The answer is that he created creatures that would join the fellowship of the trinity. Not because he needed to be filled, but because their love for one another was so full that the trinity decided to overflow their love by creating creatures to join their love. He desired to communicate the fullness of his glory to the world he created. It is truly incredible that we as believers get to share in this eternal fellowship with the trinity. It starts now in this life as we seek to know God more as we fight our sin and reflect him more. But our fellowship with the triune God will move to a new level in the age to come when we will be without sin and be able to enjoy fellowship with him in purity (1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 21:27). In this forever fellowship with the Father, Son, and Spirit God will always be glorified, while we will always have fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). What wonderful God we worship!
Grace and Peace,