Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 31, 2012

The Meaning of Life, Part 1 by David Bower

Is There Some Meaning to Life?

Over the centuries I suppose there have been countless discussions on the meaning of life. Philosophers have pondered this question and come up with a great variety of answers including the decision that life is meaningless.

I propose we skip the speculation and get to the truth of the matter as explained in the Bible. If anyone would be qualified to explain the meaning of life it would be the one who created life and sustains its existence from moment to moment.

I mentioned in an earlier blog how all that we are and all that we can see is a creation and exists by the will of the Creator.  Our very being is totally dependent on His will and His good pleasure.  In the blog, “What is Reality,” I started by giving the dictionary definition of reality as “the quality or state of being real: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily.”

Created Beings

The Bible makes it crystal clear that all of creation exists as a result of a creative act of God and then later it is made equally clear that the existence of all creation is by a continuing expression of the power of God, most specifically, the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the power that sustains all of us in our existence; without Him none of us would exist.

This establishes that we are both continuously dependent on and derived from the Creator who is the source of our existence therefore we are not real in the dictionary sense of the term.

It is evident then that any search for ultimate truth of any nature must necessarily defer to the one who is the Creator and by whom creation exists. What does God say about our existence?

Truth from the Source of All Truth

Fortunately we are not left to wonder about where we came from, why are we here or what is the purpose of life, and where are we going; there is no mystery to any of those questions so let’s see what the Bible has to say about them.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Gen 1:26); the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Gen 2:7)

So let’s see, what do we know so far? 1. Our body was created from dust, 2. our life was breathed into our body by the breath of God, and 3. we were created to rule over and care for all of the creatures who were spoken into existence. Why do I say it that way? Because I want to emphasize the difference between the creation of man and the creation of every other creature; our life came from the breath of God, all other life came from the spoken word of God.

“And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” (Gen 1:20) “And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.” (Gen 1:24)

There was also one other important aspect to our original situation; we were designed to have a regular association with God.


So life came, but it came with a killer of a conditional clause; a condition, that if violated, would change everything instantly and wouldn’t you just know it; the first human managed to violate that one conditional clause and the entire original plan was scrapped.

So man would no longer rule the creation but was now to earn his food by the sweat of his brow and in addition some of those he was meant to rule would try and kill him if they could. How about that for a come down. 

The new purpose of life is given in Gen 3:19, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

In Part 2 we will consider the modified purpose of life as we have received it from God today.

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