Q: I recently read that God’s “purpose in making humans was to make someone to love. We exist because He wanted to love us and be loved by us.” This simple explanation of why we’re here is less than satisfying to my spirit. Where does it say something to this effect in the Bible?
A: Good question, but in all my studies I have never read where God created man because He wanted to be loved by us. God is all sufficient and all-encompassing. Heaven worships Him, angels adore Him and saints love Him; therefore, God is not someone who would want anything because He is not in need of anything. His main desire is to see all saved, but a “want” points to some lack and God lacks nothing. I have read where God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son in John 3:16, but within the next few Scriptures if points out that man prefers, or loves darkness because his deeds are evil (John 3:18-21).
Sadly, much of the presentation of God’s love is not scriptural or it is sightly slanted. The problem with it being unscriptural is that it takes on the pose of Universalism where everyone is saved to avoid anyone being confronted with the harsh consequences of unbelief and disobedience. And, when it is slanted to fit into some fluffy, emotional fantasy, it makes it as if God’s love as needy, and that He will tolerate indiscretions as long as there is a possibility of receiving some type of crumbs of consideration.
God’s love is available to all who will come, believe and receive the token and memorial of that great love, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Clearly, to receive any benefit from God’s love, we must receive it in the right way. Love that is scoffed at, ignored, neglected, cast, off or rejected will eventually be withdrawn until there can be a place of reconciliation established (Ephesians 2:13-18). For Christians, that place is Christ and His redemption.
God’s love is not about His need or want, but as with Adam, it is about His desire to walk in sweet fellowship with man (Genesis 3:8-9). Man was created in the image of God to become a reflection of His glory in the midst of creation in order to bring glory to Him. The more man walks in a close relationship with the Lord, the more he will take on His reflection, reaching his high calling and potential in God’s kingdom. That is why we have Romans 8:29 telling us we are being conformed to the image of Christ and in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that we are being taken from glory to glory as the Spirit has the liberty to do the deep work in us to bring us higher.
Let me clarify, God does not need to be glorified because all creation highlights His glory nor is there any lack of that which brings glory to Him; rather, God deserves glory. God’s enemy, Satan, is always trying to rob Him of His rightful glory in the minds and practices of people, kill all attempts of mankind to bring glory to Him, and destroy any witness of the saints that would uphold that glory.
The key has to do with the saints. We must choose to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:29-31). However, true love only comes from God; therefore, we simply submit ourselves as open vessels through which His love can flow in service that will ultimately bring Him glory.
Therefore, it you ask me what the purpose of a saint is, it is to reflect His glory. What is the high calling of the saint? It is to bring Him glory, and what is the source that inspires and the manifestation of this great calling: the love of God being shed abroad in the heart of the believer towards God and others (Romans 5:5).