top of page
  • Writer's pictureDr. Ray E. Heiple, Jr.

The Meaning and Purpose of Life

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31NKJV

Question one of the Westminster Larger Catechism asks, “What is the chief and highest end of man?” It gives the answer, “Man’s Chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.” This simple question and answer solves the great mystery with which so many philosophers and intellectuals have wrestled for millennia. It is usually phrased by them as, “What is the meaning of life?” or “Why are we here?”

Man is a rational being. That is the way God made us. We cannot escape from our desire and need to make sense of it all, to find a sufficient cause for every effect, to answer the questions “Why?” and “To what end?” From ancient pagan philosophers to modern existential agnostics, the search for meaning and purpose is the great question and quest of life. But its answer is a mystery only to the degree that a man suppresses the knowledge of God that he has from the creation (Rom. 1:18-20), and the knowledge of God’s law that he has from his conscience (Rom. 2:14-15). Truly every man knows that he is accountable to the God of all things who will one day judge everyone in righteousness (Rom. 1:32). Every man knows why he is here. The unbeliever tries not to think about it accurately!

However, as believers in Christ who love God and do not suppress this natural knowledge of God which all men have, we know and love the answer to the question “Why are we here?”. Because the answer is, we are here for the incredible honor and privilege of glorifying God Himself. We get to live for God! Thus, all of our lives have infinite meaning and the highest possible purpose imaginable. As the Scripture at the beginning of this article declares, no matter what you do, whether you eat or drink (and so by implication), whether you walk or run, whether you push or pull, whether you speak or listen, work or rest, fish or hunt, sink or swim, whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.

A believer does an act for the glory of God when he does it for God, to please Him, according to His commandments. The believer acts sincerely, out of love and thanksgiving to God, seeking to see Christ and His truth exalted by what he does. Now the believer knows he does nothing perfectly – he is not looking to his works to be themselves or to make him acceptable to God – yet he also knows that because he is a believer in Jesus, the smallest thing he does for God is acceptable to Him. The believer knows that his good works please God. On the contrary, unbelievers with all their efforts are not able to please God in the slightest for “without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6).

Keep in mind this wonderful truth! Study to make it something you think about every day. Believer, that which gives your life meaning, purpose, and real joy is not because you like your job or your boss, or because you get to live in your dream house, or because your team won the super bowl! If you remember that even when you have a miserable job, a difficult boss, a terrible house, and yes even when the Steelers lose, when you work, rest, and play to please God, according to His commandments, trusting in Christ’s righteousness and not your own, you really and truly bring glory to God, and for the believer in Christ nothing should bring you more joy!


bottom of page