Think about that! The God whom we sinned against, paid the price to reconcile us to Himself! What an amazing act of love! What kind of God turns His wrath upon His own Son so that His people might not perish under it? A God worthy of your submission and worship, that’s what kind of God. But let me tell you a little more about this Jesus. Jesus Christ was the perfect image-bearer and the perfect sacrifice for us. But Jesus wasn’t done yet.
The wise men of every age ask the same questions: “Why are we here?” “What should we be doing?” “What is the meaning of life?”
For answers some look to Confucius, Aristotle, or Nietzsche. Or, more likely these days, we look to books, blogs, or YouTube channels. There we find no shortage of wise people willing to tell us what our lives should look like, how to be happy, and to live a meaningful life. But the truth is these great philosophical questions cannot be answered by looking to experts, the stars, or at our own navels. These are questions that must be answered by God. And indeed they are answered in the gospel of Jesus Christ which is found in the Bible.
If you want to know why you are here, you have to start in the beginning. And in the beginning, there was God. There is only one God and He is holy and eternal (Deuteronomy 6:4). When the Bible says that He is holy it means that He is perfect (Matthew 5:48). There was never a time when God did not exist, He has been around forever and will be around forevermore. And it is this God who created everything, including you and me (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 45:12). Since He made us, it is God who gets to say why we are here and what we were made to do. That is the right of the Creator. But it is also the answer to our deepest questions. So why did God make us?
The Bible says that we were made “in the image of God.” (Genesis 1:25–27). That means our function, the purpose for which we were made, is to reflect what God is like. We exist to showcase God’s attributes of love, justice, and holiness. By acting like God in those ways, we make Him look as He is, which is glorious. That is the meaning of life, to glorify God by bearing His image rightly.
Just one problem: We have all utterly failed in this task.
A Big Problem
We were made to glorify God by bearing His image, but the Bible says that we have all fallen short of this perfect standard (Romans 3:23). We have all sinned. We try to excuse this failure by saying things like, “Well, I’m not that bad.” But God doesn’t grade on a curve. The standard for image bearers is perfection, and we have all failed to meet it. This failure is no small problem.
The Bible says we are all guilty before God. “as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one;’” (Romans 3:10). We are all sinners. And the consequences for our sin are steep. What we have earned for our sinfulness is death. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). This is more than just physical death; this is talking about hell. Because we have failed to be what God made us to be, His image bearers, we deserve eternal punishment (Romans 2:6–8; Revelation 21:8). As things stand for you, apart from Christ, you should be terrified to die because judgment waits for you on the other side. Hell is not some “Christian bogey man.” It is real. It is eternal. It is just. But it can be avoided.
But how can we possibly make ourselves right before God, when what He requires from us is perfection? The truth is we are helpless to resolve our guilt or reform ourselves. There is literally nothing you and I can do for ourselves that would earn us a ticket out of hell, much less earn us a place in God’s heaven (Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8–9). No, if we are to have any hope at all, our help will have to come from outside of ourselves. We need a solution. We need a savior.