By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:8 (ESV)
The Westminster Catechism states, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and fully to enjoy him forever.”
Kay Author wrote a book a few years ago in which she gave a wonderful definition of what it means to glorify God. She said that to glorify God means to give the world the correct opinion of what God is like. In other words when others look at our values, character and behavior they will be able to say, “That is what God is like.”
The Hebrew Bible translates Genesis 1:27 like this: And the Great Powerful One filled the man with a representation of himself. When God made Adam and Eve in his image he told them to be fruitful, multiply and have dominion. Man’s task, therefore, was to fill the earth with a representation of God and the rule of God. They were to be image bearers. They were to fill the earth with the likeness of God.
Because of sin Adam and Eve could not fully carry out the mandate God gave them. No longer could they give a proper representation of God and fill the earth with his likeness; they lost their ability to be God’s image bearers. So, God made another way; he sent his Son Jesus into the world to bear his image and to make a way for man to once again bear the image of God.
Paul wrote to the Colossians speaking of Jesus, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15 ESV) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. (Colossians 2:9 ESV) The writer of Hebrews states that Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of his nature (Hebrews 1:3 ESV). Jesus was God on earth showing the world the image of the Father; giving the correct opinion (representation) of what God is like.
Before Jesus was crucified he said to the Father, I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. (John 17:4 ESV) Jesus completed his mandate from the Father and our mandate is no less than his; to glorify God on the earth.
In his letter to the Galatians Paul wrote, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV) Bearing this kind fruit in the life of a Christian is proof of their discipleship. This kind of fruit glorifies the Father because it gives the correct opinion of what he is like.
May our life’s mission be, . . . to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10 ESV), so that in all things God is glorified.
When people look at your life do they see the image of God? Is the chief end of your life to glorify God?
Scriptures for meditation: