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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Chief End of Man

 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  
fear God and keep His commandments,
  for this is man’s all.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 

Question one in the Westminster Shorter Catechism is 'what is the chief end of man?' The short answer, of course, is 'Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever'. This is not a wrong answer, but how are we to glorify Him & enjoy Him forever? Well, we can see, as we read in some of the other questions & answers in the WSC & in the Scriptures as well, that we are to glorify Him & enjoy His Presence forever by loving Him & our neighbor as ourselves!

He has shown you, O man, what [ is ] good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

The Ten Commandments are fulfilled in Jesus' summation in Matthew 22; 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind........................and.........your neighbor as yourself'! As Yahweh revealed through His Servant Micah, we are to deal justly with our neighbor, to treat him or her with mercy & above all, to love our God! This, according to Scripture, is how we are to glorify our Creator & enjoy Him forever!

The question of why we were made 'a new creation' has re-surfaced, most recently, in the minds of certain Christians. Were we made thus so that we could 'go to 'Heaven' when we die' & thus enjoy Him forever? Common sense tells us, screams it out really, 'OF COURSE NOT!' The original creation mandate was 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.' ( Genesis 1:28 ). It only makes sense, does it not, that God's Recreation was that this mandate might be fulfilled, brought to its fullest measure?

When we love our Heavenly Father as we ought & our neighbor as our self, we will enjoy His Presence! Just like our human fathers, if we follow his house rules, we will enjoy our time with him, living in his house, but when we live in disobedience, we're probably not going to enjoy his presence very much! Just so, our Heavenly Father, having made His Home with ( in ) us, has given us a set of House Rules, in fact, He's indelibly written them on our heart! When we follow these House Rules, which are fulfilled in & through His Son, we enjoy His Blessed Presence, but when we fail to love Him & our neighbor as our self, we lose that enjoyment, if only for a season!

This is by no means to say that if/when we do fail, which we do, every day, to love our God & our neighbor as our self that we lose His Blessed Presence, much less forever, but when we mistreat our neighbor & fail to treat him or here with justice & mercy, we tend to receive the same in turn! According to our Father's Grace & Mercy, even this is not always the case, for sometimes even those that we treat badly do not act in kind, but practice the Scriptural injunction 'just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise' ( Luke 6:31 ) & 'you reap what you sow'!

As we sow in our 'world', then, let us always remember what our Chief End ( Goal ) is; as fulfilled in the continuing Ministry of the Son of God, our aim is always to glorify our Heavenly Father & enjoy Him forever! We can only do this by following His House Rules, by loving Him & dealing justly & mercifully with our neighbor!

Our Chief End is NOW, the Goal is HERE; Jesus the Christ was the Fulfillment of all the Promises made to Israel, the People of God: the Son of God is the Chief End of Man! Since our Heavenly Father has made His Home with ( in us ), we DO enjoy His Presence forever; Glory be to God!

Charles Haddon Shank
 

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