Question 4: How and why did God create us?
God created us male and female in his own image to know him, love him, live with him, and glorify him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to his glory.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
In a day where we are considered meaningless blobs of plasma that have no purpose in life and don’t know which bathroom to use, this catechism sums up for us a few hallmark truths.
If there was ever a thing we needed in our day, it is a good anthropology (i.e. understanding of man). Who are we? What are we? What in the world are we doing on this planet?
This catechism question helps us to put it straight. It tells us three things about ourselves. It tells us that God has given us dignity, definition, and direction.
I. Gives us dignity in regards to our humanity
Evolution has taught that we are nothing more than random accidents. We came up from the primordial slime and are really no different than grass or the cows that chew it. It means you have no dignity or worth. You cut the grass and eat cows, why not mow down humans and eat them?
Jean Paul Sartre said it doesn’t matter if you help the old lady cross the road, or run her down. What matters is that you choose. If man has no worth, why not abort him?
Self-esteem movement stabs itself in the back. They try to teach you that you are special and should feel good about yourself. But if you are a meaningless bag of goo, there’s not much to feel good about, is there?
This is why Christianity is distinct and needed. According to our original design, we are special. We have immense worth. We are created in the image of God and that means there is something quite unique about us.
There’s not space to go into what exactly this entails right now, but it is enough to say that we reflect something of God’s character and bear something of God’s likeness. We are not divine, of course; we are definitely human. But God’s likeness is displayed in us and that sets us apart from all other things in creation.
II. Gives us definition in regards to our gender
Yes, that’s right. We find out which bathroom we are supposed to use. We understand that God’s word clears up all the confusion when it comes to today’s gender wars. Guys are guys; girls are girls.
Today people are saying that you have to choose which you are (boy or girl, or non-binary, or bi-sexual) and figure out what you feel like. It is almost like pulling up to the drive through at McDonalds and determining which on the menu you prefer.
If you have an evolutionary worldview, that makes sense. It is terrible. It is destructive. It is not in the least bit healthy. But that is a logical conclusion of that worldview.
But that worldview is wrong. The truth is you do not self-identify. It is not up to you or your feelings. God defines the sexes and he sets the boundaries, just as he sets the boundaries of the ocean or makes a difference between the sun and the moon.
In sum, when it comes to one of the most important questions in life: that is who you are, who you are to marry, and where you go to the bathroom, God doesn’t leave us in the dark. The answer is plain because God has given us a definitive answer in his word.
So you see, because of what Scripture tells us, we have dignity and definition. But there's one other thing we have, and that is direction.
III. Gives us direction in regards to our lives
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what we should be when we grow up. But it does give us some general guidance. It at least points us in the right direction by telling us that we are to glorify God.
God is to be served and our gifts and graces are supposed to be put in service to him. If you are preaching the gospel or inventing transistors or welding metal, this is to be done for God.
It is not to be done for your wife. It is not to be done for your kids or your boss. All that you do, whether you eat or drink, is to be done for God.
How important it is that our lives be lived in subservience to him! Why? Because you can't glorify God if you are not doing what he commands.
One of the things that has been on my mind lately is that young, zealous faith. I want to see people who have that youthful zeal for God. A kind of person who says with vigor, “God is supreme. My life revolves around God. His worship, his honor, his glory is what I seek. And I want nothing else in this world.”
That is the direction we are supposed to be heading. And if you put that first--if the Lord is your pursuit, then you are definitely heading in the right of way.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.