God: The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything
“Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”
1 Peter 4:1–2
What’s the meaning of life? What are we here for? Why did God create us? I can remember day one of Philosophy 203 at Austin Peay State University. The professor asked those three questions. The answers were all over the board stemming from students with different backgrounds. Once the answers stopped coming, the professor dug in his heels, attempting to show the fallacies of illogical thinking behind each of the questions. To sum up what he said, essentially would be to say that each question starts with an unprovable presupposition. Meaning must be given. It is not innate. A chair was not useless and then given the purpose of being a seat. It was created to be a seat. Sunglasses were not rocks. They were created to aid vision in bright situations. To say humans have purpose is to suppose there was a creator who ordained meaning upon mankind. I raised my hand and pointed out that his own argument negating humans being created with purpose demeans man in the scheme and scope of the world, because if we follow his argument that humans have no purpose, you must accept that everything on the planet has a purpose except humans; chairs, bees, flowers, etc.
God has given us a promise of purpose. He has not left us here to our own devices to figure out what we want or need to do. He has not allowed every creature, animate and inanimate object to have a specific purpose and left humans with no hope or meaning. In speaking of Christ’s sufferings in 1 Peter 4:1, Peter through inspiration, is teaching no less a purpose of living for mankind than that of Jesus Christ; to live the rest of the time for the will of God. Our purpose our realized when we see times of trial and suffering. God sees suffering totally different than the world has accepted it. Suffering is not always a punishment. Sometimes we suffer to pull ourselves away from the things that will harm us even more in eternity. We’ve had all the time we wanted to live for the flesh, to indulge ourselves in those things that seemed enjoyable. “For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.” (1 Peter 4:3) It’s almost like an adult who has the maturity of a 15 year old. You just want to say, “You had 18 years to be a child. It’s time to grow up!” Maybe God is saying, “You’ve had (x) amount of years to indulge yourself. Now indulge Me!” What’s our purpose? It’s the same as Jesus’, God’s will, not our own.
“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.”
1 Peter 4:7