What is the chief end of man?

Continuing on in the same vein as the last post, What is our God designed purpose? I was led to the Westminster Shorter Catechism of 1647 and its very first question …

What is the chief end of man?

The answer came in two parts.  For today’s post, I will just provide the first half of the answer (never fear … second half tomorrow)

Man’s chief end is to glorify God …

Let me share some of the passages of Scripture they use in support of that answer:

All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall GLORIFY your name.  Psalm 86:9 (ESV)

Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be GLORIFIED.  Isaiah 60:21 (ESV)

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be GLORY forever. Amen.  Romans 11:36 (ESV)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So GLORIFY God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the GLORY of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive GLORY and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”  Revelations 4:11 (ESV)

So man’s chief end is to glorify God … may it ever be true my Lord, may it ever be true!


About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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10 Responses to What is the chief end of man?

  1. Truth4Grace says:

    Love it! Great reflection to see how our lives are walking towards that end. Such a great focus to have, knowing that is our God-given purpose. Thanks for sharing!

    • bwebbjr says:

      Appreciate you taking the time to read the post and leave a comment. And you are welcome!

      Be blessed IN Christ Jesus, His love and His words!


  2. Robert says:

    Oh Bernie I just had an excellent long comment and when logging in WordPress just ate it and it dissappeared!

    • bwebbjr says:

      Robert … good to see you over here on WordPress but sorry to hear your comment disappeared. Appreciate you coming back and leaving another insightful comment. Good to have you in the conversation brother!

      Abide IN Christ Jesus, His love and His words!


  3. RobertLeeRE says:

    Bernie, I am going to try to remember what I was writing before WordPress ate my entire comment, 😦 . I believe although. that is true, our chief end is to glorify God, but that is a given. Everyone knows that. This you took from the catechism written, I think, hundreds of years ago. At that time when that was written only about 1/3rd of the population were reading and writing. So speech was kind of puffy and the general Preacher was not even as well versed in scripture as a common Christian today. So they would speak in puffed up language that sounded Godly and Holy, it was what they knew. They would say while strutting and sticking their chest out “The chief end of man is to glorify God!” Sounds good in speech and sermons, even on paper but it really doesn’t say anything. Of course that is true! But the real question is how does man glorify God? How do we glorify God? Any can easily say Man’s end is to glorify God, but if one were to ask ten men HOW to do that they would get ten different answers. We glorify God when we spread the gospel, this is the end for all men. When the Millennium comes we rest with God from our work of spreading the gospel, planting seeds in men’s hearts. Our end is to work, spreading the gospel. This is what glorifies God. This is the end of all Christ-Followers, to work the fields, planting and sowing seeds in hearts, harvesting the ripe. Our end is to spread the gospel and this glorifies God.

    God Bless,
    Brother RobertLeeRE

  4. bwebbjr says:

    Good comment Robert … but I think you might be surprised that there are some in the church today that do not realize it is a given … and don’t know how to glorify God. So you’re comment really adds more meat to the conversation.

    Thank you!


    • RobertLeeRE says:

      Dear Brother Bernie,

      I agree, some do need to hear that,with an explanation through the process of midrash. Please do not misunderstand me. I only mean they need to hear how exactly it is that they can accomplish that. It is not OUR job to glorify God. For there is absolutely nothing our DIRTY souls can do that GLORIFIES God. For our works are nothing but rags, dirty ole rags. God GLORIFIES Himself without our works. But when we follow God God’s glory is more easily seen for others. Our end is not to glorify God, our end is to spread God’s words so others may see God’s glory, this is our end. Our end is not to glorify God but to SEE God’s glory, and we cannot see God’s glory if we are not spreading the gospel, which is God’s words to mankind. God’s glory is God’s glory and it will be there no matter what man does. There is nothing we can do as mere men to increase or decrease God’s glory, except one thing. We increase God’s glory by spreading the gospel. But since this instruction came from God, it is not us that does it, but God through us doing it. So our end is to follow God and we are not following God if we are not spreading the gospel.
      God Bless,
      Brother RobertLeeRE

  5. Pingback: a diary entry by Jonathan Edwards on glorifying God | Believing IN Christ Jesus through ALL things

  6. jimdavenport says:

    Bernie, what is such a simple concept to the weathered Christian is usually unknown by the new creature in Christ. Glorifying God in all things takes on a much different meaning when the Christian comes to grips with the fact that it is not all about them … but about God Almighty. We need to teach this to our young folks and not just assume that they will reach this conclusion on their own. Thank you for this post. It touched me at an important time. Jim D.

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