The Christian Bible does not specifically outline the meaning of life for human beings or indicate if each human life has an individual meaning. The Bible does, however, tell Christians that human beings were created in God's image and are the highest form of life. According to the Bible, man was given stewardship of all other forms of life on earth as well as earth itself. Beyond that responsibility, each of the major Christian faiths has a slightly different interpretation of man's purpose for being.
Baptists believe the meaning of life is different for each individual. According to Baptist teachings, God created each person for a distinct purpose and for this reason, no human being can be considered unnecessary. Baptist doctrine teaches that every person is important to God and to the rest of mankind, but no one person is more important than another. Baptists also believe relationships above all give meaning to human life and the most important relationship is the one an individual has with Jesus Christ.
Lutherans recognize that the Bible contains varying testimony explaining the meaning of human life. Scholarly study and interpretation has led Lutherans to conclude that man was created primarily to give glorification to God in this life and, more importantly, in the next life that will be shared with God. Lutherans believe God intends human beings to spend their earthly life following the teachings of Jesus Christ so they may be resurrected, as Jesus was, and be united with God in the heavenly kingdom.
According to Calvinism, the meaning of an individual's life is to fulfill a blueprint predetermined by God before birth and in doing so, reflect the omnipotence of God. Calvinists believe it is impossible for humans to escape what God has planned for their life. A human life filled with goodness exists, according to Calvinism, to exemplify the grace God bestows on his elect, or chosen people. A human life that demonstrates evil also gives glory to God, Calvinists believe, in that it shows the manifestation of God's justice when that life is condemned to hell.
The Baltimore Catechism, a traditional school text of the Catholic religion, states that "God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven." According to Catholic doctrine, God has a plan for man's earthly life and it is simple: Know God, love God and enjoy the abundant gifts God has given mankind. However, the ultimate goal and purpose of human life, according to Catholicism, is to follow the teachings of Jesus so an individual may be reunited with God in heaven.
- Christian Bible Reference: What is The Purpose and Meaning of Life?
- Christian Baptists.com: Life
- First Lutheran Church of Longview: What Do ECLA Lutherans Believe?
- Patheos.com: What's Wrong With Calvinism?
- CatholicCity: The Baltimore Catechism: Part One: The Creed: 1. The Purpose of Man's Existence
- Catholic Answers: Documents: Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth: What is The Purpose of Life?
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Meaning of Life: 2.1 God-Centered Views
- Gospel Way: What is The Meaning of Life?: What is Man's Origin, Purpose, and Destiny?
- C.S. Lewis Foundation: In Pursuit of Truth: A Journal of Christian Scholarship: The Image of God, Religion, and The Meaning of Life: Toward a Christian Philosophical Anthropology
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