Every year as a church we go through the New City Catechism from ages two through our college age students. For the preschool kids they go through one catechism question a month. At the bottom of the post I will link previous catechism questions that I have written about. This month with my daughter we have been going through question four:
Q4. How and why did God create us?
God created us male and female in His own image to glorify Him.
One of the things that we cannot deny as we look at the landscape of our culture is that there is an epidemic of people with an identity problem. The reason this question is so valuable and fundamental in teaching our kids is because it forces us to realize that our value is not in who or what we make of ourselves. The message of our culture is that our value is directly connected to our success. When success becomes the focal point of where we derive our identity from, when failure comes we don't know what to make of it. Our lives become meaningless and we are sent into an identity crisis looking for everything and anything to fill that sense of lost meaning. Ultimately, we miss the purpose and the reason that we were created. Not to bring glory and fame to ourselves, but to glorify God. We see in Genesis, the result of the fall was that Adam and Eve wanted to "be like God," they wanted to be God in their own eyes. In the book of Judges we repeatedly see that "the people did what was right in their own eyes." The thing we can learn and take away from Scripture is that when we try to ascend to the place of God in our lives and forget how and why we were created it leads us down a path of destruction in our lives and in our families. It leads us to living for our own glory satisfying the desires of the flesh, rather than walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Just like the people of Judges, "doing what was right in their own eyes."
When we are confronted with the truths of the Gospel it is not a call to make a name for ourselves as we see was the down fall at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. No, the Gospel calls us to lay down our lives and to be hidden in Christ. "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:1-3). The calls of the Gospel is not to live for our own self-glory but to be totally submissive in living our lives for the glory of God. Everything flows out of this understanding. It is the reason that we have been created, to reflect the glory of God in Christ.
"He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross" (Colossians 1:15-20).
The Gospel calls us to lay down our desire to find our identity in our success and to find it in the fact that we have been created by God, to bring glory to God. Finding our rest in the fact that "we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works" (Ephesians 2:10).
Read more of my Catechism Reflections here: