What does the Bible say about the purpose of man
The Bible is clear that we were created by God in order to bring Him glory. The ultimate purpose of man (humanity), therefore, is to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7). We are to know Him and make Him known by glorifying Him with our lives. Though this may sound like a simple explanation, walking out this charge is a bit more involved. So, how do we glorify God?
First, we are to worship Him with gladness and thanksgiving. We are to acknowledge that He is our Creator and worship Him as such. Psalm 100:2–4 says:
"Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!"
Another way that we glorify God is by honoring and serving Him with our lives and in our decisions. The ability to do this starts in the heart: "Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you" (1 Samuel 12:24; see also John 17:4). Because we were created in God's image, we fulfill our purpose through a life devoted to Him (Genesis 1:26–27). After a period of living a life of self-indulgence, King Solomon concluded that living for oneself was useless. The ultimate purpose of man is to live a life of obedience to God (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).
In our natural sinful state, we are unable to glorify God, but thanks to Jesus Christ's sacrifice of His own life, we have a reconciled relationship with God—there is no longer a sin barrier between us and God. When we live submitted to Christ, we are able to bring glory to Christ by exemplifying Him to others (2 Corinthians 3:1–6).
Perhaps the most stunning thing about our ability to bring glory to God is the fact that we are only able to glorify God because He first crowned us with glory and honor (Psalm 8:4–6; see also Hebrews 2:6–8). God not only gave us glory and honor; He also gave us dominion over the earth, conferring on us the task of stewarding the earth to the best of our ability and for the sake of His glory (Genesis 1:28–29).
The more we know God, the more we love Him and understand His plans and purposes. We all have unique plans and purposes designed for us by God from before we were even born: "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them" (Psalm 139:16). In the New Testament, Paul affirms that God "had set me apart before I was born" (see Galatians 1:15–16). The most important thing to remember is that all of God's plans and purposes for us will ultimately result in His glory. "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).