Life is a precious gift from God that He has given to humanity to experience, enjoy, and fulfill His purposes. The Bible provides deep insights into the meaning, purpose, and realities of life on earth. By examining key passages throughout Scripture, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of how the Bible defines and describes life.
Humanity has long wrestled with fundamental questions about life: What is the meaning of life? What constitutes a good, worthwhile, or successful life? The Bible provides unique perspectives on these big questions. Scripture teaches that life is a gift from God, imbued with sanctity, purpose, and value from conception to death.
While the Bible highlights the difficulties and pains of earthly life, it ultimately presents a hopeful, positive vision of life. When lived according to God’s design, the Bible shows how life is deeply meaningful, valuable, and blessed. Examining biblical teachings on life equips us to live wisely, faithfully, and abundantly.
- Life is a precious gift from God to be valued and protected.
- Human life is imbued with sanctity, purpose, and dignity from conception to death.
- God created people for relationship with Himself and others.
- A life lived by God’s design is meaningful, purposeful and blessed.
- Life on earth prepares us for eternal life with God.
In this comprehensive article, we will explore the Bible’s revelations about the essence, purpose, difficulties, blessings, and ultimate destiny of human life. Discover what God’s Word says about living an inspired, God-honoring life on earth.
The Sanctity of Human Life
A foundational principle throughout Scripture is that human life is uniquely precious and sacred. This begins with the creation account in Genesis:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV)
Humanity alone is made in God’s image with intrinsic worth, value, and dignity. As image-bearers of God, human life is sacred and distinct from all other creatures. The shedding of innocent human blood is condemned as a capital offense:
“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” (Genesis 9:6 NKJV)
The sanctity of life is protected by the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13 NKJV). From conception to natural death, life is to be honored and safeguarded.
The Purpose of Life
Why did God gift humanity with the miracle of life? The Bible reveals that God created people for intimate relationship with Him to glorify, serve, and enjoy Him forever. As Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy.” God designed people to experience satisfying relationship within marriage and family, as well as collective harmony and fruitfulness as interdependent members of communities and nations.
The pinnacle of human purpose is loving God and others. When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus replied:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV)
Loving relationships with God and others bring deep joy and significance to life. Further, God created people for meaningful work such as cultivating and stewarding the earth, creating culture, and serving others through abilities and vocations. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV) states, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
The Realities of Earthly Life
While God created life good, people rejected God’s loving authority and plunged creation into brokenness through sin. This affected all aspects of human life. People still reflect God’s image but are now inclined toward sinful thoughts and behaviors rather than God’s perfection.
The Bible is candid about the realities of earthly life affected by sin. In a fallen world, difficulties are inevitable and include:
- Pain, grief, sickness, and death
- Injustices, abuse, poverty, and oppression
- Disappointments, relationship struggles, and self-inflicted wounds
- Frustrations from unmet desires, failures, limitations, and imperfect environments
- Confusion, anxiety, fear, and overwhelm in the face of uncertainties and trials
Human cultures reflect the outworking of good and evil. Through Jesus, God ultimately overcomes sin, defeats evil, and promises to one day eradicate all suffering, injustice, brokenness and death from creation (Revelation 21:1-5). For now, living in a fallen world means navigating difficulties while clinging to God’s promises and eternal purposes.
The Blessings of Life
Amid life’s hardships, God graciously bestows many blessings for people to enjoy. King David praised God in Psalm 103:2 (NKJV), “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” Even in imperfect environments, God provides glimpses of goodness, beauty, wonders, laughter, pleasures, and joys through His common grace to all.
The Bible reminds believers that intimacy with God enables them to experience life abundantly. Jesus declared, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV). As people walk in fellowship with God, He blesses them with:
- The fruit of His Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV).
- The gift of meaningful, fulfilling work. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23 NKJV).
- The blessing of family and community relationships. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NKJV).
- The security of God’s presence and provision amid trials. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 NKJV).
- Guidance for wise and righteous living. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NKJV).
- An eternal hope beyond this earthly life. “In My Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2 NKJV).
Walking closely with God allows people to thrive and live blessed lives even amid a fallen world.
Preparation for Eternal Life
The Bible teaches that earthly, physical life is brief compared to eternal spiritual life. The book of James says human life is like a passing vapor (James 4:14). Ecclesiastes 12:7 (NKJV) explains that when people die, their physical bodies return to dust while their spirit returns to God who gave it.
Physical death is inevitable for all humanity since people rejected God’s path to eternal life from the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24). Thankfully, God did not abandon humanity to hopelessness. By taking the penalty for sin upon Himself, Jesus’ death and resurrection provide the only pathway for people to experience eternal life in God’s presence after death (John 3:16-17).
The Bible exhorts people to prepare for eternal life while on earth. Every human will one day stand before God and give an account for how they lived (2 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, Scripture calls people to repent of sin, trust in Christ for salvation, pursue holiness, bear good fruit, and build God’s Kingdom. Wise living prepares people for eternity.
Paul wrote, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NKJV). Earthly life is brief, but how people live impacts their eternal destiny. As Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NKJV) concludes, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment.”
In a world searching for meaning, the Bible provides profound truths about the essence and purpose of life. Human life is a precious gift from God that finds its ultimate meaning and fulfillment in relationship with Him and service to His Kingdom. Despite earthly difficulties resulting from sin, life is deeply valuable and blessed. Wise living in light of eternity brings abundant life and joy.
While brief compared to eternity, how people steward their earthly lives has everlasting significance. Jesus came that all may have abundant life now and eternal life forevermore. By walking closely with God day by day, anyone can live a inspired life of purpose, hope, and preparation for meeting Jesus face to face.