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What is the Meaning of Life

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Lesson 82 of 208
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We are Made in God’s Image

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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 82 We are Made in God’s Image by Ernest O’Neill

You must have wondered at times in your life what you’re doing here. I think all of us have come to points in our life where we wonder why. “Why am I here? What is the purpose of this whole thing? I feel that it’s meaningless.” Of course, this occurs at different times. Sometimes, it comes when we are just bored with our own jobs and our own day to day existence. Sometimes, it comes at a crisis in our lives when people die whom we love.

Sometimes it comes when we are in real despair about finances or over our futures. Probably, every one of us has felt that at times. We’ve felt there’s no point in it all. Then, for a moment, we’ve pondered, “I wonder what the point of it is?” Then, of course, it’s interesting, life itself has a way of blowing those thoughts away and we carry on for another 50 years. But, finally, of course, we will be highly interested in what the purpose of it all was. That’s what we’ve been discussing on this program each day. We have been for several months.

What we have been sharing, of course, is that the real purpose of your existence is that you would actually get to know your maker, the Being that made you, that created you. Now, don’t turn the radio off. Don’t! Don’t! Don’t say, “Oh, yeah, more of that religious stuff.” No! I think there are many of us that are tired of just the old jargon, and fed up with the old clichés, and don’t want to hear any more of just religion, religion, or Christianity, Christianity.

We want to know what reality is and we’re anxious to know what the point of this whole thing is. So, do stay with us. Stay with me, and listen for goodness sake. What we are saying is that the things we are given here, like the sunset and the sunrise, and the blue sky are not here by chance. OK! Big deal if there is such a thing as evolution. Maybe there is. Maybe there is evolution. Maybe there’s evolution across the species as well as within the species. But, if there is, somebody somewhere had to originate that plan.

I mean, this didn’t come about by chance. You don’t get the ordered organization of our blood circulation and the ordered design of the seasons following one another year after year the way they do. You don’t get the regular orbiting of the planets round each other as we have in our Milky Way without somebody, somewhere planning something. We know in our own human lives that where there’s no conscious, intellectual design — chaos results. So, there has to be somebody behind it all.

Of course, what we are saying is, there was a remarkable being who lived in the first century of our era that actually showed that it was possible to go through death and come back to life again. That being was the man known as Jesus. If you study His life from an intellectual view point instead of just preoccupied with rejecting Him because He is religious or accepting Him because He is religious, then, you begin to discover He really was more than a human being.

He did have powers over nature and powers over disease. He is regarded as the foremost ethical teacher that ever lived in the world by those who believe that He was more than a man and by those who don’t believe He was more than a man. This man Jesus did make some sense in the things He said to us about the meaning of life. So, we’ve been discussing the kinds of things He told us.

He explained many things Himself and He also pointed out many things to His followers. As a general guide to us, He said the things that were written (in what He called “the Law and the Prophets” and what we, of course,

call the Old Testament part of our Bible) were true. They were written for your education and for your information, and nothing of them will pass away.

Now, He explained some things more clearly, but the things that were written back there were written so that you would understand the meaning of life better. He reinforced in us belief in the bits of the Old Testament that explain the purpose and the meaning that is behind life. That’s what we have been discussing.

You remember we’ve been talking about the accounts in the early parts of the Old Testament about the creation of mankind so that we would begin to understand our own natures better, so that you would be able to understand your own personality better. You know if you respond and say, “This is all myth.” No, it isn’t! There are bits of it that are metaphorical. There are bits of it that obviously indicate that they’re to be treated metaphorically and as pictures.

But there are other bits that indicate they are to be taken as history. If you say, “Oh well now, how did anybody know what was happening there? I mean, was there some little guy sitting in the Garden of Eden with a paper and pad taking little shorthand notes?” No, no, obviously there wasn’t. Obviously, there probably wasn’t writing as far as the first man was concerned.

But you know what happened. The Creator of the universe who made it all happen explained to the first men that lived in our world, explained what He had done and why He had done it. That’s how we ever got the kind of account of creation we find in Genesis. So, don’t just treat the guys back there as dumb, stupid, idiotic, or not as bright as we are. They were. They were.

They knew where these accounts came from. They came from the Creator of the universe who revealed them to the first man that ever lived and he passed the story on down to other people. If you say, “Ah now, they can’t pass on stories like this unless there is writing.” Sure they can. A lot of our old nursery rhymes, a lot of our old poems come from men who learned hundreds and hundreds of lines of ballads and passed them on down to us. You know how much you have memorized, without even trying, of popular songs. You know how many songs you know that you’ve never actually learned deliberately.

So, it is very reasonable and very probable and very easy to conceive what we have in the Old Testament, especially in the early books, actually was revealed by the Creator of the universe to the first men who ever lived. Of course, the Creator of the universe explained to these men how He had, at the very beginning, you remember (and if you have a Bible sometime, you should look it up.) how He said that at the beginning, before the world was at full blossoming stage, he said (and it’s recorded in Genesis 1:26), “Let us make man in our image.”

That was God, turning around to His Son, Jesus (His Son, Jesus lived before the world was ever made) and saying to Him, “Look, my son, let’s make man in our image.” That’s how we were made. That’s why we’re not just super apes, you know. We’re not just super monkeys. We are actually people that are made in the image of our own Creator.

The way God made us was in a threefold kind of consciousness, such as He has. For instance, if you look back at that early chapter in Genesis 2:7, it says, “and then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground.” That is, He took up some ordinary dust and He made us into bodies. This is what our body is made of and that’s why, you know, it returns exactly to that.

That’s what our body decays into if you wait long enough after it’s in the grave. It returns to dust. That’s why we say that, you know. “Out of dust you were made; into dust you will return.” God made first of all our

bodies. Then, that verse says, “He breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life.” Now, what that word for breath is…is “ruach”. It’s a Hebrew word that means not only air or breath or wind, but it means spirit.

The Creator of our universe put into you some of His own Spirit. Now, that’s why you feel at times you should do better than you do. That’s it, you know. That’s where that comes from. You may often wonder, ‘Why do I find it so easy to lose my temper, and yet I still keep thinking I should keep my temper? Why do I find it so easy to be selfish, and yet I still feel I should be unselfish?”

Why do all of us human beings in this universe find it easier to fight and squabble and grab for ourselves and yet, we still keep on saying we shouldn’t be like that? Well, because the Creator breathed into us His Spirit. There is something of His Spirit in us, in our conscience, that makes us want to live better than we know.

It’s because there is part of His Spirit in us that we feel we were made to live forever. Don’t you feel that? Don’t you? You somehow feel, “Look, it will go on. I don’t know why. I’m not even terribly religious, but I feel this will go on.” It’s because the Creator’s Spirit is in you. There is something of the Creator in you. So, let’s talk a little more tomorrow about some of the other implications of the fact that we were made in His image with some of His Spirit.

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