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03 June, 2014

Man's Chief End - Part 3

Thomas Watson
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK "Body of Divinity"

Question 1. What is the chief end of man?

Answer: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Here are two ends of life specified:
1. The glorifying of God.
2. The enjoying of God.

I. The GLORIFYING of God. "That God in all things may be glorified." The glory of God is a silver thread which must run through all our actions. "Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Everything works to some end and purpose; now, man being a rational creature, must propose some end to himself, and that should be—that he may lift up God in the world. He had better lose his life than the end of his living. The great truth is asserted—is that the end and purpose of every man's living should be to glorify God. Glorifying God has respect to all the persons in the Trinity; it respects God the Father who gave us life; God the Son, who lost his life for us; and God the Holy Spirit, who produces a new life in us. We must bring glory to the whole Trinity.

When we speak of God's glory, the question will be asked, What are we to understand by God's glory? There is a twofold glory:

[1] The glory that God has in himself, his INTRINSIC glory. Glory is essential to the Godhead, as light is to the sun: he is called the "God of Glory." Glory is the sparkling of the Deity; it is so natural to the Godhead, that God cannot be God without it. The creature's honor is not essential to his being. A king is a man without his regal ornaments, when his crown and royal robes are taken away; but God's glory is such an essential part of his being—that he cannot be God without it. God's very life lies in his glory. This glory can receive no addition, because it is infinite; it is that which God is most tender of, and which he will not part with. "My glory I will not give to another." God will give temporal blessings to his children, such as wisdom, riches, honor; he will give them spiritual blessings, he will give them grace, he will give them his love, he will give them heaven; but his essential glory he will not give to another! King Pharaoh parted with a ring off his finger to Joseph, and a gold chain—but he would not part with his throne! "Only in the throne will I be greater than you." So God will do much for his people; he will give them the inheritance; he will put some of Christ's glory, as mediator, upon them; but his essential glory he will not part with; "in the throne he will be greater."

[2] The glory which is ascribed to God, or which his creatures labor to bring to him. "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name." "Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit." The glory we give God is nothing else but our lifting up his name in the world, and magnifying him in the eyes of others. "Christ shall be magnified in my body."