There are a variety of perspectives across the church regarding what God’s purpose is. For example:
To make Disciples — God’s purpose is primarily about people and their salvation. God wants to call people to Himself and be in relationship with people.
To establish Shalom — God’s purpose is primarily about the world God created. This includes people, but is focused on the renewal of all things and is often particularly expressed in the establishment of Justice.
To give God glory — God’s creation is about God and his glory. God desires to be known. People and creation respond with praise, enjoying God’s presence.
All of these conceptions of purpose are clearly present in the Bible. Each of them highlights a key aspect of God’s intention in creating us. Arguments about the priority of one over the other tend to miss the point that each of these concepts is essential for the other.
One of the clearest indications of the purposes of God in Scripture is found in the book of Ephesians. The first chapter, Ephesians 1, shows us that God is inviting us into His plans, His purpose, and His story rather than us inviting God into our story. God’s purpose for you is connected to God’s purposes for the world.
We understand God’s purpose primarily through God’s revelation and blessings to us in and through Jesus. God is glorified both by us and by the demonstration of His grace and power as we are becoming and participating in His purpose and story.