36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Verse 36 shows that God is the purpose and center of creation. This is the most all-inclusive proclamation that can be said about the universe. God is absolutely independent; man is totally dependent upon God. God’s absolute independence is a matter of glory to Him.
God is the first cause of everything. All of creation comes from Him out of nothing (ex nihilo). He is the origin by which creation came into being.
Re 4: 11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
and through Him
God is the operative cause or source of everything. He is the sustaining power of creation and the means of its existence. God governs every item of the universe, and nothing ever escapes His monitoring and sustaining of it. Our Lord is not an absentee Creator who started the universe and walked away from it. He governs with active intervention and in utmost detail. Even human volition is achieved through Him.
and to Him
God is the final purpose behind everything. His purpose for creation is not man but God Himself. The universe is not purposeless.
are all things,
It is important to take note of the words “all things.” Everything (the totally of all) that has ever existed in the universe was designed to give God glory.
Everything in the universe is from God, by God, and for God.
God is the source, the means, and the goal of all creation. He is completely self-contained. He needs nothing and no one. Everything comes from the original will of God. Everything is advanced through His knowledge and wisdom. Finally, everything and everyone will celebrate His glory. The glory of man will then be minimized. The highest purpose for which all things can exist and be ordered is to display the glory and wonder of who God is.
Thus, a survey of the purpose of “all things” shows that God is the center of creation. All of creation comes from and pivots around Him:
Acts 17: 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
We glorify God when we put Him over all our desires and plans. Doing this causes a paradigm shift from self-orientation to God-orientation, a shift from human viewpoint to God’s viewpoint.
Eph 4: 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
He 2: 10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Most Christians struggle with God’s ultimate purpose for their lives. If we resist orienting to God’s ultimate purpose for our lives, then we set ourselves as the primary end of creation. That is to put ourselves in opposition to God’s purpose for creation.