Whatever we think life is for, people are made for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). God made people in his image (Gen 1:26) with love, goodness, kindness, patience, righteousness, generosity and so on. His image in us reflects his glory (Rom 15:6). But we can barely see God’s image in us because of our sin; our selfishness, wickedness, greed, envy and so on. God’s image in us is marred beyond recognition, almost to the point of destruction (Rom 1:21).
There is one human being who displayed the image of God. Jesus was and is the image of the invisible God (Col 1 :15). He glorified God the Father and God the Father glorified him (John 13:32). Jesus is all we are meant to be and so to restore the image of God in us. He lovingly took our sin on the cross and gave us his nature so that we might be the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21). We restore God’s imagine in us by looking to Jesus, enjoying him, learning from him, copying him and obeying him (1 Thess 1:6) even suffering for the sake of the good of others as we proclaim him (Col 1:24).
Edward Fisher’s summary of what happened to humans at the fall shows just how much we need Christ to take away our sin and then to learn from him and grow to be like him:
Nomista. Then, sir, it seemeth by Adam’s breach of covenant, all mankind were brought into a miserable condition?
Evangelista. All mankind by the fall of Adam received a twofold damage: First, A deprivation of all original goodness. Secondly, An habitual natural proneness to all kind of wickedness. For the image of God, after which they were created, was forthwith blotted out; and in place of wisdom, righteousness, and true holiness, came blindness, uncleanness, falsehood, and injustice. The very truth is, our whole nature was thereby corrupted, defiled, deformed, depraved, infected, made infirm, frail, malignant, full of venom, contrary to God; yea, enemies and rebels unto him. So that, says Luther, this is the title we have received from Adam: in this one thing we may glory, and in nothing else at all; namely, that every infant that is born into this world, is wholly in the power of sin, death, Satan, hell, and everlasting damnation. [Edward Fisher, The Marrow of True Divinity: the sinfulness and misery of mankind by the Fall.