What is Man?

Dear Brethren,

“God said, Let us make man… And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  (Genesis 1:26-27)

It was Jesus Christ who created Adam and Eve as flesh and blood human beings with the free will to make moral and ethical decisions.  But mankind was not left without instruction.  On that first Sabbath Day after the creation of mankind, Jesus began to instruct them in the Way of God and in the Commandments of God.  The Sabbath Day itself was the beginning of God’s spiritual creation for mankind.  Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man.”  (Mark 2:27)

“On the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.”  (Genesis 2:2-3)

In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve had access to God’s Holy Spirit by way of the Tree of Life, but they also had the ability to take on an evil, self-serving nature by taking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

After being taught by Jesus Christ, Adam and Eve had a life or death choice to make for themselves and their children.  They had the opportunity to obey and submit to God – thereby putting on Divine nature – or they could choose the path of rebellion and disobedience – thus acquiring Satan’s nature.

Adam and Eve followed the latter path which is so inherent in mankind that it is known as human nature.  “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23) “As in Adam all men die, even so in Christ shall all men be made alive.”  (1 Corinthians 15:22)

“According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Sin brought death to all mankind. “Death is the wages [payment and result] of sin”  (Romans 6:23). God said to Adam and Eve, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof thou shalt surely die.”  (Genesis 2:17)

Man does not have an immortal soul.  That false idea is held by much of the world, but it is a lie – Satan’s lie.  “The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.”  (Genesis 3:4)  That was the origin of the false teaching of man having an immortal soul – right there!

You will find absolutely no reference to human beings possessing an immortal soul in the entire Bible – except for those lying words of Satan, “You shall not surely die.”

God says that all men are sinners, and that they shall die for their own sins. “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.”  (Ezekiel 18:4, 20)

Men do not go to heaven or hell when they die. That is another pagan concept – not found in the Holy Scriptures.  Man's brain waves and thoughts completely cease at death.  If it were not for a future resurrection, men would never live again.  “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him."  (1 Thessalonians 4:14)  "As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  (Hebrews 9:27)

When David wondered about man’s existence, he also questioned about the purpose of man. Why had God created man?  David wrote:

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visit him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou made him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas.”  (Psalms 8:4-8)

The grand Plan that God is bringing about in mankind, gives glory to God, just as a work of art gives honor to the artist.  “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”  (Psalms 8:9)

In the New Testament we find this same question quoted, but with the explanation of how man's death penalty is paid.  “One in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visit him? Thou made him a little lower than the angels; thou crowned him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”   (Hebrews 2:6-9)

Man is so much more than an animal.  The world believes that mankind is only an evolved species that has arrived at the top of the food-chain.  They think that man is a mere animal without transcendent purpose.  In actuality, man has an entire additional dimension that is absent in animals – the spirit in man.  That spiritual feature makes man as different from animals, as fish are different from trees.  The human spirit sets man apart from animals in mind and accountability.

“For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of man that is in him.”  (1 Corinthians 2:11)  The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.”  (Zechariah 12:1)

The spiritual component in man that elevates human beings high above animals is the spirit in man  (Job 32:8).  It is this human spirit that empowers the human brain with intellect, understanding and mind power. Man’s ability to reason, imagine and choose moral and spiritual values or to develop character is bestowed by the spirit in man.  That is why animals, some with brains very similar to humans, cannot comprehend what man knows.  Their brains lack this essential spiritual component.  The Bible calls this non-physical factor in humans, the “spirit in man” or the “spirit of man.”

God has put within man many of His own attributes.  Men are able to love, to plan, to work for a better future, to invent and to be a part of the creative process.  God has given man the means to communicate with God, and to be the master of his own character.

“God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”  (Genesis 1:25)

But man, unlike the animals, was created to be in the image and likeness of God, formed of flesh, and is wholly mortal without possibility of eternal life inherent in himself, except and until he receives the Holy Spirit as the gift of God with the laying on of hands at baptism.  (John 3:16, Romans 8:11)

God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”  (Genesis 1:26-28)

We see here that God reveals His transcendent purpose for the creation of mankind.  God’s Plan is to open the close-knit God-Family to others – to all mankind!  Opening the God-Family to others is an act of sharing and giving of God’s Spiritual substance.  God’s desire is to share His Eternal God-Life with us!  The reason for man's creation is for the purpose of literally becoming God-beings.  The very reason for man's existence is to eventually be born into the Family of God.

At this present time, converted men and women are the sons and daughters of God, begotten of the Holy Spirit at baptism, heirs of the promise, but not yet inheritors.  “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as He is.”  (1 John 3:2)

Man, indeed, has an incredible human potential.


Sermon:  "What is Man?"