If we want to know the truth about man, we must turn to the Bible. “Truth is what God says about something.” The Bible tells us about man’s creation, nature, and relation to other beings. Man is the focal point of creation. All the earth is subject to him. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female (Genesis 1:26-27). However, to really know man we must obtain God’s perspective, not man’s ideas.
I. MAN’S ORIGIN
It is only natural that man should be curious about his origin. Philosophers have put various theories forward at different times throughout history. The most modern is the theory of evolution, which asserts that man’s ancestors are the lower animals. There is no evidence that primitive man is any different from modern man. The fact that human blood is one blood throughout the world proves that it is not a process of evolution. Acts 17:26. Animal blood will not sustain life for man. We cannot mix our blood with animal blood. From fish to fowls to animals to man, God created each one after their own kind. Genesis 1:24-25.
Man is distinctively different in that he was created in the image of God. Genesis 1:26-27. God created the first man from the dust of the ground. Genesis 2:7. However, throughout history God created human beings in one of the following ways: (A) By conception with man and woman. (B) Without the aid of a woman, as Eve. (C) Without a man or woman, as Adam. (D) Without the aid of a man, by a woman, as Christ. This is another evidence of God’s power over life.
God says concerning His creature man, “Everyone called by My name and created for My glory. I have formed him; indeed, I have made him.” Isaiah 43:7. So the question is “What is the chief end of man?” Properly answered, “The chief end of man is to glorify God.”
II. MAN’S NATURE
Anyone who has witnessed a person dying understands vividly that man has a physical body and also a soul or spirit. At one moment the person is alive … the next he is gone. Yet his body is still there. But the life principle has departed; a dead body remains. The Bible teaches us that man is a threefold being: body, soul and spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:23. While it is hard for us to distinguish between soul and spirit, since both are in contrast with the physical body, the Bible shows that there is a difference. A plant is a body without soul or spirit. An animal has a body and soul but no spirit. Man is body, soul and spirit. The soul distinguishes a living being from a dead one, but the spirit distinguishes a man from an animal. The spirit of man makes it possible for him to have communion or fellowship with God.
Man is the only created being that prays. Prayer is a universal practice. From the most pagan people to the most enlightened people—we pray. Why? Have you ever seen a monkey thank God for his bananas? Also, man is the only created being with a conscience. Have you ever seen a monkey that felt guilty for stealing another monkey’s coconuts or for committing adultery? The writings of history are filled with the testimonies of human beings who were struck with conviction that they had done wrong. Romans 1:18-32. Animals make decisions through instinct. Only man can make decisions by reasoning.
When fallen man becomes a Christian, he receives the indwelling Holy Spirit. We received the old nature through the fall of Satan, which he brought into the human race through the fall of Adam. If we will come to Him in faith, receiving Him as our personal Savior, He literally, in the person of the Holy Spirit, takes up residence in our lives. At that point we receive a new nature, which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The soul is the seat of the emotions and passions. The term spirit includes our ability to know and reason. Man is responsible to God and it is his greatest duty to find out what God wants him to do, and then do it. These two natures, the flesh and the Spirit, are an internal warfare that we as Christians battle throughout life.
Content courtesy of BBN International.