Man

ARTICLE VI – MAN

Biblical anthropology is the only way to answer the question of Man, who he is and his existence (Psa 8, Heb 2:6-9).  God made Man a little lower than the angels (Psa 8:5) and gave him dominion (Gen 1:26).

Man was created by an act of direct creation by God, “So God created man in His own image…” (Gen 1:27, Gen 2:7).  The, “theory of evolution,” is in fact, only a false theory or hypothesis; it cannot be proven.

God did not use a pre-existing creature to make Man; he used dust (Psa 104:29), and Man exists by special creation:
  • Bara – (Hebrew), the production or effectuation of something new, rare, and wonderful (Gen 1:27).
  • Asah - (Hebrew), to form, to construct, to prepare, to build (Gen 1:26).
  • Yatzar - (Hebrew), to form or shape (as a potter forming vessels) (Gen 2:7).
Let us MAKE man” (asah), “So God CREATED man” (bara), “And the Lord God FORMED man” (yatzar).  God constructed Man in conformity with His own image, and created Man as something new and wonderful in His purpose, and formed and shaped Man from the earth as a potter.

The image of God, the Imago Dei, refers to at least these: (1) Man was conformed to an ideal form which God possesses, (2) Man’s dominion over the earth and its creatures, (3) Man’s rationality and ability to have communion with his Creator, (4) Man’s personality of intellect, emotion, and will, (5) Man’s original holiness, righteousness and moral nature, and (6) Man’s triune being of body, soul, and spirit.

Man’s natural, physical body is only a temporary tabernacle for the real person who inhabits it (2Co 5:1).  In the resurrection, man will have a new house not made with hands; however, the new body will have a relationship to this present natural body (1Co 15:44, 53, Joh 5:25, Joh 20:27, Luk 24:39).

Man's body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, and MUST NOT BE AN INSTRUMENT OF SIN (1Co 6:19-20).  It is to be dedicated to Christ, as a living and holy sacrifice (Rom 12:1); the redeemed Man may employ his body as a weapon against the Devil (Rom 6:13).

Man enjoys certain benefits of Christ’s redeeming work in his body, like healing (Isa 53:4-5, Mat 8:16-17).  The believer will be judged on the basis of things done in the body (2Co 5:10).  Man's body bears the image of Adam as well as the image of Christ (1Co 15:45-49).

Man’s immaterial life and personality are derived from God’s creative breath, and our life’s breath depends upon the sustaining grace of our Creator (God breathed).  The IMMATERIAL element in man is referred to in Scripture by the use of NINE (9) different terms:
  1. Life (Mar 8:35)
  2. Soul (Mar 8:36)
  3. Spirit (Psa 31:5)
  4. Mind (Rom 7:25)
  5. Heart (Eph 6:6)
  6. Strength (Luk 10:27)
  7. Self (1Co 4:3-4)
  8. Will (1Co 7:37)
  9. Affections (Col 3:2)
The composition of Man: Man is a Trichotomy – (three parts) body, soul, and spirit.  The combination of a body of dust and the breath of God resulted in a third part, the soul (Gen 2:7).

Man is a unity rather than a being of divisible parts. The soul (spirit) is separated from the body at physical death, but only for an interim awaiting the resurrection (1Sa 28:15).

Man’s Creation:
  • Man was created by God
  • Man alone of all created beings received the breath of God
  • Man was formed in God’s Image
  • Man was created for God’s glory
  • Man was planned and designed in a council of the Triune God (Gen 1:26)
  • Man may be redeemed by Christ through saving faith.  “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, PROMISED before the world began…” Tit 1:2.  Since God could not have promised anything to Man before the world began, He promised to His Son the redemption and eternal life of Man.
Man is the only one of earth’s creatures able to reason abstractly, to create, to innovate, to choose as a free agent, to communicate with and to worship God. The animals’ activities are instinctive and not free.

Man is a moral being.  He was created with a sense of accountability to his Maker.  Because Man is a moral creature, God gave him His Law.

Man has a faculty of Conscience – A knowledge or sense of right and wrong, with a compulsion to do right; a moral judgment that opposes the violation of a previously recognized ethical principle, and that leads to feelings of guilt if one violates such a principle. 

Conscience is an instinct which was given to man in the beginning; for as soon as man sinned, he hid himself (Gen 3:7-8).  Man’s conscience can be:
Man was made to have communion with God, with his family, and with his neighbors.  When man lost communion with God, his relationships began to break down (Adam’s first son was murdered).  Love is to be the controlling motive of the redeemed man (Jud 1:21).

The state of Man's knowledge in his primitive state: the naming of all the animals and birds, and perhaps all forms of life required that Adam possess vast knowledge (Gen 2:19-20).

The moral state: Adam, created in God’s image, must have partaken of God’s holy and righteous character (Eph 4:24, Col 3:9-10).  Adam was created in a state of holiness, and while it was not yet confirmed (because it had not been tested), it was a state devoid of evil.

The psychological state: Man showed he had mental processes, behavior, and DESIRES:
  • Self-preservation: Adam was warned by God of impending death if he ate of the forbidden tree 
  • The desire for food: God provided every kind of plant and tree good for food
  • The urge for procreation: Adam and Eve were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth (Gen 1:28)
  • The need for acquisition: God placed them in their own garden, which they lost with the Fall
  • The drive for domination: Adam was commanded to have dominion over the earth and over every created thing.
The social state: Man is a social creature, he was made for companionship.  In the garden he had daily communication with the Lord.  No other creature had this fellowship (Gen 2:18).

The occupational state: the Garden was not a place of idleness.  Creative occupation is essential for fulfillment.  Work became “toil” only when sin entered.

The state of life expectancy:  Adam was created with the potential of immortality.  A death would only occur if Adam disobeyed God’s command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  When Adam and Eve sinned, death began to reign.  Angels with flaming swords henceforth guard the tree of life (Gen 2:16-17, Gen 3:24).

Although Man was created in God’s image, placed in an ideal environment, and given everything he needed, he rebelled and disobeyed God’s commandment.  The result of Adam’s sin was shame, guilt, alienation, and death (Psa 14:1-3, Rom 3:10, Rom 3:23, and Rom 5:12-21).

The purpose of Man's probation: Man is a free moral agent, therefore capable of making a choice.  Man was created for God’s glory (Isa 43:7).  Our first parents had holy natures, but not holy characters.  Free choice was necessary for the development of mature holiness and blessedness.

The probationary commandment given to Adam was personal and reasonable.  God knew what was necessary to bring Man to his highest potential development, and to his greatest blessedness.  God foresaw Adam’s failure and provided redemption.  God is not the author of sin.

God purposed to bring out of mankind’s failure a glorious redemption through the Incarnation and vicarious death of His own Son; that would include the final judgment of Satan, the first sinner.  Within the curse pronounced on the serpent, “the seed of woman” “shall bruise thy head,” Gen 3:15 - is the Protoevangelium, or the first gospel.  God gave promise of a Redeemer (the gospel message starts here). 

Typical of the redemption provided through the blood of Jesus, were the animals slain to provide a covering of Adam’s nakedness, as also the acceptable offering of a lamb which Abel brought to God.

Although the serpent was used, the real tempter is Satan (Gen 3:1, Rev 12:9).  Satan has the power to disguise himself (2Co 11:14).  His rebellious posture and fall are described in Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-15.

The curse on Man tells us that God is holy and righteous and will not wink at sin.  Sin has consequences.

The motives used: before the fall, Man’s drives (physiological states) were balanced and controlled; however, they constituted a motivational base to which temptation could be directed.  Satan aimed his temptation at, at least three of Eve’s basic desires. 

Satan’s wiles (aimed at Eve), caused her to doubt God’s word.  Satan used her instincts against her (self-preservation, acquisition, desire for food, desire for love/procreation, and urge for dominion).  Eve fell to the temptations of all three areas.

Nowhere in the Bible is the story of Adam interpreted symbolically.  If the creation and fall stories were allegories, the spiritualized interpretations would have been numerous.  There is no indication in Genesis between chapters 11 and 12 that suggests a change from allegory to history.

Paul makes parallels between Adam and Christ.  Since Christ is a historical person, it is not likely that He would be an antitype of a non-historical character.  Adam is listed in two genealogies of the Holy Bible. 

Real geographical locations are included in the creation story.  The fallen condition of Man is very literal.  A real fallen state can hardly be attributed to a mythical event.  The fact that Man has made fantastic progress in knowledge, while at the same time, has made massive moral declines indicates Man’s fallen condition.

The judicial results of the fall were fourfold: (1) the judgment upon the serpent, (2) the judgment upon the woman, (3) judgment upon Man, (4) judgment upon the ground.  The consequences of the fall: shame, guilty conscience, and Adam and Eve felt they needed to hide from God, are a result of sin.

Death (separation) (Heb 9:27, Psa 90:8-12): there are three categories of death:
  • Physical death is when the spirit is separated from the body, and the body returns to dust.
  • Spiritual death is separation from God.  All unregenerate are alienated from God by their sins (Eph 2:1-3, Isa 59:2), they may pass from death unto spiritual life by exercising saving faith in Christ (Eph 2:4-6, 1Jo 5:11-12, Col 1:13-14, Col 1:18-23, 1Co. 15:54-57).
  • Eternal death is the condition of those who are spiritually dead, who depart this earth (Physical death) without repentance of sin, and without saving faith in Christ.  Eternal death is the punishment of those terminally unfaithful (2Th 1:7-10).
Man's potential in the state of grace after they are born again:
  • The faithful believer is a new Man in Christ (Eph 4:21-24, Joh 1:11-13, 2Co. 5:17).  As a result of Christ’s Incarnation and Identification with the nature of mankind, man was given a new potential in a new existence in Christ (Col 3:9-10, 1Co 15:21-22)
  • The faithful have a new nature in Christ (2Pe 1:4)
  • The faithful have new life in Christ (Joh 5:24, Eph 2:1-6)
  • The faithful in Christ experiences constant renewal (2Co 4:16, Rom 12:1-2)
  • The faithful have hope of a heavenly home (1Pe 1:4)
  • The faithful have victory over the old nature (Rom 6:8-14)
  • The faithful in Christ are not only freed from the dominion of sin and death, he is given kingdom authority to minister in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Ghost (Mar 16:19-20)

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