OceanSide church of Christ
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WHAT IS MAN?
Victor M. Eskew
A. Presently, there are over 7 billion people who live upon the earth. By 2020, it is estimated that over 8 billion people will reside on our globe.
B. The study of man is important.
1. Because so many exist and have existed.
2. Because I “am one,” and so are you.
C. The study of man has brought different conclusions.
1. Man is the random result of a billion, billion chance happenings through what is called the evolutionary process.
2. Man is a god who is able to do as he wishes.
3. Man is a fleshly robot controlled by predestined fate.
4. Man is a being designed to fulfill his fleshly lusts.
D. As Christians, we start with two assumptions:
1. God exists.
2. The Bible is God’s Word, and, as such, it is true.
E. In this lesson, we want to discuss the subject: “What Is Man?” The opening three chapters of Genesis, the Book of Beginnings, provide us with a long list of answers.
I. MAN IS A CREATED BEING
A. Two texts:
1. Genesis 1:26-27
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
2. Genesis 2:7
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.
B. Man is not the product the evolutionary process.
1. There are some men who do not believe that man was created.
“In the beginning was matter, which begat the amoeba, which begat the worm, which begat the fish, which begat the amphibian, which begat the reptile, which begat the lower mammal, which begat the lemur, which begat the monkey, which begat man, who imagined God.” This, according to atheist, Charles Smith, is the genealogy of man.
a. This requires an abundance of faith to believe.
b. These are some difficulties:
1) Where did the original matter originate?
2) How was life created? It cannot come from non-life.
3) Where did intelligence originate? It cannot come from non-intelligence.
2. Man is the crowning jewel of God’s creation.
a. We are pottery developed by the hands of the potter.
b. We are the prized pottery of the potter.
II. MAN IS A BEING CREATED HIGHER THAN THE ANIMALS
A. Genesis 1:26b, 28
…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 ever every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
B. Man is not an animal. Man is higher than the ape.
C. We are distinct from the animals.
1. We are over the animals.
2. Man should live lives that are different from the animals.
III. MAN IS A BEING CREATED A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS
A. This point is not made in the book of Genesis. However, we make it since we
are talking about the place of man in the creation.
B. It was made by the sweet psalmist of Israel, David (Ps. 8:3-5).
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.
1. Most people put angels high on the creation scale.
a. Spirit beings (Heb. 1:7a)
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits…
b. Ministers of God (Heb. 1:14)
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
c. Supernatural beings with knowledge and strength greater than man.
d. Activity: On a white board, have an individual draw a line that repre-sents how much distance there is between a man and an angel.
2. When God sees man, he sees him as a being just “a little lower” than those magnificent creatures called angels.
IV. MAN IS A BEING MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
A. Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him…
B. Being created in God’s image has nothing to do with our outer shell.
1. God does not have a body.
2. He is a spirit (John 4:24).
C. Our being made in God’s likeness involves our intellect, our reasoning, our will, our emotions, our personality, our free moral agency.
1. These things set us apart from monkey and apes.
2. These things give us great potential.
3. These things make us responsible before God.
A. Man is a being who must deal with the fact that he is created.
1. As his Creator, God is over man.
2. As his Creator, God has the right to command man.
B. Man must make the decision as to whether he is going to submit or not (Josh. 24:15).
C. Can you imagine an individual refusing to obey a God who can speak the world into existence?