What Is Man?


*†† (Job 7:17 NIV)"What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention,

*†† (Psa 144:3-4 NIV)O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? {4} Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.

*†† (Psa 8:3-8 NIV)When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, {4} what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? {5} You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. {6} You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: {7} all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, {8} the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

*†† (Heb 2:6-8 NIV)But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? {7} You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor {8} and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.


Indeed what is so special about man?

*†† (Isa 64:6 NIV)All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

*†† (Eccl 3:19-20 NIV)Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath ; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. {20} All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.

*†† (Mark 7:21-23 NIV)For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, {22} greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. {23} All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"

*†† (Rom 1:18-32 NIV)The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, {19} since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. {20} For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. {21} For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. {22} Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools {23} and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. {24} Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. {25} They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. {26} Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. {27} In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. {28} Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. {29} They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, {30} slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; {31} they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. {32} Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Rom 2:1-8 NIV)You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. {2} Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. {3} So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? {4} Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? {5} But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. {6} God "will give to each person according to what he has done." {7} To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. {8} But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.


So what is man?

From the beginning man has been inclined to do wrong. And even though we tend to think of ourselves as being important, powerful, smart, and capable we only need to look up towards the heavens to realize we really are not much at all. Or look here on earth to see what a mess we have made. What God created as very good has become not so good, because of man. We canít even be all that good to our own kind. We have a term for it, ďManís inhumanity to man.Ē Much too often man canít even be good to his parents or his wife or his children or his friends and not even to himself! Itís as if man has the ďMidas touchĒ in reverse. Instead of touching lead and turning it into gold it seems we can touch gold and turn it into lead! And still man thinks he is just so, so good. And he always has. All of this is true except for one little caveat; God has a plan. God sees our potential and is anxious to help us realize it. So what is man, really? Letís look at the plan.

*†† (Heb 2:9-18 NIV){9} But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. {10} In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. {11} Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. {12} He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." {13} And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me." {14} Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- {15} and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. {16} For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. {17} For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. {18} Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Heb 3:1-6 NIV)Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. {2} He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. {3} Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. {4} For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. {5} Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. {6} But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.


So what is man?

*†† He is created in the image of God.

*†† He has the potential to become a son of God, no other creature can make that claim, not even angels.


Listen to these Bible verses

*†† (Luke 3:38 NIV)the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

*†† (Rom 8:14 NIV)because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

*†† (Rom 8:19 NIV)The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

*†† (Gal 3:26-27 NIV)You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, {27} for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

*†† (John 1:12-13 NIV)Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- {13} children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.


So what is man?

It seems to me that it might be put this way: Man is Godís prized creation. Man is Godís way of creating a family for Himself. Man is Godís future and God can be your future. We cannot even begin to imagine what the future holds for us. But I know this; I want to be there. And I want you to be there too. Here is what God has done and what you must do.

*†† (John 3:16 NIV)"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

*†† (John 14:1-3 NIV)"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. {2} In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.