Summary: What is the nature of man? 1) He is a marred being. 2) He is a dying being. 3) He is an eternal being.
THE NATURE OF MAN
GENESIS 1: 26-27, 2: 7
1. Illus. of teenager
• Went into room and slammed door, saying under breath, “people, people, PEOPLE!”
• Mom went to door and said, “what’s wrong?” Girl replied, “people, that’s what’s wrong!”
• “Let me in, and we’ll talk about it.” “No, you’re a people too!”
2. Have you ever felt that way? “I don’t understand people, I don’t know what’s wrong with people, and I don’t know why people act the way they do sometimes!” Have you ever wished you knew what makes your boss, spouse, or best friend tick?
3. If you are ever going to understand what makes people tick, you will have to understand their basic nature. The best place to learn about man’s basic nature is Genesis, where the creation of man is explained!
4. Text: As he wrote about the creation of man, Moses also wrote about the basic nature of man.
5. Today: although people come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, every human being has the same basic nature.
6. What are these basic elements of human nature?
I. WE ARE ALL MARRED BEINGS
1. See 1: 26-27 God created Adam “imago dei,” in His image.
2. This doesn’t mean that Adam looked like God physically, that God had two hands and feet etc. It does mean that Adam looked like God spiritually and intellectually.
3. If we could have gone to the Garden, we wouldn’t have been around Adam 5 minutes before we would have said, “Adam can think and reason, Adam can create, Adam can make moral decisions, Adam is attracted to that which is just and good. He bears the image of God!”
4. Unfortunately, something happened. (3: 6-7). Because of this first sin, Adam’s nature was marred and corrupted, including the image of God.
5. Illus. of video tape
• Left it accidentally in back window of car in summer.
• Could still recognize it as a video tape, but it was warped and twisted.
• Bible teaches us that Adam’s sin did that to the image of God within him. It marred and corrupted it.
6. That twisting and marring was passed down to each of Adam’s children. We bear the image of God, but it is so hopelessly corrupted by sin that it is sometimes hardly recognizable. That’s why people originally created in the perfect image of God can:
• Kill an innocent child
• Fill body with drugs and booze
• Get addicted to pornography
• Steal a $100 bill
• Live a sexually immoral lifestyle
7. See II Corinthians 3: 18. When we receive Jesus as Savior, He begins the process of recreating that image in its purest form. The job won’t be complete until we see Jesus, but that’s where we are headed spiritually.
II. WE ARE ALL DYING BEINGS
1. See Genesis 2: 7a. Adam’s physical nature was formed from the dust of the ground. If you could read this verse in Hebrew, there is a play on words that emphasizes how close our linkage to the dust really is. “formed man… = adam. “of the ground…” = adamah.
2. So what if we are dust? Genesis 3: 19. From the moment of our conception, we are terminal.
3. Illus. of Thomas Donaldson (Contemporary Illus. #33)
• His name is Thomas Donaldson, and he hopes that he has cheated death.
• For a price tag of $125,000 dollars, retained the services of Alco Life Extension Institute in Scottsdale Arizona.
• At the moment of his death, scientists there will cryogenically freeze his body in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of 320 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. His body will be stored until, as the legal documents say, “a cure for whatever caused his death is found.”
• When asked by newspaper reporters why he would pay so much money for a procedure that most likely will not work, Mr. Donaldson said, “For some strange reason, I don’t want to die. I like being alive… OK guys?”
• While you can postpone death, you cannot escape it. We are from dust, and we will return to dust.
4. Each one of us learns very early to hear the seconds of our life ticking away. When we are young, the sound is very soft. The older we get, the louder it gets.
5. Do you know what a midlife crisis is? It’s when a man or woman can no longer ignore the ticking of their own mortality! It’s the panic that comes from realizing that they are no longer young, and they are not going to live forever, and that the seconds of their life are ticking away!
6. Why are some people mad at the world? Why are some people workaholics? Why are some people irresistibly drawn toward a lifestyle of booze and sex, or run away with their secretary, or a thousand other crazy things? Because we are trying to cope with the knowledge of our own mortality.