Summary: What is man?... is a question of the psalmist (as he stood gazing at the heavens) that is still a matter of mystery today. The Bible answers this question from 6 different perspectives.
Intro: What is man?... is a question of the psalmist (as he stood gazing at the heavens) that is still a matter of mystery today. On the one hand we see man feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and singing the praises of God. On the other hand we see him ignoring his starving brother, killing his enemies, and cursing God with every breath! You and I are members of the same human race. What is man? The Bible answers this question from 6 different perspectives.
I. God Has Formed Man (Gen. 1:26-27). We were created by God in His image and likeness. According to scripture our existence is not the result of chance or some natural process. The false science of evolution teaches that man came from animals. The Bible declares from the very beginning that we are the direct result of God’s creation. Our existence on earth has profound purpose and meaning.
II. Sin Has Deformed Man (Rom. 5:12). While declaring the dignity which man has as God’s masterpiece, being God’s image and likeness, it is also clear that our first parents and representatives fell in sin and, as a result, lost God’s image (Gen. 5:3-4). The apostles John and Paul affirm man’s sinfulness (I John 1:8; Rom. 3:10-11). According to the scriptures, humans are responsible for the sins which they do. Sin is characterized as rebellion against God (I John 3:4). It is the very source of all miseries and tragedies which beset mankind. Sin will ultimately condemn unrepentant mankind (Jas. 1:15; Rom. 6:23). But Jesus died and paid for the sins of mankind (I John 4:14).
III. Religion Has Reformed Man (II Tim. 3:5). Man-made religion since the time of Cain is a cheap substitute for true spirituality. Religion may bring temporary reform to man but such is not lasting. Religious people may have outward form of godliness but no real inward transformation. Notice Christ’s verdict on religious hypocrites – Matt. 15:7-9 cf. 23:27. Religion without real transformation is damnation!!
IV. Education Has Informed Man (I Tim. 6:20-21; Col. 2:8; II Tim. 3:7). We live in the most educated generation in mankind’s history. Because of various media – radio, TV, newspapers, books, magazines, and now the world wide web – we are now the most informed of all that ever lived on earth. Science, medicine and technology has made many amazing discoveries and inventions that made life easier and more convenient. Yet mankind is frustrated still and searching for meaning and purpose. Yes education can meet man’s mental and intellectual needs, but to supply our spiritual needs, we must be changed by a spiritual birth made possible only by God’s Spirit (John 3:6-7).
V. Christ Will Transform Man (II Cor. 5:17; Rom 12:2). There is a sense in which salvation is a RECREATION. It is the recovery of our lost God-given image. The Bible says that Christ is the image of God (II Cor. 4:4; Col 1:15). Thus, any man who has Christ has God’s image restored to him. This was the purpose for which Christ came – to seek and save the lost and restore in man God’s image.
VI. God Will Conform Man (Rom. 8:29; Phil 3:20-21; I John 3:1-2). God’s plan for His children will not only be a change in inward character but also in outward appearance when Christ comes at the Rapture. What a blessed hope for those who have trusted Christ as Lord & Saviour! (Tit. 2:13)
Conclusion: A famous painter once took his easel to the heart of Paris. He secured a studio overlooking a back street. His attention was captured by a man below—a common derelict, dirty and unshaved, spending most of his days in a drunken stupor. He decided to paint him, but not as a bum. He painted him clean, well-groomed, an image of self-respect. Then he showed the portrait to the man. “That’s not me,” he said. “It can’t be.” The artist replied, “When I look at you, this is the man I see.” If that is the man you see,” said the derelict, “then that is the man I will be!” God sees us not just as we are now, but as we can be. For “...while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).