TL-7 - What is Man?
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In Psalm 8:4 we find that compelling and ever humbling question that
the psalmist asked. “What is man? God, what is man that you care for him,
or the son of Man that you look after him?”
As I think about this wonderful question, it humbles us to realize there
is an answer in Scripture as to why God cares for me and for you.
Why does He care for me? Why does He care for you? Why am I a
big part and why are you a part of the thought of God? What is it about man
that makes him special and unique from everything else that our God
I want us to take just a moment and read the words of Psalm chapter
8. Then we're going to turn our attention to the Scripture to see, why does
God care for each and every one of us? What is it that is so unique about
man? Listen to the words of Psalm chapter 8 beginning in verse number 1.
The psalmist says “Oh Lord, our Lord, how excellent is your name! In all
the earth who has set your glory above the heavens out of the mouth of
babes and nursing infants, you have ordained strength because of your
enemies that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.” Then He says,
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the
stars which You have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him
and the son of man that you care for him? For you have made him a little
lower than the angels. You have crowned him with glory and honor. You
have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands. You've put
all things under his feet all sheep and oxen, even the beast of the field, and
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of
the sea. Oh Lord, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth!”
As we hear these humbling words, we're made to think about how
awesome it is that God does care for us! But like the psalmist sometimes
the question is, why? Why has God chosen to make man special?
You know the psalmist says “I go out at night, and I can look up at the
moon; and I can look at the marvelous canopy of the stars in the sky and in
view of that, and how small I am, I'm made I'm compelled to say ‘God what
is man? Why me? What is man that you’re mindful of him and the son of
man that you care for him?’”
Let's let God's word, I I'm not capable because in view of all that
God's made, we do feel small and insignificant- until we look to the word of
God. What does the word of God say about why the creator of the universe
chose to make man special? Why is it of all the things God created that
man is the pinnacle climax of His creation?
Here's what the Bible says. Why does God care so specially and
uniquely about man? Man is the only creation made in the image of God. I
want you to notice a couple of passages with me from the Scripture that
that clearly teach that man is special, that God uniquely cares for man-
because man is made in the image of God.
Look at Genesis chapter 1, and I want you to notice what the
Scripture says in verse number 27. The Bible says “So God created man in
His own image. In the image of God He created him male and female. He
created them.” What makes me unique? Why does God care deeply for
me? Why am I, why's man in the thoughts of God? Because God made me
in His own image. What does that mean? Genesis 2:7 helps us to
understand a little bit. The Bible says “And the Lord God formed man out of
the dust of the ground,” now watch this, “and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life.” God created man with a spirit became a living soul. He is
that which will live on as a part of having a part of God in him. God
breathed into the breath of life made uniquely in the image of God. We're
special because we're God's creation. God created us from Himself, and
there's a uniqueness that comes from that as well. This is why Peter would
say in 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares upon the Lord He cares for you.”
Friend, does it not encourage us and does it not give us a sense of
responsibility to know God created me and He created you in His own
image? I am unique, because I am shaped and I'm fashioned, spiritually
speaking, in the image of God.
Secondly as we ask and attempt to let the Scripture answer the
question, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” let's realize God our
God is a loving father. Why does God care for me? Because as His
creation, God cares about us just as any father does his children. Jesus
taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9 “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed
or holy is your name.” If God truly is our father, then He cares about us just
as any father would his children that he so deeply loves and cares for.
Imagine today any father who has children. They're special. They're
unique. They're a part of him. They hold a special place in his heart, and
He cares for them because of that. The Christian, the child of God, God's
creation, we are His children. He cares about us, because He's our Father.
Listen to Hebrews chapter 12.
Now I want you to hear what the Bible says about this beginning in
verse number 9. Hebrews 12:9 says “Furthermore we have had human
fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.” Now listen, “Shall we
not much more readily, shall we not much more readily,” let me back up.
“Furthermore we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid
them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the
Father of spirits and live?” God is the Father of my spirit. He is the Father of
all spirits. He is the creator of them, and God cares for him. “What is man
that you are mindful of him?” God's mindful of us just as a father is his
children. What a beautiful picture that is! And again, there's a sense of awe
and in a sense of responsibility in that I have the recognition from Scripture
that God's my father. That He created us. That He cares for us just as a
father does his own son. If you've got children you can surely understand
this principle. Every father who is trying to live right and do right cares
deeply and holds within his heart a special place for his children. Relate
that to God. We're God's children. God's mindful of us just as a father is his
son or daughter.
Thirdly as we attempt from Scripture to answer the question, “What is
man that you are mindful of him?” let's realize God cares for me and you,
because He wants us to spend eternity with Him. Matthew 25:46 Jesus
there taught ‘the righteous will go away into eternal life and the unrighteous
into eternal condemnation.’ The Bible says “God wants all men to be saved
and come to a knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:4. “God is not slow
concerning his promises, as some men count slowness, but He's long-
suffering toward us not willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance.”
Why does God care for me? God wants us as His children, when we
leave this life; He wants us to spend forever with Him. Now friend you talk
about a loving, marvelous, magnificent God! That's the God whom we
serve! How humbling, and how much it creates awe in my heart to know
that the God of heaven, although I have sinned, although I've done things
that were contrary to His will, although I've stabbed God in the back on
occasion- we all have due to sin- God's mindful of me. He wants me to
spend eternity in heaven, not hell, in heaven with Him.
Friend let's also realize as we ask the question and let the word of
God answer it, “What is man that you're mindful of him?” why does God
care about me and you? God wants my happiness, and He wants your
happiness in this life. The Bible says in Psalm 1 beginning in verse number
1 “Happy is a man walks not in the council of the ungodly, nor sit stands in
in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but happy is the
man whose delight is in the law of the Lord.” You read Jesus' address in
the sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1-12, every one of those is ‘blessed’
or ‘happy’ is those are those who mourn, or those who hunger and thirst
after righteousness, are the peacekeepers. God gives us a perfect plan in
this life for happiness in giving that. God shows He wants us to be happy,
and that He does deeply care about each and every one of us in this life.
And so we think about again the idea of ‘What is man? What am I?
What are you?’ Friend let's realize, I am and you are the pinnacle. We are
the climax with the blockbuster creation of everything that God made.
We're the pinnacle of what God made upon this earth.
Let me share with you a couple scriptures that I think beautifully
illustrate the idea that man is indeed the pinnacle the very highest point in
God's creation. Listen to Matthew chapter 6, and I want you to notice what
Jesus says beginning in verse number 21 showing that that God does
deeply care for each and every one of us. Matthew 6:21, as Jesus talks
about the subject of worry, here's what He says: “For where your treasure
is, there will your heart be also. The lamp of the body is the eye, if therefore
your eye is good your whole body be full of life.” He goes on that little later
talk about this subject. Look at Matthew 6:25. “Therefore I say to you, do
not worry about your life what you will eat or what you will drink or about
your body, what you put on it. Is not life more than food and the body more
than clothing?” Look at verse number 31 Paul or Jesus says “Therefore do
not worry saying ‘What shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we
wear?’ after all these things the Gentiles seek.” Here's the point, “your
heavenly Father knows you need all these things.” In Genesis 2 you see
that God created man putting him in the garden, giving him everything to
sustain him, to live happy and healthy, and be spiritually minded. God
made me, and He made you, the pinnacle of His creation. Yes, He made
us a little lower than the angels. But friend, He made all of this to
supplement man and to help man ultimately get to heaven where we could
live in eternity with God. And so what a wonderful idea it is that I am made
in the image of God and that I am and you are the pinnacle of His creation!
We say ‘made in the image of God’ let's realize as we think about this
idea that this is in God's spiritual image. When I hear the words of Genesis
1:26 God said “Let us make man in our image.” You know there's a
beautiful idea to be obtained in that. Not only do we find that God is both
the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit-the plurality there- but we also realize
that God made me and He made you in the in His spiritual image.
Are we saying that physically that when God says when the Bible
says ‘God made us in His image’ and you see a physical appearance of
someone is that what God looks like? That's not the idea. Spiritually
speaking God made man in His image with a built-in desire to seek after
God to maybe seek after that which is holy, to want to worship, to want to
please that which created him. That's the ideas of being made in the image
of God spiritually speaking.
I have a soul that is going to live for somewhere live somewhere after
this life, and that should last for all eternity with God in heaven. Zechariah
12:1 the Bible says it this way; we talk about being made in the image of
God, the Bible says in Zechariah 12;1 that God is ‘the Father of our spirits.’
Spiritually speaking God cares for me, cares for you, because in the image
of Himself spiritually God made man. And what a wonderful, wonderful
principle that in and of itself is!
Now friend let's also realize this, every person that God created is a
living spirit that will last beyond this life. Do you remember again Genesis
2:7 the Bible says “And the Lord God formed man out of the dust, of the
ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a
living being.” Or more correctly to the Hebrew there ‘a living soul.’ I'm a
living spirit. I'm a living soul made in the image of Almighty God. The Bible
says that that my soul I'm going to live within this body upon this earth, and
it is my one shot which is very temporary to get to heaven. The Bible says
in James 4:14 “What is your life but a vapor here for a little while and then it
vanishes away.” The psalmist said ‘I've got 70 maybe 80 years upon this
earth, if I'm lucky,’ Psalm 90:10-12.
Once I leave this earth, here's what the word of God says, the Bible
says that ‘the spirit of man the spirit returns to God who gave it.’ It's in
God's control. It's within His power. He has authority over my spirit and in
your and yours. The Bible tells us what'll happen. John 5:28 Jesus said “All
who are in the graves will come forth. Those who've done good to the
resurrection of life, those of done evil resurrection of condemnation.” As a
living soul made in the image of God, God cares for me; and He's been
built within me the ability to know Him, to know the way of salvation, and to
live for all eternity in heaven with Almighty God and all the Saints of old.
Now let's look at this from a different perspective. We ask the
question ‘What is man?’ we realize that man at his truest self and truest
nature, spiritually speaking, is made in the image of God. We also can't
separate from the idea of that that man is flesh. ‘What is man that you are
mindful of him?’ I'm also flesh and bones that which is temporary and
Listen again the Genesis 2:7 “the Lord God formed man out of the
dust of the ground.” Ecclesiastes 12:7 “and to the dust you shall return,”
and that spirit then returns to God who gave it. My life and yours is indeed
very short. This old body, these bones, this façade that I now wear that
houses my spirit this ‘tent’ as Paul would say is one day going to be put off.
Therefore I've got to make sure that while I'm in this tent, while I have this
body, that I use it to the best of my ability to glorify God and to bring honor
to Him in this life. Listen to what the Bible says about this idea of man being
flesh. In Romans 7:18 Paul says “For I know that in me that is in my flesh
nothing good dwells. For to will is present with me but how to perform what
is good. I do not find for the good that I will to do I do not do but the evil I
will not to do that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do it's no longer I
who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
Part of my responsibility in this life is to control the flesh. I have the
power to control that. I have the power to say no. I have the power to let my
spirit and spiritual things control the flesh and carnal things. “Seek those
things which are above.” Friend God knows that we are indeed flesh. He
knows that man does have a temporary side and that being in this life. God
cares for us and helps us through life in that sense.
Now let's think about this in another aspect. What is man that makes
the God of heaven care for him? Friend, if you've obeyed the gospel this is
unique to the Christian, when we ask the question ‘What is man?’ He's a
child of God. At the fullness of time Paul said ‘God sent forth His Son, born
of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who are under the law
that we may receive the adoption as sons and since God has sent the spirit
of His Son to our heart crying ‘Abba Father’ we can call God our father,’ in
essence. We have the blessed privilege in this life. What is man? I'm a
child of God. If I've obeyed the gospel, I'm God's child. I'm a direct heir of
God. I am a Christian and that is a wonderful thing in the cell. 1 John 3:1
the Bible says these words “Behold.” We talk about ‘What is man?’ and the
awe it ought to create in us, John says “Behold what manner of love the
Father has bestowed upon us that we can be called children of God.”
Have you ever stopped and thought about how wonderful that is?
What does it mean to say when you bow your head in prayer and you say
‘Father in heaven’ have you ever thought about the awesome privilege of
that? Behold what manner of love God has showered upon me and you
that we can call Him our Father the child of God. This is why Jesus said in
Matthew 6:9 “Pray our Father who is in heaven.”
Here's another awe-inspiring idea when we ask the question ‘What is
man?’ Here's what we can definitely know. Man is a soul in need, in
desperate need, of God's grace and God's mercy. The Bible says in
Ephesians 2:8-9 “By grace are you saved through faith and that not of
yourselves it's the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast.”
What's man? He's a he's a soul in need of the grace and mercy of God.
John 1:17 tells us where that grace is. ‘The law came through Moses.
Grace and truth are in Christ Jesus.’ Titus 3:5 says we are ‘saved by the
mercy of God.’ That mercy according Lamentations 3:20-22 is ‘new every
morning,’ that mercy that creates within us the joy and the hope that we
Friend let's also realize this ‘What is man that God cares for him?’
let's realize man's not an island to himself, and he cannot be independent
from God. I cannot claim independence from the God who created me. I
am completely dependent upon God and His need or His help that He
desires to give us.
Look to what the Hebrew writer said in Hebrews 13:5-6.The writer
said “Let your life be without covetousness. Be content with such things as
you have for the Lord himself has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake
you.’ So that we may boldly say,” here's the idea, “the Lord is my helper I
will not fear. What can man do to me?”
When I ask the question, ‘What is man?’ I realize that I can't do it by
myself. I need God. Man needs God, and he needs to depend on God in
this life. God's my helper that causes me not to fear. I'm not worried about
man. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:16 Christians can say “Let us therefore
come boldly to the throne of grace that we might find grace and mercy to
help in our time of need.” Man needs God desperately in this life to be what
God wants them to be.
Friend along those lines, let's realize that man when asked the
powerful question ‘What is man?’ Man is a soul preparing for eternity.
That's why I'm here. That's what life is. Have you ever stopped and
thought about that? Why am I here? What's life all about? What did God
put me on this earth for?
I'm a soul preparing for eternity. Jesus asked these questions in Mark
8:36-37 “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his
own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” A wise man
once said in Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole
matter. Fear God. Keep His commandments this is the whole duty of man.”
My responsibility, my purpose for being, is to make sure I prepare my
soul to live with God for eternity. That's why God created me. That's what
man is- a soul in a temporary place right now, which will shed this outward
form, and one day live somewhere for eternity.
We mention these last two principles as we think about man's true
nature. ‘What is man?’ Man ought to be a light to the world, and he ought to
live his life to glorify God.
Jesus said “I am the light of the world,” Matthew 5:16. We're told to
‘let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works,’ John
8:12. We ought to strive every day to glorify God in everything that we say
and do. 1 Corinthians 10:31, ‘whether we eat or whether we drink or
whatever we do we do all to the glory of God.’
Friend let's come full-circle, and let's think about that humbling and
that awe-inspiring question again. The psalmist said it so wonderfully.
“When I consider the moon and the stars and the works of your hand, every
marvelous thing God has made, ‘What is man that you are mindful of him?
Or the son of man that you care for him?’”
God made man special with a soul. God made man unique in that He
put the breath of life into him and gave him a living soul. And God wants
man to live with Him for eternity.
Friend if that's the case, we ask you and we ask ourselves, are we
really living up to that awesome responsibility?
If not, change our ways. Let's make sure we obey the gospel. And
let's live life in such a way that although we're humbled by God's amazing
care for us, we respond by trying to live up to the awesome responsibility of
being created in the image of Almighty God.
Study Questions for: “Topical Lesson: What is man?”
1. What question is asked in Psalm 8:4?
2. According to Psalm 8:1, what is excellent?
3. According to Psalm 8, what was made a lower than the angels?
4. According to Psalm 8, who has dominion over the animals?
5. What does the Bible say about man in Genesis 1:27?
6. What did God breath into man according to Genesis 2:7?
7. What does 1 Peter 5:7 tell us to do? Why?
8. How are we to pray according to Matthew 6:9?
9. What does Hebrews 12:9 say about God as our Father?
10. What does God want according to 1 Timothy 2:4?