Man [humanity]

106 man humanity

God created man, man and woman, in the image of God. God blessed man and commanded him to multiply and fill the earth. In love, the Lord gave man power to subdue the earth as a steward and govern their creatures. In the creation story, man is the crown of creation; the first person is Adam. Symbolized by Adam, who sinned, humanity lives in rebellion against its creator, bringing sin and death into the world. Regardless of its sinfulness, however, man remains and is defined by God-image. Therefore, all people collectively and individually deserve love, respect and respect. The eternally perfect image of God is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the "last Adam". Through Jesus Christ, God creates the new humanity over which sin and death no longer have any power. In Christ, the divinity of God will be completed. (1, Moses 1,26-28, Psalm 8,4-9, Romans 5,12-21, Colossians 1,15, 2, Corinthians 5,17, 3,18, 1, Corinthians 15,21-22, Romans 8,29, 1, Corinthians 15,47-49, 1, John 3,2)

what is the human?

When we look up to the sky, when we see the moon and the stars, and contemplate the immensity of the universe and the mighty power inherent in each star, we may wonder why God cares about us at all. We are so small, so limited - like ants, that are hurrying back and forth inside a heap. Why should we even think he's looking at that anthill, called Earth, and why would he want to worry about every single ant as well?

Modern science expands our awareness of how big the universe is and how powerful each star is. In astronomical terms, humans are no more important than a few indiscriminately moving atoms - but it is the human being who raises the question of meaning. They are people who develop the science of astronomy, who explore the universe without ever leaving the home. They are people who turn the universe into a springboard for spiritual issues. It goes back to Psalm 8,4-7:

"When I see the heavens, your fingers' work, the moon and the stars that you have prepared: what is the human being that you think of him, and of the human child, that you take care of him? You have made him little lower than God, with honor and glory you have crowned him. You have made him master over your hands work, you have done everything under his feet. "

Like animals

So what is the human? Why does God care about him? Men are in some ways like God Himself, but lower, but crowned by God Himself with honor and glory. People are a paradox, a mystery - tainted with evil, yet believing that they should behave morally. So corrupted by power, yet they have power over other living things. So far under God, and yet designated by God Himself as honorable.

what is the human? Scientists call us Homo sapiens, a member of the animal kingdom. The Scriptures call us nephesh, a word that is also used for animals. We have spirit within us just as animals have spirit in them. We are dust, and when we die, we return to the dust as well as the animals. Our anatomy and our physiology are like those of an animal.

But the Scriptures say that we are much more than animals. People have a spiritual aspect - and science can not make any statement about this spiritual part of life. Nor is philosophy; we can not find reliable answers just because we think about it. No, this part of our existence must be explained by revelation. Our Creator must tell us who we are, what we should do, and why he cares about us. We find the answers in Scripture.

1. Moses 1 tells us that God created all things: light and darkness, land and sea, sun, moon and stars. The Gentiles worshiped these things as gods, but the true God is so powerful that he could call them into existence simply by speaking a word. They are completely under his control. Whether he created her in six days or six billion years is nowhere near as important as the fact that he did. He spoke, it was there and it was good.

As part of the entire creation, God also created humans and 1. Moses tells us that we were created the same day as the animals. The symbolism of it seems to indicate that in some ways we are like animals. We can see that much of ourselves.

The image of God

But the creation of people is not described in the same way as everything else. There is no "And God spoke ... and it happened like that." Instead, we read, "And God said, Let us make man, a picture that is like us, that rule there ..." (1Mo 1,26). Who is this "us"? The text does not explain that, but it is clear that humans are a special creation, made in the image of God. What is this "picture"? Again, the text does not explain that, but it is clear that humans are special.

Many theories are suggested, what this "image of God" is. Some say it's the intelligence, the power of rational thought, or the language. Some say it is our social nature, our ability to relate to God, and that male and female reflect relationships within the deity. Others claim it is morality, the ability to make decisions that are good or evil. Some say the image is our sovereignty over the earth and its creatures, that we are God's representative to them. But domination in itself is divine only if it is exercised in a moral way.

What the readers understood by this phrase is open, but it seems to express that people are in a certain way like God Himself. There is a supernatural meaning in who we are, and our meaning is not that we are like animals, but like God. 1. Moses does not tell us much anymore. We learn in 1. Moses 9,6 that every person is created in God's image, even after humanity sinned, and therefore murder must not be tolerated.

The Old Testament no longer mentions "the image of God", but the New Testament adds meaning to that name. There we learn that Jesus Christ, the perfect image of God, reveals God to us through his self-sacrificing love. We shall be made alike in the image of Christ, and in doing so we will reach the full potential that God has provided for us when He created us in His image. The more we let Jesus Christ live in us, the closer we are to the purpose of God for our lives.

Let's go back to 1. Moses, because this book tells us more about why God cares so much for people. After he said, "Let us," he did it: "And God created man in his image; in the image of God he created him; and created her as husband and wife "(1Mo 1,27).

Notice here that women and men were created equally in the image of God; they have the same spiritual potential. Similarly, social roles do not change the spiritual value of a person - a person of high intelligence is not more valuable than one of lower intelligence, nor does a ruler have more value than a servant. We were all created according to the image and the likeness of God and all people deserve love, honor and respect.

1. Moses then tells us that God blessed the people and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and reign over the fish in the sea and over the birds under the sky and over the cattle and over all beasts that creep on the earth "(V. 28). God's commandment is a blessing, which we would expect from a benevolent God. In love, he gave people the responsibility to rule over the earth and its living beings. The people were his stewards, they took care of God's property.

Modern environmentalists sometimes accuse Christianity of being against environmental protection. Does this mandate to "subdue" the earth and "rule" over the animals give people permission to destroy the ecosystem? People should use their God-given power to serve, not to destroy. They should exercise authority in a way that God does.

The fact that some people abuse this power and scripture does not change the fact that God wants us to use creation well. If we skip something in the report, we learn that God commanded Adam to cultivate and preserve the garden. He could eat the plants, but he should not use up the garden and destroy it.

Life in the garden

1. Moses 1 concludes by saying that everything was "very good". Humanity was the crown, the keystone of creation. That was exactly the way God wanted it to be - but anyone living in the real world realizes that something is terribly wrong with humanity. What went wrong? 1. Moses 2 and 3 explain how an originally perfect creation was ruined. Some Christians take this report quite literally. Either way, the theological message is the same.

1. Moses tells us that the first humans were called Adam (1Mo 5,2), the common Hebrew word for "human." The name Eve resembles the Hebrew word for "life / living": "And Adam called his wife Eve; for she became the mother of all who live there. "In modern language, the names Adam and Eve mean" man "and" every man's mother. " What they do in 1. Moses 3 did - sin - is what all humanity has done. The story shows why humanity is in a situation that is far from perfect. Humanity is embodied by Adam and Eve - humanity lives in rebellion against its Creator, and that is why sin and death characterize all human societies.

Note the way 1. Moses 2 represents the stage: An ideal garden, somewhere where he no longer exists, watered by a stream. The image of God is changing from a cosmic commander to an almost physical being walking in the garden, planting trees, forming a person out of the earth, blowing his breath into his nostrils to give life to him. Adam was given something more than animals had, and he became a living being, a nephesh. Yahweh, the personal God, "took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden, to build and keep him" (v. 15). He gave instructions to Adam for the garden, asked him to name all the animals, and then created a woman to be a human consort for Adam. Again, God was personally involved and physically active in the creation of the woman.

Eve was a "helper" to Adam, but this word does not indicate inferiority. The Hebrew word is used in most cases for God himself, who is a helper to the people in our distress. Eve was not invented to do the work Adam did not want to do - Eve was created to do something that Adam could not do on his own. When Adam saw her, he realized that she was basically the same as he was, a God-given companion (v. 23).

The author ends chapter 2 with a reference to equivalency: "That's why a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and they will be one flesh. And they were both naked, man and his wife, and not ashamed "(v. 24-25). So it was to be God's will, the way it was before sin took the stage. Sex was a divine gift, not something to be ashamed of.

Something went wrong

But now the snake enters the stage. Eve was trying to do something that God had forbidden. She was invited to follow her feelings, to please her, instead of trusting God's direction. "And the woman saw that there was good food to eat from the tree and that he was a pleasure for the eyes and tempting because he made wise. And she took from the fruit and ate and gave her husband who was with her, too, and he ate "(1Mo 3,6).

What went through Adam's mind? 1. Moses gives no information about that. The point of history in 1. Moses is that all people do what Adam and Eve did - we ignore the word of God and do what we like, making excuses. We can blame the devil if we want to, but the sin is still in us. We want to be wise, but we are foolish. We want to be like God, but we are not ready to be as He commands us to be.

What did the tree stand for? The text says nothing more than "the knowledge of good and evil." Is he for experience? Does he stand for wisdom? Whatever he represents, the main point seems to be that he was forbidden and that he was still being eaten. The people had sinned, rebelled against their Creator, and decided to go their own way. They were no longer suitable for the garden, were no longer fit for "the tree of life".

The first result of their sin was a changed view of themselves - they felt that something about their nakedness was wrong (v. 7). After making aprons of fig leaves, they were afraid of being seen by God (v. 10). And they made lazy excuses.

God explained the consequences: Eve would give birth to children, which was part of the original plan, but now in great pain. Adam would cultivate the field, which was part of the original plan, but now under great hardship. And they would die. In fact, they were already dead. "For the day you eat of it, you must die of death" (1Mo 2,17). Her life in unity with God was over. All that remained was mere physical existence, far less than the true life God intended. And yet there was potential for them, for God still had his plans with them.

There would be a fight between the woman and the man. "And your desire shall be for your husband, but he shall be your master" (1Mo 3,16). People who take their affairs into their own hands (as Adam and Eve did) instead of following God's instructions are very likely to have conflicts with each other, and brute force usually prevails. That is the way society is after sin has once entered.

So the stage was ready: the problem that people face is their own, not God's, mistake. He gave them a perfect start, but they messed up and since then, all people have been infected with sin. But despite human sinfulness, humanity continues to be in God's image - battered and dented, we might say, but still the same basic image.

This divine potential still defines who humans are and this brings us to the words of Psalm 8. The Cosmic Commander is still worried about humans because he made them a little bit like himself, and he gave them authority over his creation - an authority they still have. There is still honor, there is still glory even though we are temporarily lower than we should be in God's plan. If our vision is good enough to see this image, it should be praised: "Lord, our ruler, how glorious is your name in all lands" (Ps 8,1, 9). God is praising because he has a plan for us.

Christ, the perfect picture

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, is the perfect image of God (Kol 1,15). He was full of people, and shows us exactly what a human should be: completely obedient, completely trusting. Adam was a type for Jesus Christ (Rom 5,14), and Jesus is called "the last Adam" (1Kor 15,45).

"In him was life, and life was the light of men" (Jn 1,4). Jesus restored the life that was lost through sin. He is the resurrection and the life (Joh 11,25).

What Adam did for physical humanity is what Jesus Christ does for the spiritual revision. He is the starting point of the new humanity, the new creation (2Kor 5,17). In it all will be brought back to life (1Kor 15,22). We are born again. We start again, this time on the right foot. Through Jesus Christ, God creates the new humanity. Sin and death have no power over this new creation (Rom 8,2, 1Kor 15,24-26). The victory was won; the temptation was rejected.

Jesus is the one we trust and the model we should follow (Rom 8,29-35); we are transformed into his image (2Kor 3,18), the image of God. Through faith in Christ, through his ministry in our lives, our imperfections are removed, and we are brought closer to what we should be according to God's will (Eph. 4,13. 24). We move from one glory to another - to a much greater glory!

Of course we do not yet see the picture in all its glory, but we are assured that we will see it. "And as we have borne the image of the earthly [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" [Christ] (1Kor 15,49). Our risen bodies will be like the body of Jesus Christ: glorious, powerful, spiritual, heavenly, everlasting, immortal (v. 42-44).

John put it this way: "Beloved, we are already God's children; but it has not yet become clear what we will be. But we know that when it is revealed, we will be like him; because we will see him as he is. And anyone who has such hope for him, cleans himself as well as that is pure "(1Joh 3,2-3). We do not yet see it, but we know it will happen because we are God's children, and He will realize it. We will see Christ in His glory, and that means that we also have a similar glory, that we are able to see spiritual glory.

Then John adds this personal commentary: "And every one who has such hope in him cleans himself as he is clean." Since we will be like him then, we try to be like him now.

So man is a being on several levels: physical and spiritual. Even the natural man is made in the image of God. No matter how much a person sins, the image is still there, and the person is of tremendous value. God has a purpose and a plan that includes every sinner.

By faith in Christ, a sinner is modeled a new creature, the second Adam, Jesus Christ. In this age we are as physical as Jesus was during His earthly ministry, but we are transformed into the spiritual image of God. This spiritual change is a change of attitude and behavior that is brought about because Christ lives in us and we live by believing in him (Gal 2,20).

When we are in Christ, we will fully bear the image of God in the resurrection. Our minds can not fully understand what that will be, and we do not know exactly what "the spiritual body" will be, but we know it will be wonderful. Our gracious and loving God will bless us with as much as we can enjoy, and we will praise him for all eternity!

What do you see when you look at other people? Do you see the image of God, the potential for greatness, the image of Christ being shaped? Do you see the beauty of God's plan at work by giving mercy to sinners? Do you rejoice that he is redeeming a humanity that has strayed from the right path? Are you enjoying the glory of God's wonderful plan? Do you have eyes to see? This is far more wonderful than the stars. It is far more beautiful than the glorious creation. He has given his word, and it is so, and it is very good.

Joseph Tkach

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