Through the ages philosophers and historians have attempted to understand the nature of our race—it origins, psychological makeup, the purpose of man, why man cannot live in peace, and humanity’s final destiny. Biblical theologians have an infinite advantage in this quest, as the Bible alone supplies the answers. David asked the question, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4). This question by David sums up the many questions which man has concerning his position on earth. Man perceives himself as a higher form of life than the animals, but we are below God in our limited control over events and life span. What is our place and function in the universe? In the following studies, we will examine the Bible’s answers to some of these profound questions.
14-1 How Did Mankind Appear On This Planet?
Our human logic requires a cause for everything, and we are ultimately forced to recognize the first cause—God. He is eternal and self existent. His being and operation are beyond human scientific knowledge and reasoning. The origin of mankind lies with God as the Creator; the ultimate purpose of human existence cannot be discovered or determined by humanity—it must be declared by God Himself.
With respect to such questions, certain biblical truths come forward:
1) Mankind was created by God on the sixth day of creation, in the “image” and “likeness” of God (Genesis 1:26 28). Christ Himself endorsed the truth of this creation account (Matthew 19:4 6).
2) Mankind was fashioned by a creative act of God. Man did not evolve (Genesis 2:7). Not only do we have the Genesis testimony of Moses and the word of Christ about this, but paleontology (the study of prehistoric life by means of fossils) and anthropology (the study of man) have failed to develop a satisfactory scheme by which man could have evolved. The gaps in the fossil record are many and confusing, and there is no tidy scientific theory to explain them. So called “evolution” would require many billions of accidental developments, both simple and complex, involving both man and earth, without a biological engineer’s guidance. It makes more sense to accept God’s Word—that He is in control of biological forces far beyond our grasp, and that He made mankind in the beginning (Psalm 139:14).
3) God placed man on a planet that was biologically prepared to sustain him. Prior to the space journeys of the Voyager and Mariner camera probes, some scientists assured us that primal forms of life would be found on Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn. Years before, basic life forms on the moon had been predicted. All such notions are now abandoned in the face of the bleak, dry, or frozen planetary surfaces. God alone prepared the free oxygen in the air, the running water on the surface, the self sustaining plant life for food, the animal life, the workable minerals of the ground, the freedom from atmospheric poisons, and the acceptable temperature range for ideal human life. (Genesis 1:29 31).
4) Man was given a body fitted for dominion over the planet, as well as for an ideal social and moral life (Genesis 1:27, 28). Such was no evolutionary accident, but the design of an all wise Creator who planned the partner family system for the mutual happiness of men, women, and children (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4 6).
14-2 How Did Mankind Fall, And What Were The Effects?
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (v. 23). All are born in sin because of Adam’s fall (the first sin) in the Garden of Eden. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
1) God gave the first human couple freedom of will, and commanded them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The couple also had the gift of spoken language, which was a part of creation (Genesis 2:16 20; cf. 3:8). It is debated whether this tree had special knowledge giving properties, or whether its use in the test alone gave it these qualities. This test was given amid an abundance of trees good for food. It was simple and direct—a test of the will of humanity to submit, as grateful subordinate creatures, to their all wise, all providing, caring Creator (Genesis 2:16, 17).
2) Satan, already a fallen angelic being, tempted Eve to disobey God (Genesis 3:1 5). Satan, as a spirit, apparently had no physical body, and required one in this instance to communicate with Eve. He used the body of an animal to speak with her.
3) Eve was lured by Satan through
a) her lingering near the forbidden place;
b) her talking with the tempter;
c) his quotation of half truths, and misquotation of God’s Word (Genesis 3:1 6).
These ingredients of temptation are still available to Satan today.
4) Adam fell with Eve. The Bible explains this as the fall of the human race, naming Adam as the head of the race. Neither Genesis 3:6 nor any other verse in the entire Bible excuses Adam because he fell after Eve’s fall (1 Timothy 2:14).
5) The sin of Adam and Eve brought down the future human race with them. Mankind fell in Adam (Romans 5:12 19). This is the uniform testimony of
a) the Genesis account (Genesis 3:16 4:9);
b) the Old Testament (Psalm 14:1 3);
c) the New Testament (1 Corinthians 15:22);
d) all human experience through ages of unremedied violence, misery, and suffering.
6) With the entrance of sin into the human race came its companion, suffering (Genesis 3:15 4:8). Death suffering, the will to do evil, and the inability to stop sinning, all came as a result of the Fall. The corruption of the earth—its vegetation with thorns and thistles, and the carnivorous nature of wild beasts—resulted from the Fall. The grief and suffering in the world was typified at once, by the first children of Adam and Eve, when Cain murdered Abel. Murder has continued unabated to the present day.
14-3 What Is God’s Purpose For Mankind?
God’s eternal purposes for His creatures are manifold. Since the fall of man, His redemptive purposes are accomplished primarily in those who have been saved. His purpose for man can be seen often by biblically commanded duties:
1) Love God. Verse 5 sums up man’s duty to God in words given the highest reverence through the ages in Scripture: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).
2) Love one another. Christ endorsed verse 5 as the great commandment of man’s duty to God. He also showed that this first great commandment implied a second: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39; cf. Leviticus 19:18). This was not a new purpose in the mind of God for mankind, since He had already given the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stone (Deuteronomy 5:22). While commandments one through four stood for man’s duties toward God, commandments five through ten stood for man’s duties to his fellowman.
We are also to:
1) Have joy. The psalmist said, “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). Christ wished for His disciples “that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). This joy, however, comes from being in God’s place of blessing and in doing His will (Psalm 40:8).
2) Glorify God. “And you shall glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15).
3) Worship Him in holiness. “All nations… shall come and worship before You” (Psalm 86:9). Worship incorporates adoration, submission, sincere praise, and a concurrence of the heart, soul, and mind of the One being worshiped.
4) Subdue the earth. “God blessed them, and God said…’Fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish.’…And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food” (Genesis 1:28, 29).
5) Love and honor the Son as the Father. “That all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father” (John 5:23). “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
14-4 What Does The Bible Teach About Race?
(Genesis 10:1 5)
“From these the coast land peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands” (v. 5). The gradual spread of humanity over the globe, and its division into races, is shown in its major parts by the Bible. Other questions remain for us to search out. Through the centuries some persons have uttered both unbiblical and frequently hate filled declarations on racial issues. The believer must, however, seek the light of Christ and the Bible as his or her guide, and reject the false pronouncements of all others.
1) All mankind originated from a single God created pair. “Eve…was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Some anthropologists today, although not Bible believers, acknowledge that all humans are derived from an original pair. The Bible clearly states that this is so. Man did not evolve originally on different continents from separate, related human couples, thus producing the races. Neither did the races originate by interbreeding between human and animal. No, all people, according to the Scriptures, came from our first parents.
2) Early men lived long lives and had many children. Genesis 5 and 11 supply the early genealogy lists, which very likely are purposely abbreviated, as is the genealogy in Matthew 1:1: “Jesus Christ, the Son of David [1000 B.C.], the Son of Abraham [2000 B.C.].” Note that in Genesis 5, from Adam to the Flood, many men were commonly living 900 years. In Genesis 11, after the Flood, until Abraham (2000 B.C.), life spans are shown declining steadily from 600 to 150 years.
3) After the Flood, migrations populated the world. “For in his days the earth was divided” (Genesis 10:25). The above verse may speak of a period of great human migration, or of a period of geologic type changes on the land masses of the earth. If all humans could descend from one original pair, then they could also descend after the Flood from three pairs—the sons of Noah and their wives. Genesis 10 and 11 record these early migrations.
14-5 What Are The Various States Of Man With God?
“Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they [men and women] have sought out many schemes [for evil intent]” (v. 29). This verse describes the condition of man, before and after Adam fell through disobedience to God. Man’s condition has clearly changed since Creation, particularly in his relationship with God:
1) Adam before the Fall. Theologians have agreed that Adam was not neutral, but was in an original (though untested and unconfirmed) state of righteousness. In his state of innocence he was disposed to do good, with no desire to do evil. He was created perfect, but not a robot.
2) Man after the Fall. When Adam fell, and death entered into the world (Romans 5:12), Adam acquired a sinful nature which was inherited by all generations (Romans 3:9 19). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
3) Redeemed man. Saved man, at the new birth, is now judged legally righteous by God on the basis of Christ’s substitutionary death (John 3:5 18). Through the Holy Spirit, who now dwells in the believer (Romans 8:9), he can resist sin. However, the rudiments of the sinful “old nature” still indwell the personality, and so even saved people can sin. A struggle exists between the two natures (Romans 7:14 25). When Christians allow the old nature to dominate their lives, they become part of the group Paul termed as “carnal” (1 Corinthians 3:3).
4) Glorified man. In heaven, and then in the New Jerusalem, the saints, in their eternal state (like Christ), will be unable to sin by virtue of their glorified (perfect state of holiness (1 John 3:1, 2).
14-6 What Is The Final Destiny Of Man?
Man’s final destiny is death if he chooses the way that seems right to him, as Isaiah said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Man’s way is the broad way, the way of least resistance, a road that narrows down to destruction—eternal separation from God (Matthew 7:13).
Man’s final destiny is life if he chooses God’s way, which is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life” (Matthew 7:14). Then He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). He is God’s only way to eternal life (Acts 4:12).
1) Christ will come soon to establish righteousness on earth, to judge the wicked, and to inaugurate His millennial (thousand year) kingdom (Matthew 25:31 46; Revelation 20:1 10).
2) The lost of all the ages will be cast into the lake of fire, which was prepared for the Devil and his angels (Revelation 20:11 15).
3) The earth, where man dwells, shall burn with such intense fire that the elements themselves will melt. A new world shall be established, clean and ready for its redeemed population (2 Peter 3:10 13).
4) The saved of all the ages will live forever
a) on the new earth and in the New Jerusalem, in a world of total righteousness, in which there is no death (Revelation 21:1 22:5; cf. Psalm 23:6);
b) in a world of sinless happiness and bliss (Revelation 21:4; 22:1 5).
c) in the presence of God and the Lamb, who is Christ (Revelation 21:22 24; 22:3 5).
Master Outline 14 – What the Bible Teaches About Man
 Where can we find the answers to the questions of man’s origins, Psychological makeup, etc.?
 Who is the ultimate force that man must recognize?
 God is _______________________, ________________________ and His
____________________ And ___________________ are beyond human scientific knowledge and reasoning.
 The ultimate purpose of human existence cannot be determined or discovered by humanity; it must be what?
 Mankind was fashioned by a ____________________________ act of God.
 What seven (7) things did God do when he placed man on Planet Earth?
 Are all born in sin because of Adam’s fall? YES or NO. Explain.
 God gave the first human couple what?
 What three (3) things did Satan use to lure Eve?
 What is the companion of sin?
 What six (6) things come with the fall?
 What was God’s two – fold eternal purpose for man?
 What other five (5) things did God eternally ordain for man?
 All mankind originated from a single God- created pair. TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 Early men lived long and had many children? TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 When man was first created perfect was he a robot? Explain.
 Explain the “redeemed man.”
 Explain the “glorified man.”
 What is man’s final destiny without God?
 What is man’s final destiny with God?