Foundation Stones of the Faith Mankind: God’s Perspective
Intro: A little boy went to his mother and asked, “Mommy, where did I come from?” She stammered and hemmed and hawed for several minutes and finally explained in great detail the story of human pro-creation. The boy looked at her again and said, “No, Mommy, I don’t mean that. My friend Jimmy is from Chicago. Where did I come from?”
There are three basic questions that all people ask in one way or another:
- Where did I come from?
- Where am I going?
- Why am I here?
Dr. Emil Brunner says that people prefer to answer these questions about themselves apart from the word of God. “He either thinks of himself in naturalistic terms, which provide him with convenient excuses, or he sees himself in a romantic idealistic light.” (Dogmatics II, p. 47)
Does our view of man really matter? Brunner points out that incorrect views of man have led to liberalism, totalitarianism and communism.
Only as we look into God’s word can we see mankind in an honest light. Only as we look into the word of God can we find the answers to the ultimate questions of man’s origin and direction. As we look into the word of God today, we will see man as God sees him. This will help us relate to God properly and to minister to the people of our world compassionately.
Please join me in examining God’s word as we see mankind from God’s perspective.
Mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation.
The Bible clearly teaches that God created all that is, but we see that God did something special in the creation of man.
Genesis 1:26-27. God created man in his own image. Since God is spirit and does not have a body, this image relates to man’s inner being. Herschel Hobbs says, “This divine image means that God created man with a rational, emotional, and moral nature.” (BF&M, p. 51) Man was created to have a relationship with God, which begins in man’s inner being (his soul and spirit) and works itself out in every aspect of man’s life.
NAS Psalm 8:5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty!
Man was created a little lower than God and the angels.
Artists are very creative people. Ask any artist which of his works is his favorite and you will find that he has a definite choice. The artist might have to deliberate for some time before giving you an answer, but most will be able to point to a particular work as their favorite.
God doesn’t have to deliberate over his favorite creation. He clearly tells us the human race is his favorite and greatest creation.
Mankind has a problem with sin.
Genesis 2:16-17. When God created man he placed him in a paradise garden. God gave him “the run of the place” with only one negative command. God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Here we see God giving Adam a moral choice. He could choose to obey and live or he could choose to disobey and die.
Genesis 3:1-7. Adam and Eve were tempted and they both sinned. They failed the moral test.
Dr. Stevens give this description of man’s fall into sin:
Man died spiritually with his fatal choice. His moral likeness to God was lost. His original righteousness was no more. Intellect, affections, and will became depraved and thwarted, turning inwardly toward self rather upward toward God. All his powers became depraved, for he had become spiritually dead. His plight was truly pathetic in the extreme. He had sought to become a god, and had become a slave. He had sought independence and had lost his freedom. Once he had walked with God, seeing all things with God’s perspective. Now, supremely conscious of himself, he saw all things relative to his own selfish interests. From a paramount love for God he turned to a paramount love for his own ego. Seeking status he had found only ruin. (Stevens, p. 144)
NIV Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Since the day Adam and Eve sinned, all people have been born with a sinful nature. We have a spiritual DNA of sin, but we also choose to sin.
Since the day Adam and Eve chose to sin, the image of God in man has been marred but not obliterated.
We can see the results of sin at work throughout human history:
- Adolf Hitler. He tried to conquer the world by force.
- Richard Nixon. He thought he was above the law.
- The nightly news. This week we have heard of ______________________ .
We have all been infected by sins of thought, word, and deed, but the good news is that this is not the end of the human story.
(Mankind is the pinnacle of creation. Mankind has a problem with sin.)
Mankind has potential through Christ.
People tend to have two views of the human race:
- Some believe people will one day soon solve all of the problems of the world and live in peace and harmony.
- Others believe there is no hope for the human race because we are inherently evil and can’t be helped.
The good news is that God has given us his grace so that we might be saved. A popular definition of grace is: “God giving us his undeserved love and mercy.” Dr. William Hendricks adds this to that popular definition: “Grace is the possibility that things can be different.”
When I worked in a drug rehab program in 1971, I learned that there is little hope for a drug addict outside of Christ. As a Christian pastor, I know that there is no hope for a sinner outside of Christ.
Look at the possibilities for people in Christ:
NAS 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
God does a new act of creation in our hearts when we turn to Jesus Christ.
In the 1970’s a young man in a Caribbean prison heard the gospel on a radio program called, “The Baptist Hour.” He gave his life to Christ and became a new person. He became a preacher and started a real revival in that Caribbean prison. Sadly, he died in prison, but he also realized his great potential in Christ.
Conclusion: What you think about yourself and others will determine how you live and relate to other people.
Some people believe the world is doomed because of the evil that dwells in the human race.
Others believe we can make our world a great place to live if we just work together on the problems facing us.
The Bible teaches us about the sin that is in the world, but it also teaches us how to deal with that evil.
- Each of us must be transformed by faith in Jesus Christ.
- We must learn to live the Jesus life. We learn that life from God’s word as taught by God’s people. When we learn to live the Jesus life, we will truly become salt and light in a world that needs transformation.
©Copyright Rik Danielsen 2018
For personal use only. If you want to use any or all of this material for group Bible Study or Sermons, please give credit where credit is due. No part of this material may be republished either in print or electronically without the written permission of Dr. Rik Danielsen. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foundation Stones of the Faith Mankind: God’s Perspective Genesis 1:26-28