Who is man? What is man? There are many agencies and individuals who are continuing to study man and his behavior to determine his origin, makeup and destiny. But they cannot arrive at a satisfactory conclusion unless they take the Bible's evaluation into consideration. Man is not merely a product of his environment. There may be varying details, but one concept relegates man's beginning to chance and evolutionary processes. The other declares that man is the result of a direct creative act of God. What are the facts? Let the Word of God speak for itself.
The Word of God declares that God determined to bring man into existence, and consequently formed man by an act of creation from the dust of the ground, breathed into him and man became a living soul, distinct and separate from the rest of His creation.
This creation in God's image and likeness would not indicate physical likeness. God is not man, but rather basically spirit. Further, God created mankind male and female, distinctly different in physical structure. If the likeness referred to is physical in nature, what form is it - male or female? Man, however is not merely physical. Man has personality, a spiritual dimension, and is pictured as having continuing existence. These latter characteristics are evident in mankind whether male or female. Man's original condition was a high and elevated one having been thus created in the image and likeness of God.
Matthew 25:46; Genesis 2:19-20
Man was created a moral agent and therefore with the capacity of choice. If this had not been provided it would have constituted a violation of the moral freedom that was part of having been created in the image and likeness of God. The period of probation was that period of time during which man was subjected to a test. This test consisted of a specific command from God concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The result would be either continued favor for obedience to that command or death for disobedience.
Man was not created a sinner, but sin did enter the world of men because of his own voluntary choice. The length of time of man's innocence is not known and is not really important. It was long enough to prove that he was capable of obedience and of disobedience. That fact that the fall did take place is clearly shown. Since the entire human race was potentially created in Adam he became the representative, and his fall constituted the fall of the whole race.
The instrument of temptation to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit was satan. Thus, the temptation actually came from without and not from within man. Satan disguised himself and thus enticed Eve to disobey God. Several steps can be traced in this enticement.
1 Timothy 2:14; Romans 5:16-19
The results of disobedience for Adam and Eve became evident immediately, and have continued to the present time. They were gripped with a sense of shame, Genesis 3:7; they were afraid of God, Genesis 3:8-10; they were expelled from the garden, Genesis 3:23-24. God's response is gratifying and filled with grace and mercy. He rejected their own attempt at covering their shame by making coats of skin for them. This required the shedding of blood Genesis 3:7,21. God did not stay away even though it was man who had disobeyed His command. God cam looking for man to bring him back to Himself and to fellowship restored. Genesis 3:8-9. Sentence was passed thus dealing with sin, and a promise of a Redeemer was given who would destroy the works of the tempter, satan. Genesis 3:15.
The results of the fall were not confined to Adam and Eve. The ground was cursed so that it would not yield as it was intended to. Genesis 3:17-19. Man would have his life marked by laborious toil, and woman would experience sorrow and pain in childbirth and was put in subjection to man. Genesis 3:16. All members of the human race are brought under the penalty of sin and resulting condemnation as a a result of the fall. Romans 3:19; 5:12. The fall has also resulted in physical and spiritual death here and now, and brings on the possibility of eternal death. Genesis 2:17: Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:12-15. Unsaved people are also captives of sin and satan, are considered as the children of the devil, and cannot deliver themselves. 1 John 3:8-10; Ephesians 2:3; John 8:44; John 8:33-35