We cannot help but marvel at the
wonders of the creation - the boundless universe and the countless stars, the
birds of the air, the beasts and insects of the earth, the fish and creatures
of the sea, and the numerous varieties of plants which exude fragrance and bear
nutritious fruits, each according to its season. God provides all these not
only as everyday sources of food but also as objects to please the eyes and
relax the mind. If man only realizes that he is more valuable than all these,
then he will have self-esteem and self-respect, desiring a virtuous life.
Otherwise he will resign himself to a hopeless life.
The Bible states: “the Lord God
formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath
of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen 2:7). “Let us make man in our
image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and
over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” (Gen 1:26). “Behold, I
have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the
earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”
(Gen 1:29). Clearly, man is created by God after His own image to rule over the
If man realizes this, he will
understand how noble he is and that he is in an exalted position. However,
those who believe in Darwin’s
theory of evolution, think that they evolved from monkeys.
But there is a great distinction
between man and animals. Man has a soul. When God created man, He used earth to
form the physical body and then, breathed into him so that he became a living
soul. Hence, man is composed of two parts, namely, the physical body and the
spirit. The physical body belongs to the earth. The spirit belongs to God. The
Bible records: “and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit
returns to God who gave it.” (Eccl 12:7).
The Lord Jesus tells us, “Man
shall not live by bread (material things) alone, but by every word that
proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4). He further said, “It is the spirit
that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have
spoken to you are spirit and life.” (Jn 6:63).
Therefore, the worth of man lies not in the physical but rather in the
spiritual. That is why Paul says, “I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom
of God, nor does the
perishable inherit the imperishable.” (1 Cor 15:50).
The physical body will die, decay and turn to dust (Ps 89:48; Gen 3:19). But
the spirit of man is given by God. It is imperishable and indestructible (Job
It was Christ who pointed out the
worth of man: “For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and
forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” (Mt
16:26). Paul also states, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to
show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Cor 4:7). To Christ, even the whole world cannot be
exchanged for a life. It’s a pity that many do not realize how precious their
souls are. They are ruled by their base impulses, performing evil and unclean
deeds, fornication, greed, hatred, jealousy, murder, incest, blasphemy,
insolence, etc (Rom 1:18-3 1). The worth of man is not determined by their
status in life but by their inner self (2 Pet 1:4).
We have mentioned previously that
man has two kinds of life - the physical life from our parents and the
spiritual life which is not from our parents. The spiritual life is the breath
that is given by God, enabling the spirit to have eternal life. In order to
receive eternal life and to be reconciled with God as His children, we must
first believe in Jesus Christ, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit. Then
only can we be considered as born again in the Lord Jesus Christ and have the
living hope of salvation for the soul. Peter teaches: “Repent, and be baptized
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you
and to your children and to all that are afar off, every one whom the Lord our
God calls to him.” (Ac 2:38, 39). Man must, therefore, repent first of his
sins, receive baptism for the forgiveness of sins, then pray for the Holy
Spirit which is the guarantee of our inheritance and salvation (Eph 1:13, 14).
In this manner, through baptism, the old self was put to death and buried with
Christ, then raised again to walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:3,4). The reborn
man is unlike the former walking dead which, like dead bones, has no spiritual life. Receiving the Holy Spirit is like
receiving the breath of God, enabling our spirit to live eternally. The Bible
teaches, “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives
me life.” (Job 33:4). Thus, we are restored to the positions of children of
God. Since we are sons of God, God will send the spirit of sonship
into our hearts to bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and therefore, heirs of God (Rom 8:16, 17; Gal 4:6, 7).
From the above teachings, we may
conclude that the worth and status of man do not depend on a few decades of
life and fortune but rather on the eternal spiritual life. Those who died in
the Lord shall be resurrected at His coming (1 Cor
15:20-22). Those who are born again and are waiting for the second coming of
the Lord Jesus Christ shall have their physical bodies transformed into
spiritual bodies and be taken up into heaven (1 Thes
4:16, 17; Phil 3:20, 21). This is the greatest need and hope of the human race.