does man come from?
created by God: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He
created him; male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27). He granted man
special wisdom and authority over the rest of His creation: “For every kind of
beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed
by mankind” (Jas 3:7; cf. Gen 1:26).
Q2 How did God make him?
man from the dust of the earth (Gen 2:7) and breathed into him the breath of
life which turned him into a living being (Gen 2:7). The Bible indicates that,
aside from a physical body, man also has a spirit and a soul (Job 32:8; Zech 12:1; 1 Cor 2:11; 1 Thess 5:23; Heb 4:12).
Q3 Which is more important: the body or the soul?
we cannot see it, the soul is infinitely more precious than the physical body.
Jesus says, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt
10:28). Apostle Paul adds, “While we do not look at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are
temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18). Here, the
things “which are not seen [and] are eternal” include our soul.
Q4 What happens when we die?
of Ecclesiastes says, “For the living know that they will die; but the dead
know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is
forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun” (Eccl 9:5–6). Death
marks the end of a person’s physical existence and is when his spirit returns
to God (Eccl 12:7). Importantly, the soul of one who is saved is taken by
angels to paradise (Lk 16:22; 23:43). In contrast, the soul of the sinner goes
to Hades to await judgment (Lk 16:23, 28); in the future, he will undergo a
second death (Rev 21:8).
Q5 Is the soul conscious after death?
Bible leads us to understand that the soul is conscious after death. For
example, it records:
• the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, where Lazarus was
taken by angels to Abraham to be comforted (Lk 16:22, 25), while the rich man
went to Hades, where he experienced torment and pain (Lk 16:23–24).
• the souls of martyred saints crying out, “How long, O Lord,
holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the
earth?” (Rev 6:10).
telling the robber before they both died, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you
will be with Me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).
Q6 What is death?
“death” refers to three things:
• Death of the body. This occurs when the
spirit of a person leaves the physical body—the moment he breathes his last
(Gen 35:29; Ps 146:4).
• Death of the soul. This refers to the
separation of a person from the life of God (Eph 4:18). Hence, a person can be
physically alive, but be spiritually dead (Lk 9:60; 1 Tim 5:6). This type of
death originated when our ancestors, Adam and Eve, sinned against God in the garden of Eden by eating the forbidden fruit. God had warned
them, saying, “...For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen
2:17). After they sinned, their physical bodies did not perish immediately—for
we know that Adam lived up to the age of 930 years (Gen 5:5); however, they
lost their spiritual lives there and then. This type of death is more serious
because it leads to eternal condemnation.
• Eternal punishment. This means being
separated from God for eternity. The Bible describes what will happen when
Jesus comes again: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know
God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord
and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess 1:8–9). This verse talks about the
second death, whereby sinners will be thrown into the fiery lake of brimstone
(Rev 21:8)—a place that has also been prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt
25:41; Rev 20:10). This lake signifies eternal punishment (Mt 25:46), where the
“worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mk 9:48). Hence, the writer
of Hebrews remarks, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living
God” (Heb 10:31).
Q7 Why does everyone have to die?
reason is that Adam and Eve sinned against God when they chose to listen to the
devil in the garden of Eden. The consequences for them
and for mankind were sin and death.
Bible speaks of the following:
• The spread of sin and death: “For as by
one man’s disobedience many were made sinners...” (Rom 5:19); “Therefore, just
as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death
spread to all men,
because all sinned” (Rom 5:12); “For the wages of sin is death...” (Rom 6:23).
• The outcome for mankind: “For as in Adam
all die…” (1 Cor 15:22); “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after
this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).
• The end of death: “Then Death and Hades
were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Rev 20:14).
permeated the world to affect everyone, meaning that man is ungodly by nature
(Rom 4:5) and his “righteousnesses are like filthy
rags” (Isa 64:6). No one is inherently good or immune from sin (Eccl 7:20; Rom
3:10–12; 1 Jn 1:8).
Q8 What is sin?
describes sin as a spiritual illness (Lk 5:31–32) brought upon mankind through
the actions of our first ancestors (Gen 3). Hence, the Bible is filled with
lamentations about the fallen nature of man: “Behold, I was brought forth in
iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5); “…The imagination of
man’s heart is evil from his youth...” (Gen 8:21); “The heart is deceitful
above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer 17:9); “The
wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born,
speaking lies” (Ps 58:3); “Truly, this only I have found: that God made man
upright, but they have sought out many schemes” (Eccl 7:29).
Paul describes the manifestation of sin:
And even as they did not like to retain God in
their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which
are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,
wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness;
they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters,
inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy,
unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God,
that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same
but also approve of those who practice them.
believing in Christ, many of us would have been guilty of such conduct, living
“in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the
mind, and [being] by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Eph 2:3).
Bible also describes sin as a breakdown of man’s relationship with God. It is
characterized by his:
• Separation from God: “But now in Christ
Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ”
(Eph 2:13); “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life
of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their
heart” (Eph 4:18).
• Resistance to God: “The kings of the
earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord
and against His Anointed…” (Ps 2:2); “Who is a liar but he who denies that
Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son” (1 Jn
2:22); “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked
• Testing of God: “Yet they tested and
provoked the Most High God, and did not keep His testimonies” (Ps 78:56); “But
Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, ‘Why do you test Me,
you hypocrites?’ ” (Mt 22:18).
• Blasphemy: “...I [i.e. Paul] was
formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man…” (1 Tim 1:13); “Then
[the beast] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name,
His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” (Rev 13:6).
• Neglect of God: “The wicked shall be
turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps 9:17).
• Straying from God: “All we like sheep
have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has
laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:6).
• Hate of light and love of darkness: “And
this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone
practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds
should be exposed” (Jn 3:19–20).
• Gratification of lusts: “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived,
serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and
hating one another” (Tit 3:3).
• Conformity to the world: “And you He
made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according
to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph 2:1–2); “Adulterers
and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with
God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy
of God” (Jas 4:4).
• Lack of hope: “...At that time you were
without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from
the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph
2:12); “…If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’ ”
(1 Cor 15:32).
• Enslavement to sin: “…Those who through
fear of death were all their lifetime subject to
bondage” (Heb 2:15); “Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you,
whoever commits sin is a slave of sin’ ” (Jn 8:34); “We know that we are
of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 Jn 5:19).
• Being under the shadow of judgment: “And
as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb
the Bible points out that the failure to believe in Jesus Christ is one of the
gravest sins: “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he
who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the
testimony that God has given of His Son” (1 Jn 5:10); “He who believes in Him
is not condemned; but he who does not believe is
condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten
Son of God” (Jn 3:18); “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he
who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on
him” (Jn 3:36).
Bible calls Jesus the “true Light which gives light to every man who comes into
the world” (Jn 1:9). However, mankind is condemned when it chooses to remain in
darkness: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the
world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil”
(Jn 3:19); “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not
comprehend it” (Jn 1:5).
Q9 Can a person change his own sinful ways?
an inextricable part of human nature; a person cannot free himself from it—at
least, not through his own means or effort. Apostle Paul, for example, sums up
an internal struggle—a struggle of conscience—that we are all familiar with:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh)
nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is
good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I
will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no
longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
is, mankind is under the bondage of sin (Rom 7:14), and the whole world is
under the control of the devil (Jn 14:30). Only our merciful God has the power
to save us (Mt 1:21), deliver us from the pending wrath (1 Thess 1:10) and
bring us safely into His heavenly kingdom (2 Tim 4:18).
Q10 Why did God allow man to sin in the first place?
initially created man, he was good (Gen 1:31): he had the image of God (Gen
1:27) and a pure conscience. He also had free will and the responsibility for
his own actions. In this way, we see that God never intended man to be a
machine compelled to do His bidding. Rather, He showed man what was good and
right (Mic 6:8), explained the consequences of
disobedience (Gen 2:16–17), and expected the best from him. Sadly, man abused
his freedom and, in doing so, fell short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).
did He plant the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden?
God created man, evil already existed in the form of the fallen angel, Satan.
The latter’s downfall was due to pride and rebellion (Isa 14:12). Wanting Adam
to understand the existence of evil and temptation, God planted the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil and commanded him not to eat from it. By obeying and
resisting, Adam and Eve would have demonstrated their faithfulness and
allegiance to God.
Satan made use of the crafty serpent to tempt Eve. After she succumbed, she led
her husband to sin likewise (Gen 3:1–6). From that time, man lost both his
glory and spiritual life. Moreover, sin entered into the world, with the
consequence that mankind has been inclined towards evil ever since.
Q12 How can we be saved from sin?
saved, we need to acknowledge that we are sinners (Lk 5:8); have a sinful
nature that needs to be renewed
(Eph 4:22–24); are spiritually dead (Lk 9:60; Eph 2:5); and need to be
reconciled to God (Rom 5:10; 8:7; Col 1:21). When we do this, God will grant us
the following through Jesus Christ:
• Forgiveness: “...I [i.e. Jesus] now send
you [i.e. Paul], to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light,
and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins
and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts
• Reconciliation: “Therefore, having been
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom
• Renewal: “Therefore, if anyone is in
Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things
have become new” (2 Cor 5:17).
• Life: “But these are written that you
may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you
may have life in His name” (Jn 20:31).
Q13 What is God’s will for us?
“ ‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘vanity of
vanities, all is vanity’ ” (Eccl 1:2). This truth applies to everyone:
rich or poor, famous or obscure. Life is fleeting, and the end is death: “As
for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no
more” (Ps 103:15–16); “Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they
busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather
them” (Ps 39:6).
these words, we are reminded to shift our focus beyond our temporary earthly
existence: we must find salvation for our soul. Hence, Jesus says, “For what is
a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what
will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mt 16:26). To gain eternal life, we
should believe in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:15–16), obey His gospel (Acts 2:38–39; 2
Thess 1:8) and keep His commandments
(Mt 19:17). These matters constitute God’s gracious will for us.
True Jesus Church.