What is humankind?

(Psalm 8:4 NRSV) what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

When King David wrote this, he had the same question in his heart on which we all meditate on from time to time. “Who/what am I”?

Who/what was the first human?

(The Bible calls him, ADAM. This means ‘of the red earth’).

When God created Adam, He made him a living soul. A being made in the likeness of God, Adam was triune in nature. He had a SPIRIT, a SOUL and a BODY. His spirit gave life to his soul and his soul had rule over his body. His spirit was a channel through which God’s life flowed into Adam. His soul enjoyed this beautiful relationship with God and his body in turn received health and strength from the Creator.

(Gen 1:26-27 NRSV) Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to 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 wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” [27] So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
(Gen 2:7 NRSV) then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.
(1 Cor 15:45 NRSV) Thus it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

BODY. Formed from ____ (n.b. the man’s name)

SPIRIT. Breathed into him by ____ .

SOUL. The spirit brought to life Adam’s soul (soul is mind, personality, etc.)

Adam disobeyed (and Eve also)

After Adam and Eve sinned they received the death nature. They accepted this into their beings through disobedience and so became cut off from God’s fellowship. The life of God no longer flowed in their spirits. Spiritual death began to work in them. They wanted to hide from God, fear came into their hearts, guilt and inferiority took over their thinking and attitudes.

Gen. 3:7-10 ……………………………………………………

Gen. 3:17-24 …………………………………………………..

From the moment of sinning Adam (and Eve) went on as a persons dominated by the carnal nature. Their spirits had influence as before. The difference was that now this spirit no longer administered life, its ministration brought death into the soul of Adam & Eve. The soul life was polluted and so its nature fought against the nature of the divine spirit. The downward path of eternal separation from God had begun for Adam and his seed. (All of humankind) (Gen. 4:5-6; Gen. 4:8-9.; James 1:13-16).

Explanatory Note: It is interesting to note that the great problems of humankind in the present day spring from fear, guilt and inferiority.

Humankind after Adam’s disobedience

The Bible teaches that there is not one person who is born righteous. There is not one who understands the right way; no one seeks to know God. All have turned away, they have become worthless. Sin entered the world through one person, and death through sin. By one person’s disobedience, all became sinners, since all inherited the sin condition through the seed of inheritance. This is the state of all humankind without Christ.

(Rom 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
(Rom 5:12 NIV) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all humankind, because all sinned …

(Rom 5:19 NIV) For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Humankind today without Christ

The bible speaks of such men/women as being unsaved. They are still spirit, soul and body but in them is the seed from Adam that includes the death nature.

(Eph 2:1-3 NIV) As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

The soul life of these people has headship over spirit and body and operates in the way of the law of sin and death.

(James 1:14-15 NIV) but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown,gives birth to death.

Personal reality for each unsaved person is centred in the soul life. The sin nature dominates and their life expresses the power of the soul. The unredeemed spirit influences the soul (mind, personality) and the works of the flesh are portrayed as desirable goals.

So it is that from the unsaved person’s spirit containing the sin nature (Satan’s will and domination, the death principle) The soul leads the body into a life of enmity towards God.

Explanatory Note: The forgoing can be confusing. An example might be the unredeemed person intent upon “having a good time” The unredeemed spirit quickly deals with the uneasy feelings about “should I or shouldn’t I”. Of course it’s all right. Go for it. With this dulling of the conscience it becomes very desirable to sleep with your partner before marriage, get into the booze, try “Ecstasy”, smoke, and live in a loose fashion. The mind/personality/soul easily takes up arguments such as, “How else will you know what life is all about.” From this position the rejection of God is a simple step.

Humankind today in Christ

In the saved state, reality as a person is centred in the spirit life. This new life now has the righteous nature of Christ. The righteous spirit is to rule over the soul. It takes headship over the soul life and over the body. A person begins to live by the guidance of Christ within.

(John 3:6 NIV) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
(John 4:24 NIV) God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
(Rom 1:9 NIV) God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you
(Rom 8:9 NIV) You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
(Rom 8:16 NIV) The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

When a person accepts Jesus as saviour they become different from the first human, Adam. The second Adam (Jesus) as a quickening Spirit changes the saved person. They are born again as quickened spirits. This spirit nature becomes the centre of the personality and the newly alive spirit is the ruling power in the person’s life.

As with the “original” Adamic state God’s life flows into the redeemed spirit of such born again people. The newly alive spirit takes rulership and flows life into the soul and into the body.

Who is the real you?

Remember the real you is your SPIRIT NATURE. Before you accepted Jesus as Lord the carnal realm was your life space. Now you walk in the spirit realm.

(Rom 6:5-6 NIV) If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. [6] For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin …
(1 Cor 15:45 NIV) So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam,
a life-giving spirit
(2 Pet 1:4 NIV). Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

(Much has been said and argued about when, where and what constituted the “first” man. Especially “when”. Please avoid this controversy at this stage. We can reasonably suggest that there was a “first human” somewhere. This triune being it is contended, was Adam. Somewhere at some time God the Creator decided to make such a creature in His own image. How God did this is not part of our present discussion although it will be an interesting subject for later research.)