What is humankind? (Tutor notes)

(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 that 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’).

The name Adam also has the connotation “humankind” a sense in which it occurs in the Old Testament 500 times. There is argument to suggest that using the idea of humankind in reference to Adam has much to support it from an etymological point of view. When the noun appears with the definite article (ha’adam) it should be translated as a proper noun rather than a name. Note that in the creation story the article is used in all but three cases. Gen. 1:26; 2:5; and 2:20.

The most significant thing that causes humanity to be different to the animals is being made in the likeness of God. NOT incidentally, if he evolved from apes or did not so evolve. Hence the footnote below.

Much has been said and argued about the subject of 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 being, it is contended, was Adam. Somewhere at sometime 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.)

Note: Adam was not to be idle, but “to work it” (abad) is commonly used to describe labour.

Interesting to consider that Adam gave names to all the animals, which is quite a feat of intelligence.

Some thought might be given to the triune nature of God and how this could relate to humankind’s “in the image of God” condition.

Adam disobeyed (and Eve also)

The basis for the sin was transgression. This meant the repudiation of God’s authority, doubt of His goodness, dispute with His wisdom, rejection of His justice, contradiction of His veracity and the spurning of His grace. Such is the basis for sin to this day.

Sin elicits God’s wrath, and necessarily so, because sin is a contradiction of what He is. For God to be complacent towards sin is an impossibility. He cannot deny Himself.

Humankind after Adam’s disobedience

This is a very big subject. Tutors who wish to pursue this might consider the reasons for the appearance of death, imputation Rom5:12-19; depravity Mk7:20-23; inability to be righteous John 3:3-8 and liability (wrath of God).

Humankind today without Christ/ in Christ

A possible field for discussion might be to investigate the thought, “How does one give continued strength to the renewed spirit?”

Who is the real you?

Remember the real you is your SPIRIT NATURE. Before you accepted Jesus as Lord the soul realm was you. Now you walk in the spirit realm (1 Cor. 15:45; Rom. 6:5-6; 2 Pet. 1:4).