Who Is Man?

Babies and Culture Wars

My wife just gave birth to our third son and it has caused me to think much on the nature of who we are as humans. What makes the birth of human being so remarkable? Why is it that families and friends unite and celebrate the addition of life to families? With our busy schedules we can easily lose contact with loved ones and friends but when a baby is born, we go out of our way to congratulate one another and to see this new life.

Many of the culture wars today rages around the question, “Who are these little ones ?” and “Who am I?” Answers vary from one extreme to the other. Some say that we are matter and nothing more. Others will go so far to say that we are our own gods. God teaches us from the Scriptures that we are dirt, but that we are dirt created, formed, and breathed into by God to be His image bearers. The biblical view of man leads us to live a life of glorious and confident humility.

We Are Dirt

The temporal nature of our bodies is all too evident when we bury our loved ones. Those who were alive just days before have to embalmed to slow the decomposing process or cremated into a pile of ash. The Bible teaches us that we are dirt. Genesis 3:7a says, “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground.” This truth keeps us humble. We must recognize that although God has called us to exercise dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:28) this dominion authority has been given to us by the One who has all dominion. We are created. We are not God.

We Are Image Bearers of God

The eternal nature of our souls is demonstrated through the beauty of music and art, through engineering and trade. There is something vastly different between man and nature. How does a being created by dirt create music that can seemingly lift us above the earth? It is because although we are dirt, we are much more. We are created in the image of God. “Then God said, ‘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 heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27) The truth that we are image bearers of God teaches us to live gloriously confident lives. We were not created to live a life of waste. We are not called to passively peruse through life but to create, learn, engineer, and develop. We were created to reflect the image of God.

Gloriously Confident Humility

One of my professors once taught us that we are not called to think too highly or too lowly of ourselves but to think accurately of who we are. We are called to live a life of gloriously confident humility. This can only be done as we remember that we are dirt molded image bearers of God and that even though this image has been marred and broken through our sin and rebellion against God, we can be transformed from one degree of glory to another as we behold Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of mankind (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).




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