Human nature revealed in the Bible

Human nature revealed in the Bible

Since  the Bible is a revelation from the Creator, it must be the only authoritative source of information on human nature.  The record tells us of the entrance of sin, which brought  death to mankind.  It also gives us information about God’s purpose with man and with the earth.

The Mortality of Man

In case we may be tempted to dismiss the early chapters of the Bible as the uninformed writings of primitive people, we do well to remember that Jesus endorsed the Old Testament Scriptures on all fronts as the word of God. He said,

“Have ye not  read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female?” Matthew 19:4-6

The apostle Paul similarly turned back to the account in Genesis for reliable information on man.  

“Wherefore as by one man (i.e., Adam, see context) sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned” Romans 5:12

and again, 

“The first man is of the earth, earthy” 1 Corinthians 15:45-47

He turned to Genesis then, to find the reasons  for man’s mortality and in order to explain the redemptive work of Christ who was,

“the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” John 1:29

Human nature is MORTAL, and is a punishment for SIN, which is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). When a man dies he ceases to exist - 

“he is like the beasts that PERISH”  Ecclesiastes 3:19. See also Psalm  6:5; Psalm 49:20; Psalm 146:3-4; Ecclesiastes 9:10

God's Remedy

Sin has temporarily frustrated God's purpose in creation, which was to people the earth with a race of immortal beings like Himself in form and substance.  An immortal sinner is, however, an impossibility, for immortality is only bestowed by God as reward for OBEDIENCE, and once bestowed, an immortal being is constitutionally incapable of disobedience to his Maker.  The remedy was found in the provision of a son of God who should succeed where Adam had  failed - i.e., in obedience under trial.  

“God so loved the world, that he gave his  only  begotten  Son,  that whosoever believeth in him should not PERISH, but have everlasting life” John 3:16
“...God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

The barrier which sin had interposed between God and his creatures was done away in Christ’s sacrificial death.

God's Remedy Conditional

However, this barrier can only be removed on the conditions which God has imposed.  

“He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” Mark l6:16

Jesus Christ was Son of man in his nature for he was

“made of a woman, made under  the law” Galatians 4:4

But God, the Creator of all things, was his Father, for he was conceived in the womb of a virgin by the POWER of the Highest (Luke 1:30-35).  By this means he was strengthened to lead a perfectly sinless life and, in his death, he voluntarily declared that God was JUST to condemn human nature to extinction in death (see Romans 5:17-19).  

He recognised the truth of the word of God, recorded by Jeremiah,

“The heart (of man) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” Jeremiah l7:9. See also Mark 7:20-23

God was able to raise Christ from the dead for, though he possessed sinful flesh, he never yielded to its temptations to sin (see Hebrews 4:15).

Acknowledgement of Sin the First Step

Once a man will acknowledge that he is a sinful creature, deserving only of death, then he is in the frame of mind to take advantage of God’s offer of forgiveness, expressed by the apostle Peter thus: 

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ.....Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things” Acts 3:19-21

In this situation, and after baptism based on a knowledge and belief of God’s purpose, a man can have something better to look forward to than,

“the wages of sin (which) is death” Romans 6:23

he may anticipate,

“the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23

A Situation Demanding Action

We have seen that the purpose of God in providing a saviour was “to reconcile the world unto himself”.  The trouble is that though God is reconciled to the world, the world, generally speaking, refuses to be reconciled to God.    It is a reciprocal process - God has done His part in providing the means of reconciliation in His Son.  Man must do his part in accepting God’s gracious provision and obeying  the  terms  of reconciliation outlined above.  He must read God’s book which, in the words of the apostle Paul, is able to make us wise unto salvation.  He went on to say, 

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:15-16

A Choice

The Bible offers a choice to human beings - the choice is between life and  death.  Therefore, choose life, for Christ will immortalise only those who belong to him at his second coming.  This is what the apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth:

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order, Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” 1 Corinthians 15:20-23