The Doctrine of Man

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, And hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet (Ps. 8:4-6)

I believe that God created man on the sixth day of Creation, directly and immediately from the dust of the ground, and breathed into Adam the breath (spirit) of life, at which point Adam became a living and eternal soul (Gen. 2:7; Job 33:4). The first woman, Eve, was likewise created by God from the bone and flesh of Adam (Gen. 2:21-24; Mt. 19:4-6). Together, Adam and Eve became the original parents of all mankind through the natural process of procreation (Gen. 3:20; Ac. 17:26). The birth of Jesus Christ is the only exception, since he was born with a human mother apart from a human father (Mt. 1:20). While distinct in characteristics and role, neither gender is inferior to the other but rather are co-equal (1 Pt. 3:7).

I believe that God created Adam and Eve in His own image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1-2), with the unique privilege and responsibility to exert dominion over all earthly creatures on His behalf (Gen. 1:28; 9:1). In a finite way, man reflects the personal attributes of God, such as intellect, emotion, creativity, language, and volition. Concerning volition, God providentially has endowed mankind with the freedom and responsibility to choose between right and wrong (Gen. 3:6; Dt. 30:15-20; Jos. 24:15).

I believe that God created man in a state of unconfirmed innocence and holiness (Gen. 1:31; Ec. 7:29). This condition dissolved when Adam disobeyed God, introducing spiritual and physical death for himself and the entire human race with him, and marring the image of God represented in every human being (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:5; Rev. 21:8). This separated mankind from intimate fellowship with God (Gen. 3:8), established an imbedded propensity to sin (Gen. 6:5), and placed him under just condemnation (Jn. 3:18; Rom. 6:23). The only resolution to this dilemma is individual regeneration by the Spirit of God and the sanctification and glorification that follows (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Jn. 3:2).

I believe that man’s being consists of both material and immaterial aspects joined together in one, unified entity (Mt. 10:28; Jam. 2:26). First, the body comprises the material aspect which is an essential feature of the human nature (Ps. 139:14-16; 1 Cor. 6:12-20; Php. 3:21). Second, the immaterial aspects are referred to variously as soul (Mt. 22:37), heart (Jer. 17:9), mind (Rom. 12:2), will (1 Cor. 16:12), conscience (Tit. 1:15), and flesh (Rom. 7:25) and are functioning aspects in the nature of every man, whether regenerate or not. Through the new birth, a new nature, or spirit, which was dead and inoperative in the unregenerate state, is quickened by the Spirit of God (Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13). This enlivened spirit restores the moral image of God and the capacity to experience true fellowship with Him (Rom. 8:16; 2 Cor. 5:7-18). I believe that while the soul and spirit are both immaterial aspects of man’s being, they are essentially distinct from one another (Heb. 4:12) enough so that a man may be considered tripartite in nature, comprised of body, soul, and spirit (1 Ths. 5:23).

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