Lesson Two – The Truth About Mankind

The Truth About Mankind

Lesson Aim:  To show why and how God created mankind and also His plan to satisfy the way He put us together.


Although the people of the world willingly admit they have serious problems, they are not willing to turn to the church for help.  When some Christians recognize they are in trouble, they often turn to the world for counselling rather than the leaders in the church.  Today more people than ever before are seeking professional help; however, they do not turn to Jesus’ teachers for counselling.  Yet, many are willing to proclaim Jesus as the greatest teacher who ever lived and they admit He is the world’s best example of love.  Why do we turn away from the One who created us when we have a life problem?  Don’t we believe our creator understands how He created us?  Still, many Christians turn first to psychology and other sciences for help.  We may be keeping our religion separate from our lives.

Teachers and preachers strongly proclaim Jesus died for our sins but we do not always present Him as the teacher of life in the kingdom of God.  In this series of lessons we will attempt to keep our life and religion on the same channel.  We will begin with why and how God created us.  We will keep the answers to these questions in tact as we present the Christian religion.  Remember God and Satan must work with us the way God designed us – and so do we.

When Christian teachers begin to deal with real life subjects people often say he or she has turned from religion to psychology.  The following scriptures are presented to show why and how mankind was created is indeed a Bible subject.

  1. Why?  Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:3-6; Heb. 2:10.
  2. How?  Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; II Cor. 4:16.
  3. What moves us?  The answer:  Our inherited drives.
    a.  Sex:  I Cor. 7:1-5.
    b.  Hunger:  Matt. 6:25-34.
    c.  Social acceptance:  II Cor. 13:14; I John 1:3, 7; I Pet. 1:22-25.
    d.  Achievement:  I John 3:1; Rom. 5:3-5; Eph. 2:11-13.
    e.  Security:  Heb. 12:26-29; II Pet. 3:9-13; I Cor. 15:32-52.


What is man that Thou dost magnify him, and that Thou art concerned about him, that Thou dost examine him every morning, and try him every moment?  Wilt Thou never turn Thy gaze away from me, nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle?  Have I sinned?  What have I done to Thee, O watcher of men?  Why hast Thou set me as Thy target, so that I am a burden to myself?  Job 7:17-20

What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?  And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?  Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, and dost crown him with glory and majesty.  Psalms 8:4, 5

What is man?  The answer to this question has been sought by thinking people throughout the ages but they had to wait for the Christ to get the complete answer.  From the foregoing scriptures we see that neither Job nor David had the answer to this question and many others Christians enjoy today.  The Old Testament prophets had information they did not understand.  Their mysterious message was about salvation and, as Peter stated, “…the glories to follow.”  I Pet. 1:10, 11.  We now have the mystery revealed.  We have the answer to the question asked by both Job and David, “What is man?”  It is all summed up in the statement made by the Apostle Paul when he said, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  Col. 1:27.

God created us to be His glorious children in His kingdom.  Salvation became necessary only after we lost our place with God.  Jesus Christ came to us from God and gave us a clear understanding of our glory.  God designed us to function as His children, but it was also necessary for Him to design a plan to save us from sin and death through Christ (I Pet. 1:17-21).

Adam and Eve enjoyed a glorious relationship with God on earth for a time.  The devil influenced them to disobey God, and that was the first sin.  Sin spoiled this world for glory; however, it did not spoil God’s plan for Christians’ glory.  He did not want us to sin, but He knew we would.  Consequently, before the foundation of the world, God foreknew a plan to adopt us as sons of God through Christ.  Please consider the following scripture:

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.  Eph. 1:4, 5 

We can understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “Christ in you the hope of glory,” after we read Romans 8:28-30.  In this scripture Paul said we should conform to the image of Jesus.  While upon this earth Jesus showed Himself to be exactly the kind of son God desires us all to become.  God has predestined, that is, marked off beforehand, for each individual Christian to conform to Jesus Christ in our character and personality.  Peter stated God’s design for our spiritual growth when he said “that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature.”  II Pet. 1:4.  This kind of spiritual growth was not possible for mankind until the Christ came from and returned to heaven.

Christians are adopted “in Christ” where all spiritual blessings are available.  These blessings will let us conform to the image of Jesus.  We enjoy not only salvation from sin, but a hope of the glories that follow because of the blessings in Christ.  God’s plan for this world will be finished when Jesus comes again.  At this time He will bring many sons to glory according to the following scripture.

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.  Heb. 2:10

When we use the scriptures to look back into eternity before time we can clearly see the things Job and David asked about.  We can know why God is concerned with mankind.  We know why He is the watcher of men.”  God has a predestined plan for us even though mankind fell from the life of His kingdom into sin.  He planned to call us by the gospel of Christ, justify us in Christ, and glorify all who love Him with Christ in heaven as His sons.  Please consider the following scripture.

And whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.  Rom. 8:30

This reveals the mystery.  We have the answer to David’s question, “What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?”  And, we also have the answer to the question, “Why did God create you?”  In either case, the answer is, “Christ in you the hope of glory.”  God planned to have more sons like Jesus Christ in His eternal kingdom.  He shall surely have them.  Is there any other purpose for the creation of this world and time?  Is there any other purpose for the creation of mankind?  No, and if there is another purpose, it is not revealed in God’s word.  Mankind, in our wisdom, have not found a better purpose for our existence.

God’s desire is that all people come to the knowledge of this simple truth (I Tim. 2:3-6).  He does not wish that any should be lost to His plan to have more sons (II Pet. 3:9).  The decision to accept God’s choice for creating us is left to us; however, no alternate plans are offered by God.  After we die we either go to heaven as sons of God, or we don’t go at all.  We go to hell.

We have learned why God created us from His word.  Let us now contemplate another important question, “How did God create us?”  We can be sure the “how” will be complimentary to the “why.”  God’s design will be consistent with His purpose.  In the broadest sense God created the first man in two parts (Gen. 2:7).  The Apostle Paul identified these parts as the outer and inner man (II Cor. 4:16).  The outer man is our earthly house for this temporal world only.  It was made from the same substance from which the earth was created.  In physical death our bodies will return to the dust of the earth.

Our inner man is made up of our heart, mind, conscience and every other part that will survive our physical death.  It is identified by Solomon as our spirit.  He said, “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”  Eccl. 12:7.  Our outer man has its origin from the substance of the earth via our physical parents.  Our inner man has its origin from God.  When they were brought together we became a living soul.  This begins at conception.

Physical death will separate the two for a time (James 2:26).  Upon the return of Jesus, each faithful Christian who sleeps “in Christ” will be resurrected with a glorious “outer man.”  The apostle Paul said our physical death is analogous to planting a seed in I Corinthians 15:35-53.  It will serve as a seed for our glorious resurrected body when Jesus comes again (I Thess. 4:13-18).  Some Christians will be alive when our Lord returns.  In their, or our, case the outer man which relates to “this mortal” will be changed –”in the twinkling of an eye.”  I Cor. 15:51, 52.  The way God put us together is complimentary to His plan for us.

Mankind could have lived forever upon this earth in our physical bodies in fellowship with God; however, when Adam sinned the relationship between the outer and inner man became a problem.  Fleshly man has a tendency to lust.  This problem is described in the following scripture about a man who wanted to serve God before the blessings in Christ were available.

For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.  Rom. 7:22, 23

The tensions revealed in the foregoing scripture are brought about after we mature to the point of exercising the knowledge of good and evil.  God did not create Adam and Eve with this knowledge.  It was what they got when they disobeyed God and it was the reason they were removed from the Garden of Eden.  It was then God’s grace was made available to mature mankind based on his or her faith.  God will finally relieve us from the tension between our inner and outer man by giving us physical death (Gen. 3:22-24).  All mankind came from Adam; therefore, all people are born with this knowledge (Acts 17:26; I Cor. 15:45-49).  Consequently, after Adam and Eve sinned, physical death is a blessing from God and not a curse.

Now we know why God created us and we have some information about how He created us.  Next, let us consider the dynamics of our need/goal orientations God designed within us.  Let us now contemplate some natural forces that move us into our habitat in quest of satisfaction for these forces.   Whether or not we have been conscious of inward forces moving us, we have been moving in certain ways ever since our birth.  Therefore, the question we want to address ourselves to is, “What makes us move?”

Let us consider the possibility that our Creator built within us certain desires.  These have been identified as inherited drives.  If God did put us together in such a way to desire certain things because of our nature, then it stands to reason He has a plan to satisfy these desires.  The desires God pre-programmed us with are healthy and bring us happiness when satisfied.  Because of our knowledge of good and evil and because we choose evil, which is sin, we can develop unhealthy desires that cannot be satisfied.  This situation is identified as the “lust of the flesh” and it will result in our unhappiness if we make provisions for these desires (Rom. 13:14).

Some scholars who study about the life of mankind have suggested we are born with certain inherited drives.  We cannot totally trust man’s wisdom but we can test it by God’s word.  Man’s discoveries about God’s creation can be useful.  We are grateful for the discoveries made by our scientists, especially in the field of energy, medicine, psychology and sociology.  Not all of their theories have proven to be correct but neither has all of them failed the test of usefulness.

Let us test the theory about some of these drives to see if they have some usefulness to us in the understanding of ourselves.  For instance, we supposedly have drives desiring satisfaction in the area of hunger, sex, social acceptance, achievement and security.  This could be a true theory because Jesus teaches us how to achieve satisfaction for each of these drives in His word.

Jesus was not a psychologist for they only teach about life.  He taught life because He is life.  He understands all people (John 2:24, 25).  Jesus can help us understand ourselves and find satisfaction for the way God created us.  This will make us happy because we develop healthy emotions by making the proper quests and attaining satisfaction for our basic and higher needs.  Healthy emotions describe a personality like Jesus.  We can find eight very healthy emotional attitudes taught by Jesus in Matthew 5:3-12.   We can learn these attitudes in our minds, then place our faith in them in our hearts and practice them in our behavior.  This is the way they become emotional attitudes of our individual “self.”  Happiness will surely follow.

Let us now consider some teachings of Jesus relating to our drives.  The quest for food and drink is inherent to our nature.  This is called a drive or basic need because it is not necessary for anyone to teach us to desire these things.  Jesus recognizes we have a need for food, clothing, and shelter.  He told us how to make sure we can always have these needs satisfied when He said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”  Matt. 6:33Our niche in life has been prepared for us in God’s kingdom.  If we will seek it, everything we need will be added while we live on earth.  God has everything worked out according to the way He designed us.

Did God really put the need for sex in mature people?  We can believe He did because the scriptures reveal a perfect plan to satisfy this desire (Matt. 19:4-6; Heb. 13:4).  According to the following scripture, “it is one man and one woman in marriage.”

But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.  Let the husband fulfil his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.  I Cor. 7:2, 3

Mankind often ignores God’s commandment concerning the sex drive.  Unhappiness and strife has been the result; however, for the man and woman who accept God’s marriage plan there is an opportunity for satisfaction that will lead to happiness for both parties.  Both can have their sex drives satisfied.  Both must understand this and help each other attain satisfaction.  Sex in marriage is also God’s perfect way to have more potential children in His kingdom (Gen. 1:28).  The love each mate feels for the other, because they help satisfy each other’s drives, contributes to the production of a loving home for the offspring.

Our strength of character and happiness is dependent upon our satisfaction of our natural drives.  We must choose the proper way to satisfy them.  We cannot afford to experiment because if we choose the wrong course we will not attain satisfaction and then unhealthy attitudes will develop.  Also, the wrong course fosters lust that cannot be satisfied.  Lust drives people to keep on experimenting in the wrong way but satisfaction is not attained.  Their character is weakened and unhealthy personality traits develop.

On the other hand, if we give up seeking a way to satisfy our drives, we nullify our strength to move ourselves into the challenges of life.  We become weak individuals.  Much of our strength of character is generated between the God-created needs in us and His provisions for satisfying these needs.  This is our need/goal orientation.  It is very important for us to find and accept God’s commandments for the satisfaction of our needs.  When we follow God’s commands in relation to our drives we attain satisfaction; therefore, we develop healthy emotional attitudes.  We are happy people.

Again, we are told we have needs that are served by sociability.  Who would deny they want friends?  A newborn baby seeks to make friends very early; therefore, we can believe this is an inherent natural part of mankind.  It is a need God put in us.  Sociability is not a learned characteristic.

God has made us socially acceptable to Himself by the blood of Jesus Christ through our faith.  Consider the following scriptures.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  II Cor. 5:19

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God, and such we are.  I John 3:1


The Holy Spirit accepts us in fellowship when God sanctifies us (II Cor. 13:14).  We are given eternal fellowship with other Christians (I Pet. 1:22-25).  The church, functioning as Christ’s body, is God’s answer for our present need of sociability (I Cor. 12:12-26).

Achievement is also thought to be one of our basic needs.  When we achieve a goal and attain social acceptance in the thing we have achieved, the result is glory.  Those who seek glory are thought to be evil by some but others accept it without question.  Which one is correct, if either?  God’s word does offer and encourage us to receive sonship with Him as a gift.  If achievement is obtaining a higher goal, then surely the following scriptures offer satisfaction for this drive.

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.   Gal. 4:7

For you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  I Pet. 2:10

God surely placed within us a desire to achieve the glory He offers us by grace.  A plan that will satisfy the inherited drives of social acceptance and achievement will give us glory.  Please study Jesus’ parable in Luke 14:7-14.  He did not condemn the people for wanting the seat of honor.  He told them how to get it.  Honor in this scripture means “being of value.”  When we are of value to others and they view us in this way, the result is glory for us.  We must humble ourselves to serve others before we can achieve a position that gives glory.  This is true because we must maintain social acceptance along with the position of honor.

When our faith leads us in obedience to God’s will, we achieve the highest seat possible for mankind now in time.  We are sons of God and at the same time we have fellowship.  We enjoy social acceptance with God.  We are adopted sons with a great hope of sharing in God’s eternal glory in this role (Rom. 5:1-5).  We are cautioned about seeking too much physical achievement but no goal is too high for our spiritual achievement (I Tim. 6:12; Matt. 6:19-21).

Finally, who would deny we have a natural desire for security?  Peace is the condition we enjoy when we have security.  Let it suffice at this point in our study to say, peace is the end result of everything God has so graciously offered us through our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1).  Christians are justified; therefore we have peace with God and ourselves.

We must have acceptable satisfaction for these drives mentioned in this lesson before we can be happy.  We will love whatever satisfies, or whatever we think will satisfy our drives.  We will not love God until we have faith in His plan to satisfy the natural drives He gave us.  His program works both in time and in eternity.  Christians seeking the kingdom of God now in time insures us of satisfaction for our basic needs of hunger and shelter.  Also, eternal life in God’s kingdom is our only hope for satisfaction of our need for security.  Consider the following:

And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.’  And this expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.  Heb. 12:26-29

God created mankind to be members of His own household.  The way He created us is in accordance with His purpose.  He programmed us with certain drives.  Characteristics of eternal life; that is, the fruit of the Spirit, can be developed in mankind only after we have some satisfaction, or in some cases, a hope for satisfaction of our natural needs.  God wants a happy household.  When we understand ourselves and accept His plan for us, we will find happiness.  This is the truth about man.

Preachers and teachers of God’s word should be aware of the nature of people as we present the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We need to remember that good news for mankind must include a program to satisfy their natural needs.  This is easy and fun because God offers the only complete plan.  For instance, medical doctors do not have a plan to satisfy our need for security without God’s resurrection program of the dead.  Consider these statistics, one out of one has been dying since the beginning of time – even the doctors die.  Where is the security in those percentages without a resurrection of the dead?  Let us keep the why and how God created us in mind as we present His kingdom.  Remember, the kingdom of God is where we were created to dwell eternally and this is why the gospel offers a program to satisfy the way we were created.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why did God create mankind?
  2. When did God arrange for the adoption of Christians as His sons?
  3. Who spoiled this world for glory?  Did he stop God’s plan?
  4. How is the concept of predestination important to us?
  5. When will God’s plan for this world be brought to a close?
  6. List a scripture that proves every child has been created to be God’s child.
  7. Give some Bible terminology that describes the two main components of mankind.
  8. Name the part of a child that originates from the parent?
  9. What event will make a clear distinction between the inner and outer man?
  10. When did physical death become a blessing for Christians?
  11. Why might we think we have drives that move us to seek satisfaction for these drives?  Why might we believe God knows about these forces?
  12. List some of the commonly accepted inherited drives.  Can you think of any natural drives that are not mentioned in this lesson?
  13. How do we know Jesus is aware of our hunger drive?
  14. Give a scripture that suggests the Apostle Paul received information about our sex drive.
  15. Name the drive our church family can help satisfy.
  16. List the two drives that must be satisfied for us to attain glory.
  17. Why would eternal glory appeal to all people?
  18. How can we learn to love God more?
  19. Why can we say God has the only complete program to satisfy all our natural needs?
  20. What is good news for mankind?

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