As human beings we are much more than just animals, we are the Creation of God Himself. We are made in the very image of God. As such our role in Life is much more than just simple survival.
1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
I. The Man We Were—We Are Creatures
A. We were created by God.
1. Our existence is not the result of blind chance or some mindless natural process.
2. We are the direct result of God’s creative Work.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
3. Our existence is, therefore, purposeful. Our lives have meaning.
B. We were crowned by God.
1. The psalmist emphasizes the exalted state humans share by virtue of God’s creation. We are a “little lower” than divine, crowned with “glory” and “honor.”
2. Our worth as humans is not relative to our perceived value to our fellow humans. Our worth is absolute, established and proclaimed by the God who made us.
II. The Man We Have Become—We Are Fallen Creatures
A. The Bible has no illusions about fallen humankind.
1. While declaring the dignity which man has by creation, it is also clear to expose the degradation to which he can stoop.
2. The same psalmist elsewhere confesses, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (51:4).
3. Other biblical writers affirm man’s sin (Romans 3:9, 10, 23; 1 John 1:8).
No One Is Righteous
9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
1 John 1:8
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
B. According to the scriptures humans are personally responsible for the evil which we do.
1. It is characterized as rebellion against God (Genesis 3).
2. It is the source of many of the great tragedies which befall us and rob us of our joy. Our lives are something far less than they could be because we are something far less than we could be.
III. The Man We Can Be—We are Redeemed Creatures
A. The man we can be is really the man we were created to be.
1. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17). There is a sense in which redemption is recreation. It is the recovery of our created natures.
2. The final biblical portrait of redeemed humanity pictures the saved back in God’s presence, free to partake of the tree of life (Revelation 22:1-5).
The River of Life
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
B. This was the purpose for which Christ came.
1. Jesus believed in man. He was able to look beyond our perversities to see our possibilities.
2. The common people heard him gladly because to Him they were not common. He was constantly reminding people of their worth in God’s eyes.