THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 11-4-12
LESSON TITLE: “THE NATURE OF MAN.”
In James 1 we read, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone!” We’re glad you have joined us today for the Living Word Program. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator.
Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God. This morning we will glorify our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Won’t you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer.
Who do you turn to when the trials and burdens of this life get you down? Our first song of the morning reminds us that we do have a place to go for encouragement. So, won’t you join in the first song, as we sing together, “There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today!”
(SONG # 1)
One of the hardest things for us to deal with as followers of God is Temptation. Oh, how difficult it is for us to understand why we are tempted if we are striving to do the Will of God.
However, the fact is God’s servants have always dealt with temptation. In fact, in the Bible it seems that the more faithful someone was - the more temptation they had to deal with. One example we are all familiar with is Job. This man had been greatly blessed by God. But because of his faith, Satan desired to tempt him, claiming that he would not remain faithful without all of the physical blessings he had been given by God. Well, we all know the story, Job does remain faithful and bows down before his God and thanks Him!
You see, we will suffer if we are living according to the ways of God, because the more we live for God the more Satan wants to cause us to fall away. In 1 Peter 4:15, we read, “if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” James said, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him,” James 1:12. Notice that these verses not only say that we will suffer, but that when we suffer and endure we will be blessed for doing so. Back in James 1:2-3, James also says we should be joyful in trials, because when our faith is tested we learn to be more patient and to depend more on God.
One final reason why we should endure temptations in this life is found in Hebrews 2:18. There we read, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Yes, we have been left the perfect example for dealing with temptations, because even Jesus Himself had to suffer like trials. In fact, this verse goes on to say that He will also help us through our sufferings if we will simply do His Will. Paul even told the Corinthians that God will “not allow us to be over tempted and that in temptation He will provide a way of escape,” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
The best thing we can do as Christians is to acknowledge the fact that we will be tempted. Then we will be ready to deal with these trials when they come our way. However, we can further find confidence in the fact that God has promised to help us and show us the way when we are tempted - so that we will be able to remain faithful to His Will! Have you learned to deal with temptation as a Christian?
Our topic of study this morning will again focus on the question, “What Is Man?” The next lesson in our series is, “The Nature Of Man?” So won’t you stay with us and in a few minutes our speaker of the day will return with this study of the day.
As far as our guest speaker, we are again happy to have Brother Chuck Northrop with us. Brother Chuck is an instructor at the Bible Institute Of Missouri. We thank him for being with us this Lord’s Day.
Now it’s time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “There Is Power In The Blood.”
(SONG # 2)
By Chuck Northrop
Imagine yourself out in the wilderness looking up at the sky and the beautiful sky above you contemplating the clouds, contemplating the beautiful blue sky. The sun begins to set and the dawn comes upon you like a book closing its pages and it begins to be dark. The moon rises up and you are able to look out into the universe and see the beautiful and magnificent stars. It was probably on an occasion like that, that David penned the eighth Psalm. In that eighth Psalm he gives praises unto God but he also contemplates the nature of man. Read with me or listen to me as we read from the eighth Psalm, “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies; That You may silence the enemy and the avenger. When I consider You heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to gave dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen – even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” As we contemplate this morning about the nature of man this Psalm lends itself to that theme and David expresses and asks the question, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” Three times he answers that question that God is mindful of us and it reveals then the nature of mankind.
You know as we think about this Psalm the first thing that we learn is that we are made in the image of God. Now notice how he says this because he says in verse 5, “For you have made him a little lower than the angels…” So God has created us, we are not an act of accident or natural accident of some kind like the evolutionists teach but we are a creation of God, God has made us but He made us in His own image. Have you ever thought for a moment what it means to be made in the image of God? You know a lot of folks really turn that around and they make God in mans image and so they talk about God as the man upstairs. God is not in our image but we are made in the image of God. God is not a fiscal material being like you and I but we are material and we are physical and that is our nature, God has made us being this physical material being as well as a spiritual being. But when God says that he made us in His own image He is talking about providing us an eternal spirit. Now we know that, that eternal spirit is not like God’s eternal spirit in that God had no beginning and no end, we have a beginning but we have no end. So it is that we are made in the image of God but not completely in the image of God, but we also are a physical being a material being.
Now notice the Psalmist goes on to say that we are made it he image of God but we are made lower than the angels. Now, how is it that we are lower than the angels? Well, the angels also are spirit beings and they are not limited to time and place like man is but we as humanity we are limited because we are physical beings and material beings. We are limited as far as time and place are concerned, in other words I am where I am at, at the present time because I am a physical being I can’t be in multiple places at the same time, I can’t just jump from one place to the other at the same time. I am limited no only in that way but I am also limited in time I am where I am at, at this present time and I will be somewhere else at another time. It is interesting that the writer of the book of Hebrews uses this idea and this concept and applies it to Jesus Christ. You know when we think about the sacrifice of Christ we normally think about His death but think with me for just a moment because He became man just like you and I, He sacrificed the glories of Heaven to come into this world into this world of woe. He sacrificed those glories of heaven being omnipotent and omnipresent with God to become a person of time and place. Like you and I He rose in the morning, like you and I He ate lunch, like you and I He went to sleep in the evening. You see He was a person of time and place while He was upon this earth. Now His purpose in coming to the earth is also clearly stated in Hebrews 2:9, because He says He came to earth for the suffering of death and to taste death for every man. But we then like Jesus Christ are made in the image of God and are made lower than the angels because we have that physical nature that God has created us with. But as we look at that particular passage we find also going back to Psalm 8, we find also that we are not only made in the image of God but God crowned us, mad us and crowned us with glory and honor. Now notice also as we think about being made lower than the angels that we also have the opportunity to be like the angels. In Luke 20:36, Jesus in talking to the Scribes and the Pharisees and the Sadducees who had complete misunderstanding about the resurrected body, He talks about those that are worthy and those who are faithful that they would be like the angels one day. So now we presently are lower than the angels but one day those who are faithful to God will be like the angels as an eternal being and in a spirit being.
But now we come to our next point that we find in our text that God has crowned us with honor and glory. The word crowned is actually an interesting word in the Hebrew language, it actually means to encircle or to encompass, and sometimes it can be translated the idea of compass. So, He has encompassed us or encircled us with glory and honor. Now those words glory and honor are actually synonyms and can be both translated glory and honor. The first one has reference to the splendor of mankind, that God has made us a splendid being. The second one has to do with the magnificence of mankind. God has made us the Psalmist would later write that we are marvelously made, we are magnificent beings. Now unlike those sometimes in the religious world who say that man has a sinful nature, we are not created that way at all. Our nature is to be crowned with glory and honor, now I know and I understand that all of us have sinned. Paul would state in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And John would also state in John the first chapter, 1John 1:8 he says, “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Then later on in verse 10 he says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar…” Oh, well what a ridiculous thing to even consider to make God a liar because in Him dwelleth no darkness at all, not even one spec of darkness. So He is not a liar we then are the ones that have been in sin so since that is the case we have been crowned with glory and honor. Where does all this sin come from? Well, you see we have a choice we can choose to do or not to do, we can choose to do good or not to do good, we can choose to do evil or not to do evil, we can choose to do wickedness or not to do wickedness. It isn’t our sinful nature that He is talking about what He is talking about is the fact that we have a choice and like Adam and Eve of old when God created man, he put them in that garden, Adam and Eve had a choice. God told them not to eat of the forbidden fruit but what did Adam and Eve do? They chose to eat of that forbidden fruit and every generation since that time have chosen the same thing. We choose to sin, we are not made to sin and besides all of that if you think about it if we are made to sin and God made us to be sinners and have given us a sinful nature isn’t that a slap in God’s face? Isn’t that making an accusation of God that we do not want to make? I believe so.
Now notice that in our text we find a third nature that is of man and that is that we have dominion over this world. Notice he says in verse 6, “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands…” Now the works of God’s hands are the universe and man has been given that dominion over that. In the later part of the verse he says, “You have put all tings under his feet,” in other words the dominion of all things is under us. Then he spells out some specific things that we have dominion over, “All sheep and oxen – Even the bests of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,” and we have all that, that we have dominion over. But when you think about dominion there are really some implications of that that sometimes we don’t see and we overlook. In other words what I’m talking about is this because God has given us that dominion he has given us the intelligence to be able to do the things that we need to do, to have that dominion over these various things. So since the very beginning of time we have had that dominion and we have been able to show that dominion because of our intelligence. No animal could do such but we can and even those of the evolutionary thought or mind frame or mind set you know they recognize that we have the intelligence to control the various beasts of the field and we have the control of various things of the world, so we then must recognize that we have that intelligence. But there is a second implication that we ought to consider here as well and that is that we have conscience. Now why do I say that? Because aren’t you thankful that somebody had enough conscience about them to stop the mining of the Colorado’s and the California’s when they took those big water sprayers and literally completely destroyed the mountain sides. Even now a hundred years later we recognize the destruction of those but somebody had the conscience to stop it. So it is today that God has given us that dominion but we have the conscience to maintain that dominion and balance as we ought to maintain. But there is a third implication that we find there as well and that is that not only does he give us that intelligence to maintain it or to have dominion and the conscience to have that dominion but He gave us good stewardship and we recognize that one day we are going to have to answer for the stewardship that we have. In other words what I am saying is this; we can’t just simply go through the world and destroy the world without thinking, or having some conscience, or recognizing that governing authority that we have that we cannot just simply destroy this earth. That one day we are going to be given an account of those things.
So God then has created us, so the next time you are out in the wilderness and as y9ou look into the open sky and you see the brilliance o the darkness of night and like a man that I knew sever years ago was driving down the road on his motorcycle and he realized how magnificent it was he said he could not help but stop and take off his helmet and look up into he sky to see the beautiful world in which we live. We have a magnificent universe but what is man? What is man that thou are mindful of him and that thou visited him? What is man? We have the nature of being created by God and made a little lower than the angels. We have the nature that we are made in the image of God but we are made and crowned with glory and honor, and He has given us dominion over His own creation and has provided us that for us. With that in mind the next time you are out there remember man but more than that remember the beginning of Psalm 8 as well as the end, he says, “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” Let us praise God because of the magnificence of the universe in every way. I thank you so much for being here and I hope that these things will be a good reminder of the things that God has provided for us. We appreciate you and we appreciate your listening, Thank you.
(SONG # 3 - “The Is My Fathers World!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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Have you given your life fully to God and to His spiritual nature as God demands? Won’t you do your very best to show forth Christ in all things, for Heaven will surely be worth it in the end.