What is Man?

  • The word Man is a generic word, used to describe humans, in general … so it can, in some instances, be used to refer to women, as well as men.  For example, a man-eating shark will eat women, as well as men. 
  • Scientifically speaking, Man is a physical being with a non-physical mind. 
  • Theologically, Man has a spirit, which gives him life and a mind, as well as a body. 

What does the Bible say about Man?

  • Man is physical.  When the Bible tells us that Man was made from the “dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7), that simply means Man was made from matter (chemical elements) found in the ground.
  • Man is also spiritual. (Job 32:8, 1 Corinthians 2:11).  When the Bible says there is “a spirit in Man” it means Man has a spiritual component that gives him the ability to live and the ability to think, reason, create, love, etc.
  • Man (as male and female) was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27),
  • Man was created to relate to God in a way than no other created being could/can (Genesis 2:7);
  • Man was created to have a personal, family-type relationship with God (Psalm 8:4-8);
  • Man was made to have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:27-28), essentially representing God;
  • Man will one day be like God (1 John 3:2).
  • Man was made with the potential to become immortal (Genesis 3:22);
  • Man is not only physical, b/c he has a spirit (Job 32:8, 1 Corinthians 2:11);
  • Man, naturally, is a sinner (Romans 8:7).

What is the main difference in how God made Man as compared to Animals and Plants?  

  • Animals, plants, trees, sea-creatures and creeping things were all made according to their own kind (Genesis 1:11-12, 20-22, 24-25) … but Man was made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:25, 26-27). 
  • This means that whereas plants and animals were made “according to their own kind”, Man was made after the God kind

What does the “image of God” mean? 

  • Some believe it has to do with form and shape, since God is described in the Bible as having a mouth, eyes, ears and hands, etc. 
  • However, the Bible also says that God is “spirit” (John 4:24), which means that God is not made of matter, not physical and has no “body” or “parts”, as Man does. 
  • It seems, therefore, that Man is “in the image of God” in a non-physical sense. 
  • It seems fair to say that Man is in the “image of God” because Man has certain God-like qualities, such as the ability to think reason, plan, design and even create (in a limited sense). 

Why does the Bible describe God with human-like body parts?

  • It seems the Bible describes God with human-like body parts, and even characteristics, for the benefit of Man, so that Man can understand the kind of relationship God wants with humans. 

What does it mean that Man is made of the “dust of the ground”? 

  • To say that Man is made of the “dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7) means that Man is made of elements of matter that are found in the “dust” (ground or surface of the earth.
  • It is another way of saying that Man is made of elements such as such as iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc. 
  • It is for this reason that Man is referred to as a physical being, which just means that he is made of physical matter.
  • NOTE:  It is noteworthy that while the earth was created out of nothing, Man was created from material found in the earth, which suggests God created the earth and prepared it to support Man’s life. 

Why do some say that Man is not only physical?

  • Although Man can be described as material (made of matter), there are passages, such as Job 32:8 and 1 Corinthians 2:11 that imply there is also a spiritual dimension to Man’s makeup.
  • Note that the passage from Job speaks of “a spirit in man” and “the breath of the Almighty” in the same sentence and remember that Adam did not become a “living being” until the “breath” of life was breathed into him (Genesis 2:7). 
  • This suggests that Man was created to need “breath”, and he has to be able to breathe to live. 
  • It also suggests that the “breath of life” that God breathed into Adam (Genesis 2:7) was the “breath of the Almighty” (Job 32:8) that gave rise to the “spirit in man” that is in Man. 

What is meant by the “soul” of Man? 

  • Essentially, it is that part of Man that cannot be seen, but which is as much a part of Man as his body. 
  • Because Man is physical or material (made of matter), he can be sensed (seen, heard, touched, etc.) 
  • That part of man, which we are able to sense, is referred to as his “body”. 
  • There is a part of Man, however, that cannot be seen, touched, smelt or, in any other way, sensed.
  • That part of Man, which we are not able to sense, is what is sometimes referred to as his “soul”.
  • Consider Matthew 10:28 and note that Jesus makes a clear distinction between a person’s “body” and his “soul”.  The word “both” is used in reference to “soul” and “body” showing that the two are not the same. 
  • Even more definitive, however, is that Jesus makes it clear that something can happen to one without happening to the other, thereby showing that not only are the two not the same, but they can be separated. 
  • Clearly, Man has a soul that is quite distinct from his body, and can be separated from his body. 

What does the Bible tell us about the life of Man?  

  • The Bible reveals that Man has life because he has God’s breath of life in him (Genesis 2:7).  Man became a “living soul” only after God had breathed the “breath of life” into him. 
  • The Bible reveals, too, that the life of Man was temporary.  Genesis 2:16-17 tells us that Adam could die.  In other words, the life Adam had been given was only temporary.  God had made it so that Man could stop living. 
  • The Bible also tells us, however, that Adam was created with the potential to live forever.
  • Look at Genesis 3:22.  Now note the last part of verse 22 again. Is that passage not suggesting that Man could have avoided dying?  Indeed, it does seem as if he would not have died if he had eaten of the tree of life (assuming, of course that to “live forever” means to “not die”).
  • In other words, Man did not have to die … He could receive a life that is eternal. 

Why would God have given Man that kind of life?  

  • Because God wanted to have a special relationship with Man.  
  • God wanted a relationship with Man that was not only based on love, but intended to last forever. 

What does the Bible say about the kind of relationship God wanted with Man? 

  • As noted earlier, God created Man in Him “image” because He wanted a relationship that would be vastly different from His relationship with plants or animals or even angels.
  • The writer of the letter to the Hebrews said that God wants us to be His people (Hebrews 8:10). 
  • Jesus made it clear that God wants a family-type relationship with us when He said we can approach God as Father (Matthew 5:16; 6:1-6, 8-9).
  • Apostle Paul said much the same thing when he said we can think of Him as a Dad (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).  



What does the Bible say about Sin? Most people tend to think of sin as the transgression of the law (God’s Law). The Bible, however, reveals sin as so much more.

  • We sin by commission – doing something that is known to be wrong (1 John 3:4).
  • We sin by thinking the wrong thing (Matthew 5:27-28 ).
  • We sin by omission – not doing what we know should be done (James 4:17).
  • We sin when we do something we are not sure is right (Romans 14:23).

In short, sin is anything that causes one to miss the mark and/or fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) 


  • Man was created subject to death (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17)
  • death was caused by sin (Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:4; James 1:15; Romans 5:12)
  • death is the payment for sin (Romans 6:23) … death is what we earned/deserve.
    • It is important to note, at this point, that the “death” that is the payment for sin is NOT the first death – that it is appointed unto men to experience (Heb.9:27) — BUT the second death that the judgement is mentioned in verse 27 can lead to.
    • Revelation 2:11  Not every person will experience the second death.
    • Revelation 20:6  The second death will not affect those who come up in the first resurrection.
    • Revelation 20:14  The Lake of Fire is the second death.
    • Revelation 21:7-8  Consignment to the Lake of Fire is the second death.
  • death, as caused by death, separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2)
  • death is not final because there will be a resurrection (return to life) of all who die (John 5:28-29)
  • there is coming a time when death will be no more (1 Corinthians 15:26)





Scroll to Top