Why Did God Create Mankind?

Lesson 3, Introduction

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Introduction

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Do we just exist for a short time and then disappear forever? Or were we created for a special purpose? What sets us apart from the animal world? What makes us different from any of the other living creatures? In this Bible Study Lesson you will discover biblical answers to these questions, which will provide us with an accurate understanding of our human destiny and shed some seriously needed light on the mystery of our existence.

Something More to Man?

Biologically, we begin with man as a living organism. Our composition is chemical. We have a skeletal framework, various kinds of tissue, a nervous system, internal organs, outer layers of skin—all making us human in a physical and material sense.

But is there more to man than meets the eye? Is there something unique about our makeup and nature? Is there something that transcends the purely physical and material realm, something that suggests that a great purpose and dignity are integral to our existence?

What makes us behave like we do? Why do we experience moral sufferings and craving for the unknown? Why do we push on to greater and greater heights of discovery in just about every field and discipline? Why do we seek knowledge for its own sake? Why do we have this human intellect that drives us on to more and more accomplishment in the material world?

Academic studies of the origins of humanity have proved to be among the most difficult of all sciences. Significantly, in his recent book, Darwin’s Black Box, biochemist Michael Behe convincingly demonstrates, from scientific evidence, the utter impossibility of life having evolved from inert matter.

The commonly accepted theory of evolution cannot explain why we pursue intangibles like beauty and higher spiritual yearnings. Our minds are far too complex to have arisen passively or accidentally. The Bible unequivocally tells us that God created man. (To learn more, be sure to request your free copy of the booklet Life’s Ultimate Question: Does God Exist? )

We are in serious need of much better knowledge of ourselves. Our self-ignorance is staggering, particularly in the arena of moral and spiritual responsibility and purpose. We seem to know so much more about the inanimate, about the earth’s flora and fauna and even the nature of heavenly bodies. Yet immense regions of our humanity remain a dark mystery.

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What does it really mean to be human? Do we just exist? Or were we created for a special purpose? What makes us different from any of the other living creatures?

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World conditions are frightening and all too often reel out of control. The chief culprit is man himself. We urgently need to seek the root causes of our moral and intellectual shortcomings. If only we would turn our natural curiosity from its present exclusively materialistic path to include the much more profitable spiritual direction missing in our world, our future would cease to be so uncertain.

Man desperately needs knowledge from a source outside of himself—not only regarding the physical and material, but in the mental and especially in the spiritual sphere.

The Limitations of Science

Our modern civilization is ill-suited to meet the deep-seated spiritual needs of its inhabitants.

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We seem to know so much more aboutthe inanimate, about the earth’s floraand fauna and even the nature of heavenly bodies. Yet immense regions of our humanity remain a dark mystery.

Science, limited to the observable—the measurable—simply cannot provide us with all we need to know about ourselves. Philosophical speculations are woefully inadequate substitutes for divinely revealed knowledge. Adding to our difficulty in correctly understanding ourselves is the spiritual deception, described in Revelation 12:9, that affects the whole world.

What is so little understood today is that our minds are subject to spiritual laws that are as inexorable as the physical laws scientists have discovered. Although we cannot see gravity, none of us doubts its existence. Just as gravity affects and governs the actions of all physical objects, so do spiritual laws affect and govern our actions and behavior. We cannot transgress God’s spiritual and moral laws without incurring serious penalties.

The scientific method has other limitations. Qualities that have neither weight nor spatial dimensions—such as love, vanity, hatred, the appreciation of beauty, the inspiration of a poet or even the aspirations of a scientist—cannot be scientifically ascertained.

Though science can and does contribute knowledge to the mystery of man, only God can tell us who we are, why we are and what is our destiny. His Word, the Bible, fills in the missing dimension in human knowledge.

God’s Word views man as a whole. Man simply cannot be separated into distinct parts, divorced from each other. Just as we would cease to exist if our organs were isolated one from another, so would we be less than human if our spiritual qualities were not present. It is to the whole man (or woman) that we must focus our intellectual energies. Above all, the spiritual aspect must not be laid aside and ignored.

As the late Norman Cousins wrote in his book Human Options:

“That something that constitutes human uniqueness cannot adequately be expressed by any single term. Even man’s ‘spirit’ and ‘capacity for faith’ are not the sum total of that uniqueness.”

Many factors set us apart from the animal kingdom: our speech, our vision or conceptualization, our awareness of past, present and future, our capacity for reason, our superior number recognition, our bodies and much more. There is, however, an even more important overall factor—characterized by wholeness and completeness—our need to understand.

R.J. Berry, in his book God and Evolution , put his finger on an important distinguishing characteristic, one that includes and transcends all others:

“The key factor in understanding our nature as taught in the Bible is to examine the meaning of the image of God which distinguishes us from the other animals” (emphasis added throughout).

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Our modern civilisation is ill-suited to meet the deep-seated spiritual needs of its inhabitants.

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Related Study Guide:

Free to read online, download or order a print copy

Are you uncertain about God's existence?   The evidence is ovewhelming -- Our study guide will help you settle the matter.

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