A Biblical Understanding of Being Human

Beginning with Adam and Eve as the best human example, we can form an impressively comprehensive, usable and formidable anthropology. First, we know that humans are the apex of God’s creation (Gen. 1:26-27). Humans are only thing said to be made “in his image.” That simple declaration solves one of counselee’s most typical problems - value. Not self-esteem, but value, which comes from the Creator. Because God invested love freely, each person has vicarious, ontological value by relationship with His Image. Thus, to abuse another human is an affront to God (Jas 3:9). Second, we know that humans are created in flesh (Gen. 2:7a). We are now, and in eternity will be, corporeal. The implications here are enormous and this paper does not afford the time to digress. But at the very least, we may declare that our bodies are not the enemy (contra-Dualists). Our flesh is part of the beautiful creation. Third, we know that humans are created as spiritual beings (Gen. 2:7b). Again the consequent propositions are dizzying in array. Not the least of which is that we have responsibility to the care of our spirit and can connect a whole host of non-organic problems to spiritual issues. Fourth, we know that humans are created as moral beings (Gen. 2:16; 3). In this we most accurately share in the image of God and most disastrously fail. Thus, the effects of sin and an anguished conscience are not mysterious, nor the result of a tyrannical super-ego, mal-socialization, poor behavioral training or a failure to tap solutions already buried within. It is the impact of a fractured purpose by means of disobedience. Fifth, we know that humans are created as social beings (Gen. 2:21-24). Having been created by the ultimate social being, who forever delights in the union of Father, Son and Spirit, we are created for relationship within that loving circle, and called to responsible, loving relationships with other humans. Sixth, we know that humans are created for purpose (Gen. 2:15). We were created to work, to produce, to create. The creator works and rests, providing for us the pattern of our lives. Much of depression (non-organic) I have confronted as a pastor could be answered in this simple foundational truth - we are meant to work.