Does man possess immortality apart from God?
[Darris McNeely] "What is man, that You are mindful of him?" We've asked that question and we're talking about it here on a series of BT Dailies. This is part 2. In talking about the question of "What is man?" Psalms 8:4 Psalms 8:4What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?
American King James Version×asks this classic and eternal question: "What is man, that You are mindful of him?" We saw last time that man is not an animal. Man is a unique creation, created in the image of God. We read from Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
American King James Version×that brings that out. Created in God's image, a special creation, he is not an animal, he is not just the highest form of the animal world – he is a special creation, created in the image of God. The Bible gives very clear answers to that.
Now, we take it a step further. We go into Genesis chapter 2, and we read in verse 7 – Genesis 2:7 Genesis 2:7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
American King James Version×, here – that when God created man from the dust of the ground, He breathed into him, into man, the breath of life, and he became a living being. Man became a living being. The word there in the phrase, "living being", is a word that means he became a living, breathing, flesh and blood entity or being. And actually, it's the same word that is used in Genesis 1 several times to describe the animals that are created at that time of creation. And we do find then that man is a living, flesh and blood, breathing human being, not an animal being, but the word that is used to describe that tells us something – not that man is an animal, but that man is mortal – that man indeed is created from the dust of the ground. He is a living, breathing being, and man, as we know from other scriptures and from the practical aspect of life – man is subject to aging, to decay, and to death. And in fact, the very scripture – it says that "from dust you came, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19 Genesis 3:19In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.
American King James Version×). That is what the Bible says regarding human life.
Now, when we understand that man is not an animal, BUT he is a living, breathing entity, a being subject to death, it begs the question, can he – is there life after death? Does man have something in him that transcends that? What is it that makes man special? That's the topic for another discussion here on BT Daily. But what we do understand from these scriptures here is that man is a living being and he's subject to death and man does not possess immortality. He is not immortal or have any aspect of that within his physical being from the time of birth forward. The scriptures are very clear on that – that in the grave, man cannot worship God, cannot praise God, cannot extol God. Other scriptures talk about – that in the very day that one dies, one's thoughts perish. The Bible is very, very clear in regard to that.
But back to the question of "What is man?" He is a living being created in the image of God. He does not possess immortal life, but scripture tells us that God does offer the hope of eternal life and therein again, we take the existence of man to another level, to a greater level.
How that happens, how that can be brought about in God's plan and purpose for human life will be the subject of our next BT Daily. Join us next time.