What Is Man?

“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 (Psalm 8:4-5).  The ultimate questions of life are sometimes set forth in this way:   What is man?  Why is man here?    Where is man going?  The answers to these questions are implicit in Psalm 8.  There is something about man that is significant.  If this is not the case, then why did God so honor man and give him glory and honor?  Why is man exalted above the created universe and the animals? Why did God give man authority over all that was created by divine power?  How does man respond to God? Man has the responsibility to recognize the ultimate dominance of God over all, including man. God has the right to demand and expect the praise and respect that emanates from His power and glory.  Yet, there is something about man that is unique; he is singled out for special attention and responsibility.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23). Paul’s statement to the Thessalonians delineates the basic nature of man—body, soul, and spirit. A complete, adequate explanation of man’s nature may not be possible, but what does the Bible say about body, soul, and spirit?

Human beings have a fleshly, physical existence.  Man was made from the dust of the ground; he became a living soul or a living, human being (Gen. 2:7).  The KJV and the ASV use the word soul;  the NKJV uses the words living being which express the true idea.  Mankind has been given life; this is we something we have in common with the animals. Man is a complex being with a fleshly existence.  But there is more to man than just the flesh (1 Sam. 16:7).

Man also has a soul.  He is a soul; he is a living, human being.  But, he has a soul. This could be described as man’s ability to reason, his emotions, his interest in social relationships. Then, there is the spirit of man.  It is important to remember that the words soul and spirit are used interchangeably in the Bible.  The spirit of man distinguishes him from the animals.  Man is a spiritual being; in this respect, he is made “in the image of God.”  He is able to respond to spiritual impulses; arguably, he must and will respond to spiritual impulses of some kind.

We many times do not  understand ourselves. As spiritual beings we need to try.