The Unique Identity Of Man

Bible Book: Genesis  2
Subject: Creation of Man
Series: Genesis
[Editor's Note: This is sermon 3 of 8 on Genesis by Dr. Willmore.]

These verses refute any idea regarding the evolution of human life. It is here clearly and plainly stated that, "God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being". (v. 7) Consider with me the following aspects of man's unique identity:

I. The Material from Which Man was Made (v. 7)

When God created man He made him distinct and unique from the rest of His creation.

Dr. John Phillips, in his commentary on Genesis, records the following comments about the making of a man. "Suppose we were going to make a human body. We would need fifty-eight pounds of oxygen and fifty quarts of water, two ounces of salt, three pounds of calcium, twenty-four pounds of carbon, and some chlorine, phosphorous, fat, iron, sulfur and glycerin."

Phillips also reminds us that having the ingredients alone is not enough. Instructions are needed. But, even if we had the instructions, the complexity of the details of such an undertaking would make it impossible for one human being to make another human being.

Phillips reminds us that the human body is so complex an entity that no scientist can comprehend more than a fraction of its compositions and functions. "A mere piece of skin the size of a postage stamp requires three million cells; a yard of blood vessels, four yards of nerves; one hundred sweat glands, fifteen oil glands, and twenty-five nerve endings."

Dr. Mayo of Mayo Clinic had a humorous way of putting it. He said that you would need enough potassium for one shot of a toy pistol, enough fat for seven bars of soap, enough iron for one large nail, enough sulfur to delouse a dog, enough lime to whitewash a chicken coop, enough magnesia for one dose of medicine, and enough phosphorous for a few boxes of matches. The total purchase would not fill more than a couple of grocery bags.

Again we are reminded that the greatness of man does not lie in the material of which he is made, or in what he may possess. Man's greatness lies in the fact that he is the product of the creative work of God and that he is made in the image of God.

Man's physical body is not what primarily sets him apart from the rest of God's creation. We are told in verse seven that, after God had formed man from the dust of the ground, He then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (soul).

It is the soul that sets man above the rest of creation. It is in the soul that man bears the image of God. When God gave man a soul, He imparted to him the ability to reason, to have emotion, volition, and will. It is the soul that brings the moral dimension to man and gives him the capacity to know right and wrong, to make choices, to have a conscience and to commune with his creator.

II. The Habitation in Which God Placed Man (v. 8-15)

The Garden of Eden is a picture of God's perfect will for man. It was a place of true happiness and holiness. It was intended for man's enjoyment, pleasure and satisfaction. It was a place free of pain, sorrow, trouble, conflict and death. The Garden of Eden was a paradise.

The loss of life in the Garden was significant. Adam's removal from the Garden was the result of his willful disobedience. But it was in a garden that the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, yielded in total, complete and unreserved obedience to the will of His heavenly Father. (Matthew 26:39) The apostle Paul taught that the Christian should live in such obedience to the will of God that the body is yielded as a living sacrifice to the good and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

III. The Boundaries in Which Man is to Live (v. 16-17)

The man God made had a body, a mind, a will and he was free to make choices, but if he was to remain in fellowship with God he had to live within the boundaries of God's law. God told Adam he could eat of every tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God's boundaries were not designed in order to deprive man of happiness, but to assure his happiness.

What was true of Adam is true of people today. As human beings we have the freedom of choice. We can choose to obey the Word of God and live obediently in the will of God and experience the blessings of God, or we can choose to disobey God and experience the devastating results of our disobedience.

Paul described the results of living outside God's boundaries in Romans 6:23 when he said, "The wages of sin is death."

V. The Responsibilities Assigned to Adam (v. 15,19-20)

Man has been entrusted by God with responsibility. Adam was responsible for being both gardener and guardian in the Garden of Eden. He had the privilege of participating in the keeping of the world in which he had been placed. God never intended for man to be idle. His plan from the beginning was for man to have certain responsibilities and for man to work. What was true of Adam is true of mankind today.

VI. The Companion God Provided for Adam (v. 18, 21-25)

I think it is of interest to note that it was God, not Adam, who first called attention to Adam's need of a helper and a companion. Take note that God was in tune to Adam's needs in this area. In this aspect of God's creative process, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. While Adam was asleep, God removed one of Adam's ribs, closed Adam's side, and, from the rib He had removed, He made a wife for Adam. All this occurred while Adam was in a restful sleep.

I often heard Dr. Stephen Olford refer to this passage when advising young men who were seeking God's will regarding a wife. Dr. Olford's advice is to sleep (rest) in God, be at peace and contentment in God, and allow God to provide the wife of His "making". The idea is to leave matters of this magnitude in the hands of God.

This is a beautiful and sacred account of the first wedding. When Adam opened his eyes and saw Eve, his heart was overjoyed by the wonderful provision God had made. Adam's response set the standard for marriage for all time. He said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (v. 23)Someone has appropriately said, "Eve was made by God not out of Adam's head to rule over him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved."

God defines the marriage relationship as one of purity and unity. It is a sacred union. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." (vv. 24- 25)Here we have a picture of God's idea of marriage. Holy, Happy, Pure and Virtuous. It is within the marriage context only that sexual intimacy and oneness are to be fulfilled and satisfied.