Study Material

The Nature Of Man                 Class  2

Précis: To provide an understanding of human nature; demonstrate the dynamics of knowing; outline the spiritual resources available to man.

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:23;

          1 Corinthians 2:14

Introduction:

An inebriated vagrant shuffled down a litter strewn street. Passing by a dingy store front window, he peered into the glass to see what was inside. He was aghast when he saw his own reflection looking at him. A flood of unanswered questions surged through his mind. “Who is that person? Is that me? Who am I? What have I become? Why am I here? What’s my purpose for being? Can I ever know? Can I do anything to change?” Such questions fill the sober mind as well. What is life all about? The human mind loses all meaning and purpose for life when it is deprived of an understanding of God’s Revelation. Unaided by the Holy Spirit, human understanding is limited to natural phenomena. To the unregenerate mind, life will remain an incomprehensible riddle. This was Solomon’s conclusion when he declared;

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labors which he taketh under the sun? – Ecc. 1:1-2

To the natural man who lives “under the sun”, life is rather pointless. G.N. Clark, in his inaugural address at Cambridge, summarized the futility of life from his perspective, when he stated; There is no secret and no plan in history to be acknowledged. The noted French biographer and author Jean Paul Sartre, underscored his frustration with life when he wrote; The universe is indifferent. Who created it? Why are we here on this puny mud heap spinning in infinite space? I have not the slightest idea and am quite convinced no one has. The glorious news is that God’s revealed word, even when spoken from the mouths of babes and sucklings (Psalms 8:2), gives meaning to life!  Life becomes purposeful, exhilarating and exciting! Incomprehensible to the sages of this world who live “under the sun”, life becomes exciting and filled with purpose to those who live “with the Son” of righteousness, Jesus Christ!

Under the sun or with the Son

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thes. 5:23) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14) The often quoted philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650), doubted the existence of everything, including him-self. Ironically, it was this doubt that led him to announceCognito ergo sum; which loosely translated means; Because I doubt, I Think, Therefore I Am! What he concluded was that he was a definite maybe!

Lesson: The Nature  Of  Man

2.1  The Corporate Nature Of Mankind

1.  Freud – Psychoanalysis

2.  Burn – Transactional analysis

3.  The Trinity – Temple

4.  Man in His image

2.2 Sensory Knowledge

1. Body {so’-mah} World consciousness – Contact with physical realities

2. Soul {psoo-khay’} Self consciousness – Contact with ourselves

3. Spirit {pnyoo’-mah} God consciousness – Contact with God

4. The learning process

2.3 Spiritual Enlightenment

1. E.g. The animal kingdom

2. Spiritual death – incapable of response to any stimuli – 1 Cor. 2:14

3. The absolute necessity of awakening – being born again – John 3:1-16

4. A significant observation

2.4 A Challenge To Hear And See

1. The Challenge; “Let him who hath ears, hear”- Rev. 2-3; Luke 8:16-18

2. A need for spiritual eyes to see things not visible – 2 Cor. 4:16-18

3. The two fold reason for a parable – Matthew 13:1-6; Mark 4:11-13

4. The dangerous balance – Knowledge is king

Every person is born 2/3 alive and 1/3 dead; physically and mentally alive, but dead spiritually in trespasses and sins. Death cannot exist in the presence of Jesus. He demonstrated this when He raised Lazarus from the dead. When a person asks Jesus Christ to come into his heart and soul, death must flee. Pray this simple prayer: 

 Dear Lord. I am spiritually dead, and cannot respond to your stimuli. I ask  you to come into my heart and share your divine eternal life with me.  Even as you raised Lazarus from the dead, I ask you to give me newness of life.  Make me fully alive, body, soul and spirit. I ask this in the name my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!