Mankind (frequently shortened to ‘man’) is an inclusive term incorporating all people, both male and female, so although the Bible often just refers to the male gender, the female is interchangeable in most instances; however, there are specific roles and functions for each gender. [Some contemporary Bibles use gender-inclusive language in an attempt to prevent misunderstandings].

The ultimate in God’s creation, we were made in His image with reasoning, creative and loving attributes so can find total fulfillment, fellowship and destiny with God, and, from that basis, to live in peace and harmony with other humans (Gen 5:1). We were designed to possess the earth, make it serve us and to rule over the other creatures (Gen 1:27-2:3). However, because of sin our authority has been severely reduced.

The fall of man through sin in the Garden of Eden broke the relationship with God, resulting in bondage, perversion of heart and mind, with man worshipping the creation rather than the creator (Gen 3:1-24, 8:21; Mt 15:19,20, 12:39; Rom 1:25; Heb 2:14,15). When humanity turned its back on God death was the result – not physically but

Am I in the right relationship with my creator?

spiritually, and so functions just in a carnal or earthly existence (Gen 2:17). While many unsaved people live fulfilled lives unfortunately they are not prepared for the next life (Mt 19:16-23; Lk 12:16-21). Like all who die without knowing Christ as Saviour the gravity is realised after death, and the permanent destiny of hell can't be altered.

We are not designed to live independent of our creator, but rather to be in close connection to Him as a branch is to the vine so it can produce fruit, and be changed into God’s likeness (Jn 15:4,5; Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Jn 3:2). This requires a definite choice and ongoing effort by us (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10; 1 Jn 3:3).

God loves us so much that, even when we sinned, Jesus gave His life to bring us back into right relationship and to live with Him in heaven forever if we will repent (1 Jn 4:9,10). In God’s view mankind (both individually and corporately) is worth more than all the realm of nature (Mk 8:36,37).

Although He is self-sufficient He craves relationship with us and gives man everything we need for life and godliness (Mt 23:37; Act 17:25-27; 2 Pet 1:3). 

“The entire duty of man is to fear God and obey His commandments. For God will judge us for everything we do…” (Eccl 12:13,14). Our eternal destination is determined by our relationship to God in this life. Are you born-again and walking in His ways?

See also: body/soul/spirit, characteristics, human/humanity, male/man, roles, woman.