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The Great Value of Human Personality—Part I
The Rev. Dr. Charles E. Blake, senior pastor of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, has enumerated 14 points concerning the immeasurable worth of human kind, in the eyes of God, of which this article will deal with the first eight. I have cited the points themselves almost verbatim but have expanded upon them to a considerable extent. The remaining six points will be discussed in part II which will be written in the near future.
It is of extreme importance that Christians have a Biblical and balanced view of the nature of human beings so that they may allow the Most High God to be honored and glorified and that their lives may be fruitful in His service. On the one hand, according to Jeremiah 17:9, “…the human heart is utterly wicked and deceitful above all else,” but on the other hand we have great worth and He has redeemed us through Christ’s work and shed blood on the cross (1 Peter 1:18-19). Each one of us as His adopted children is “…fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and we are sinners “…saved by grace” (Ephesians 2:8-9). As Christians we are no better than those who have not yet received Christ as their Lord and Savior, but as redeemed believers in Jesus Christ we are God’s poiema (poetry, workmanship—Ephesians 2:10), who have been created to do good works in His service in the world to show “…Christ who is the hope of glory within us” (Colossians 1:27). To this end, we must have a balanced view of God and of our own humanity as enumerated by Dr. Rev. Blake and discussed below.
I. Humankind has intrinsic value (Genesis 1:26-28). Though humankind is fallen and is deeply marred (Genesis 3:9-19), he/she still has immeasurable value in the eyes of God given that he/she is made in the image of God and given that He (God) has given him/her (humanity) the responsibility to steward and care for the earth (Genesis 1:27-31).
II. God has given humanity dominion over His creation (Psalm 8:4-8). As mentioned in point one, we are to use the Earth but we are to also care for it and be responsible stewards of it. What we use we should try to replace or renew and we should never use more than we need.
III. Humankind is to play a vital role in the conduct of the Affairs of the Earth (Genesis 3:17). As humans, God has endowed us with the quality of semi-transcendence which means that we can conceptualize and reason in both concrete and abstract terms and influence the world for good or evil. As believers in the conduct of the Kingdom of God on the Earth, we are to be “salt and light” and “a city set on a hill” so that our “light will shine before humanity” and bring “glory to our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).
IV. Human life is sacred because it is created by the Most High God (Genesis 9:5-6). God has very “… skillfully wrought us in the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139:15) and for that reason human life is to be deeply respected. Life has been breathed into humankind by God and we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26; 9:26). Each one of us is a uniquely made, spiritual, immortal, and intelligent creation.
V. The human race is united by “one blood” and has a common ancestry through the line of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:20) and through the sons of Noah (Genesis 9:19). Though we are of different cultures and backgrounds, and we are fallen, The Most High God has created all of us and we live in a single world village (Malachi 2:10). Moreover, God shows no partiality to nations and honors those who honor Him (Acts 10:28, 34-35). There are really only two divisions of humanity: those who have received Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their personal Lord and Savior and those who have not yet done so.
VI.All born-again Christian believers are members of the Body of Christ worldwide (1 Corinthians 12:12). The word Body, as written just above, is related to theKoine Greek (New-Testament Greek) word sozo which means to means to heal, preserve, and be made whole so each member of the Body is absolutely essential to the growth and welfare of the Church worldwide (Romans 14:7). “Lone-Ranger Christianity” is neither a Biblical nor viable option for living a fruitful and transformational life personally, in the Church, or in the world.
VII.To love in a moral or social sense (agapao, agape) is the testing of discipleship (John 13:34-35). As Christians, love is our greatest command and also our most difficult—we are to love one another as Christ has loved the Church and we are to rely upon Him completely for the strength to love others with selfless motives with no expectation of being paid back by those we are kind toward. The Christian life is to be poured out in love not only in the Church but in an incarnational way in the world in the footsteps of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 8:9).
VIII. The Lord Jesus Christ requires social concern on the part of all Christians (Matthew 25:37-40). Historically, the Church has swung from one extreme to the other in the commendation of the gospel. On the one hand, it has preached the gospel of Christ’s salvation to the exclusion of good works to demonstrate the working out of that salvation in the world. Yet, on the other hand, it has done good works i.e. the social gospel which excludes the preaching of the gospel of Christ (the cross of Christ) which is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18) unto salvation for all who believe. God requires the preaching of the gospel as we are going through our daily life as Christians (Matthew 28:18-20) but He also requires that we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). Isaiah 58 and 61, Matthew 25, and the Book of James, among other passages, resonate powerfully with God’s mandates for the living out of justice by Christians in the world. By surrender at the foot of Christ’s cross, obedience to the Word of God, prayer, and utter reliance upon the power of the Holy Spirit as Christians we can become world changers for His honor and glory.
Source: Dr. Rev. Charles E. Blake (1991). The Worth of the Human Personality. Spirit-Filled Bible: New King James Bible, pgs. XXV-XVI. Dr. Rev. Jack W. Hayford et al, Editors, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Web site: www.thomasnelson.com/
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