God's Plan for Man-II

      Why did God make man? Why are you here? Why am I here? Understanding God's plan for man is the key to understanding the Christian life. If we don't understand God's plan for man, we won't understand the Christian life or why God put man on earth.

The Creation Story

     "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…" Genesis 1:1. Following this statement is God's revelation of the specific stages of creation. The vital truth we learn from this is:

Since God Created Everything, God Owns Everything

     This is the first truth we must grasp if we are going to understand God's plan for man. There should be no doubt as to why Satan has made it one of his highest priorities to attack the revelation that God created everything. If the heavens and the earth came into existence from natural processes they don't belong to God. It follows that all creation is up for grabs to any person or group who can take control of all or part of it, by any means they can. The next conclusion is that if and when they gain control of all or part of it they have a right to use it any way they please. Rejection of the truth that God created everything and therefore owns everything is the source of rebellion against God, greed, violence, thievery and tyranny.

     Those who have meditated deeply on God’s marvelous creation have concluded with David, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork." Psalms 19:1. They also conclude with David that "The earth is the LORD’s and all it's fullness, the world, and those dwell therein." Psalms 24:1

     God also sustains everything. Our New Testament tells us, "He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God…for by Him all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth…all things were created through Him, and for Him,…and in Him all things consist (are held together). Colossians 1:15-17.

God Created Man To Be The Managers of His Creation

     After each of the first six acts of creation recorded in Genesis 1, we read that God saw that "it was good." Then God created man last of all and we read, "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was very good." Genesis 1:31. The creation of man elevated God’s appraisal of His creation. What made the difference? Two things:

1.  Man was different in character. "Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’" Genesis 1:26a. "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" 1:27.

2. Man was given authority over the rest of God’s creation. "Then God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Genesis 1:28.  "Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend it and keep it." Genesis 2:15.

     God made man to manage the resources that God put on and in the earth. In essence, God was saying to man, "I am the Creator and owner of all things and I have made you like Me to be the manager of all things.
      One of your benefits will be that you get to enjoy all things."

God’s Plan For Man Was Hampered By Satan

     Satan was a member of God’s highest order of angels. His name was Lucifer. He saw in God’s plan for man an opportunity to become like God by gaining control of man and the resources of God’s creation. He did so by successfully tempting man (male and female) to disobey God. The extent to which Satan has usurped man’s authority over creation can be seen in the description of scripture that he is "the god of this world" (2nd Corinthians 4:4); "the prince of this world (John 12:31, 14:30’ 16:11) and "the prince of the power of the air"  (Ephesians 2:6 –See also 6:11,12).

     The effect on mankind has been that man forgets that God is the Creator and Owner and that man is to be the manager for God. Man fancies that he is the owner of all that he can get under his control and can do whatever he pleases with it.

     I remember vividly the first home that Jeanette and I thought we "owned". We were humbly thankful to God for making it possible but at the same time we took great pride that we were "home owners." In those days it was still popular to have an attorney draw up what was called an abstract to verify that the deed to the property was good. The abstract was basically a list of the people who had previously "owned" the property. Mine went back to the 1700’s. As I read the names of all those people who thought they owned that property the sobering thought hit me before too long Jeanette and I would be added to the list of people who thought they "owned" it and somebody else would begin thinking they "owned" it. The fact is that we never did own it. We learned the reality that we were the managers of property that belonged to God.

     Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, man has had the problem of thinking he owns what belongs to God.

God’s Plan Remains That He Is The Owner of Creation and Man Is The Manager

     It is true that the majority of mankind believe they own what they control, but the time comes for all when they die and somebody else begins thinking they own what this person left behind.

     The central theme of the Bible has to do with God’s provision for man to be restored to the relationship that recognizes God is the Owner and man is the manager of all that God places under man’s control.

     The scarlet cord of redemption begins in Genesis 3 and continues to the end of the Bible. Genesis 3:15 gives us God’s promise that the coming seed of the woman (a Son with no earthly father) would crush Satan’s head and verse 21 tells how the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve and clothed them. This pictured how God would provide a covering of righteousness through the blood sacrifice of an innocent substitute.

     The sacrifices for sin in the Old Testament were animals. The sacrifice for sin in the New Testament was a person…the virgin born Son of God, Jesus Christ. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Ephesians 1:7. Believers who lived before Christ received forgiveness of sins and a covering of righteousness through the sacrifice of Christ just as much as believers who have lived since Christ died on the cross.

     To all those who renounce the life lived in separation from God and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith there is forgiveness of sin and gracious acceptance by God. There is also instruction for them to realize that God is the Owner and they are the managers of all that He places under their control.

    Consider what God said to Israel in the days before they crossed the Jordan river and possessed the promised land of Canaan:

     "For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land…in which you will lack nothing…When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God…lest---when you have eaten and are full…when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God…Then, you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’  And  you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
Deuteronomy 8:7-18.
      God was telling the people of Israel that they needed to remind themselves that God was the Owner of all He placed under their control and they were the managers.

     From the ministry of Jesus let us learn some of the aspects of God’s plan for man:

     From the feeding of the five thousand we learn that a boy who had a lunch that was only enough for him could give it to Jesus Who would bless it and multiply it so that not only he would eat but also five thousand men plus women and children. (Matthew 14:15-21).

     From the parable of the householder we learn that the religious leaders of Israel had been in authority over the kingdom of God but because they rejected and killed God’s prophets and God’s Son their authority would be taken from them and given to a nation of believers who would be faithful. Matthew 21:33-46.

     From the parable of the talents we learn that Jesus has given to professing believers valuable resources. The way they manage those resources is their decision, but they are to be aware they will be held accountable. Those who have been faithful and multiplied those resources will be rewarded and enter into the eternal joy of their Lord. Those who have been unfaithful and gained nothing will be proven to be false professors; have their resources taken away and be separated from the Lord forever. Matthew 25:14-30

     From the apostle Paul we learn that the motives, words, and deeds of believers are classified as wood, hay, stubble, and gold, silver, and precious stones. These will be tried by fire. For those things that survive the fire the believer receives reward. For those things that are burned up the believer suffers loss. 1st Corinthians 3:11-17.

What Are The Things Believers Are To Manage?

All things under our control. This includes

    • our physical and material possessions
    • our body,
    • intelligence,
    • abilities, talents, gifts,
    • wealth, property, and family

     It includes all that is under our authority in our vocation; the people, the production, and whatever else we are responsible for. It includes our spiritual possessions: our salvation, our knowledge of God and God’s truths. It includes our ministry and mission on behalf of the kingdom of God: Our responsibilities in the church of Jesus Christ and our witness to the lost people we meet in the world.

     There are benefits in this life to remembering that God is the Owner and we are the managers:

1.  Our happiness will be in proportion to our faithfulness in being a good manager.
2.  While we are managing what is under our control we get to enjoy it.
3. The better we do at being faithful managers, the more God trusts us and lets us manage more and more (See Luke 16:10 and 2nd Corinthians 9:6-11).

     There are also unspeakable benefits in eternity. The parables of Jesus and the teachings of scripture send a clear message that what we manage in eternity will be determined by how faithful we were in being good managers of what God entrusted to us on earth.

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted

    Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.