Shepherd His Sheep
"But I do not allow a woman to teach” – True? Not True?
What Is Man?
 By Timothy Lin, Ph.D.
Special Topics
     One day, right after recess, the teacher of a six-grade class came to the room and the children were still talking and having an exciting time. So, to quiet the class down, she asked this question, “What is man?” After a couple of seconds of silence, one boy raised his hand and said, “MAN can be explained as: M stands for ‘making’, A stands for ‘a lot of’ and N stands ‘noise’.” In other words, life is nothing other than ‘complaints along life’s journey!” This is such a true description of life. It is just as Moses said, “For all our days have declined in Your fury; we have finished our years like a sigh.” (Ps 90:9)

The Bible tells us that man is made up of three functions: body, soul and spirit. The ‘body’ is our organs used to contact the material world. When we eat, we use our hand to take the food and put it in our mouth; we use our teeth to chew over it into small pieces and the stomach to digest it. Then our body receives nutrition. When we want to express our thoughts to others, we first vibrate our vocal cords to produce the sound and then speak with our tongue and lips. These are body functions.

The ‘soul’ is the psyche. It has no form but has function. Psychology is a study of the soul according to the etymology of the word. The soul has the function of mental understanding, emotion and will power. Every morning before you get up, you would use you mental power to think whether or not you should get up. While you are still thinking, your emotions would bring up “rise and shine” or “sweet dreams” as the reason to get up or not. When you feel the former is correct, you would use your ‘will’ to decide to get up. So, the function of the ‘soul’ is used towards your own self.

The ‘spirit’ is the religious nature of man. The Bible tells us that when man was made, God placed the ‘breath of life’ into him and he became a living soul. This breath of life is the watershed difference between man and animals. The function of the spirit is to know God and all that belongs to God. Man is not an animal because God gave man the ability to understand God and all that belongs to God! So, even uncivilized tribal people have the concept of God. Yet for apes and chimpanzees brought up in the most developed civilization environments, they cannot have a religious concept. Therefore, all man should know God. But how come so many people do not know Him or have wrong ideas about Him? This is because the function of the ‘spirit’ is not normal anymore. In other words, man is separated from God and has no ability to understand God’s will or spiritual matters. Even though He is alive, man cannot respond to God. Since the ‘spirit’ is the prime ingredient for being human and man has no ability to restore the ‘spiritual function’, how can such a person be normal in front of God? The Bible tells us that man need to receive a type of new life in order for the function of the ‘spirit’ to be restored to its normal state.

Two thousand years ago, God came to earth and became flesh and blood to live among us. He died on the cross for us and shed His blood. This was to pay for our sins. In addition, He rose from the dead on the third day. He established a new life called eternal life. So, if we are willing to receive this new life, the function of the ‘spirit’ can be restored. So, anyone who is willing to have this new life enter into his heart, his ‘spiritual function’ will be restored. So, he will know God and worship Him. This new life is the life of Jesus Himself. It permeates the entire universe and if anyone is willing to receive this new life, one’s original conscience and understanding will be restored to their normal state. 

Many years ago, there was a revival meeting in central China. A graduate of Wheaton College in the US attended every meeting. He was moved by the message of the speaker. The speaker gave an invitation for people to accept Jesus as their personal Savior every night. However, he was unable to understand what the speaker meant by the words, “Friends! Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart and asking if you would open the door to let Him come in!” So, he asked the speaker the meaning of “open the door of your heart”. The speaker smiled and replied, “That is very simple! After you get home, lock the door. Sincerely kneel down on your knees and say to God, “God, I am more than willing to open the door of my heart. But I don’t know how to open the door, would You help me?”” He went home and did that. Amazing thing happened to him. Later on he testified, “When I knelt down to pray, I did not understand why there was a very heavy burden pressed on my heart. Suddenly I began to confess my sins and that was unexpected. When I continued to confess my sins, a bright light came into my heart. It dissipated the darkness in my heart. The more I confessed, the brighter was my heart! After I confessed my sins, I invited Jesus into my heart. Once I did that, all my burdens, darkness and emptiness all disappeared! God’s love filled my heart and I experienced peace and joy that I have never had before.

Friend, this is the procedure to become a Christian. I trust that you will believe. Tell Him all your unholy and unrighteous things in your life to Jesus. Allow Him to take them all away from your heart. Then invite Jesus into your ‘spirit’. Then your life will turn from darkness into light. Your life will begin anew. May God bless you!