What it Means to be Human

Who are You?
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  John 1:12

It seems an odd question to answer—what does it means to be human? Yet it is imperative in this culture of confusion that we have the correct answer to this vital question. And it all rests on one’s worldview, which is the lens that we use to view reality. Is our lens clear?

Depending on one’s worldview, answering what it means to be human can vary widely. For this purpose, I am going to focus on the worldview that I hold which is a Christian one. I believe the “Christian lens” is the clearest explanation for reality. Reality shows us that there is something wrong with the world – humans keep messing things up. Why? It’s because we’ve rebelled against God. So, Jesus came to restore humanity back to its Creator.

When properly lived, Christianity is the most human way to live. Not only did Jesus come to offer us salvation, He showed us what it means to be human. His life was morally exceptional, and we would all do better if we studied His life and tried our best to emulate it. 

From the belief system of Christianity, to be human is to be created in the Imago Dei, a Latin term for the “image of God.” This image is special – no other creature on Earth has it. It is reserved specifically for humans, which sets us apart from all other created things. We are created especially for God for His glory. What is God’s glory, anyway? Being clear on the meaning of words is import, and this is one of those words that Christians sometimes use without thinking of the deeper meaning and purpose behind the word.

Glory, in a Biblical context, has been described by some as “God’s holiness made manifest” (to make clear or obvious to the eye). So, people are created in God’s image to make His holiness obvious to the eye… Wow! Now that is an interesting concept, if you dwell on it a bit.

Your Glorious Body

You were created to make God obvious. What? Yeah. That is one aspect of being human. Your body is quite “glorious” when you stop to consider how wonderfully made the human body is. Take, for instance, the discovery of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid). This is a thread-like chain of nucleotides carrying the genetic instructions that tell your body what you’re going to look like, from the color of your eyes to how tall you’re going to be. It’s your body’s “blueprint,” so to speak.

DNA is somewhat like a computer program on a floppy disk. It stores and transfers encoded information and instructions. It is said that human DNA stores enough ‘information code’ to fill 1,000 books, each with 500 pages of very small, closely-printed type.[1]  This is amazing! 

What are the odds of that? Well, two well-known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000 power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000 power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it![2]

This is a good argument against what proponents of an atheistic worldview believe — that life developed as a pure, undirected chemical process. Being human does not mean we are a product of a lucky roll of the dice over, and over, and over again! We are not a mere product of undirected processes. There is a “Divine Director” behind it all, or as some have termed it, an “Intelligent Design.”

Your DNA points to God – your ‘body’ makes God obvious! That brings Him glory.

Your Purpose

Being human means that we have purpose, and from a Christian worldview, that purpose is to be loved by God and love Him in return. This then helps us to “love our neighbors as ourselves” (Mark 12:31). We can love because it comes from the knowledge of knowing that we are loved first by God — that we are lovable! If we don’t know this, it’s hard to love others well. We must know that we are loved, and then we can love ourselves enough to love others well.

This is why being human is special. There is no other creature created exactly like people. Matter of fact, we are “God’s masterpiece.” (Eph. 2:10, NLT.) After understanding a bit about DNA, I can see how DNA is truly a work of ‘God art.’ Only God could create such an intricate system of coding. And remember, every code must have a “coder,” just sayin’.

Your Hope

So, as you begin this New Year (2019), remember that being human is a special thing, one that brings God glory if we allow Him to form us into “children of God.” This means we are adopted into His family by the precious love of Jesus Christ, a love that paid the penalty for crimes (sin) committed against God. 

Jesus loves us that much – to become a man, to die to pay the price of our crimes (a.k.a. rebellion) against God, and to rise again, giving all people who believe in Him hope that when our bodies fail, it is not the end. Upon death, our spirits leave to be in heaven with Christ, and someday, we will all be resurrected into new bodies that never see decay (2 Cor. 5:1). This is the glorious hope of being a ‘redeemed’ human being!

Being human means that you are created in God’s image which sets you apart from all other living things. As a ‘believing’ human, you are also God’s ambassadoron Earth to help others see how special they are, too. Spread this good news in 2019 – plant the seeds of truth, trusting it is God that makes those seeds grow. 

[1]Alan MacDougall, www.scienceforums.net, accessed Jan. 2, 2019.

[2]Fred Hoyle & N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space[Aldine House, 33 Welbeck St., London W1M 8LX: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24,150,30,31).


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