Bible Catechism: The Doctrine of Man

Question How did God create man?

Answer God created Adam and Eve directly, as the first man and woman. He blessed them, told them to have children, and through them continues giving life to all people as their descendants. 

Scripture Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. 

Explanation| God is the one who has created man. He made you and me, and every other human. He made Adam and Eve, and every single person between them and us, today. That’s what we looked at in our last question and answer. But, how did God create man?  

God created Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. To begin with, remember that everything that is—that exists—is because God made it (see John 1:3). This, as we’ve seen, includes humans. And, remember, too, that God made all things during the first six days of creation out of nothing (see Hebrews 11:3). This means that nothing existed before He made all things. And, He made all things by His word (again, see Hebrews 11:3). He spoke all things into existence (see Psalm 33:6). But, is this how He makes every person, including you and me? Let me answer this question by first looking at God’s creation of the first two humans. God certainly did (and does) make man—even as our verse above indicates. But how He made man was a little different from the rest of creation. And, how He continues to make the rest of “mankind” is a little different from the first man He created. With the first human to ever exist, God “formed (him) of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7).1 He is the “one man” that “every nation of mankind” has been “made from” (Acts 17:26). And, his name was Adam, which in the Hebrew language means man.2 Now, God intended for humanity to include both man and woman (or male and female). And, God intentionally made Adam first, and then He made the first woman.3 Instead of forming her from dust from the ground like He did with Adam, God “took one of (Adam’s) ribs and closed up its place with flesh” and “the rib that (He) had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22).4 Her name was Eve, which in the Hebrew language sounds like life-giver. Why? Because “she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:30).So, God made humans, He made them male and female, and He made the first man and woman in the beginning.5 No humans existed before Adam and Eve. And, every human that exists after Adam and Eve, comes from them.  

God told them to have children. As I’ve already mentioned, though the first six days of creation are the foundation for everything that comes after, they are unique. And, they are unique in this way—God doesn’t create everything that comes after in exactly the same way He did during the six days of creation. Meaning, for example, God spoke the first trees and dogs into existence, but He doesn’t continue to speak subsequent trees and dogs into existence in the same way. Rather, by God’s design, He commanded the first trees to “sprout…bearing fruit in which is their seed” (Genesis 1:11-12). Similarly, God “spoke” and “the earth brought forth living creatures”—including dogs—which God “blessed and commanded to multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 8:17). Why do I mention this about trees and dogs? Well, this, too, is what it’s like for humans. God directly created Adam and Eve, and then commanded them to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). In other words, God told Adam and Eve to have children. And, that’s exactly what they did—“Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain,” and “again, she bore his brother Abel” (Genesis 4:1-2; see also, Genesis 4:25-26 and 5:1-6). Adam and Eve had children. And, their children had children of their own. And, so on, and so forth…all the way until we get to you and me. We have been given life like Adam and Eve’s children were given life—through our parents. 

But, it would probably be good for us to think and speak carefully about this. For, though every human other than Adam and Eve is given life differently than they were, it’s not as if God is no longer involved in every human’s existence.6 Eve, herself, knew that though she conceived and bore Cain, she did so “with the help of the LORD” (Genesis 4:1). We also read in the Bible how it is the Lord who closes and opens the womb.7 Additionally, though God has designed the normal function of all living things to reproduce after their own kind, as God, He also always has the authority and ability to intervene in His creation at any time according to His will and purposes.8 So, for example, by God’s plan and power, Sarah gave birth to a son when she and Abraham were so old they were “as good as dead” (Romans 4:19; see also, Hebrews 11:12), and Mary gave birth to a son even before she and Joseph “came together” as husband and wife (Matthew 1:18-25; see also, Luke 1:26-38). Further, David understood and acknowledged that it was God who “formed (his) inward parts,” who “knitted (him) together in (his) mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13-16).9 Ultimately, then, God is the one who “gives life and breath” to everything (Acts 17:25). And, in a way that we might not fully understand, the Bible is also clear that you and I keep living because Jesus Christ sustains us “by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).  

God gives life to all people as their descendants. This is where our verse above is helpful—“from one man” God made “every nation of mankind.” In short, all people have ultimately come from that “one man,” Adam. Every human is related to him. And, every person, then, is also related to every other person. So, you and I are descended from Adam, and as such, we are both related to him and to each other. We all go back to Adam. All people arehis descendants. And, again, all of this was according to God’s good design. So, God made (and makes) all humans, He made all humans distinct from the rest of creation, and He made all humans from the same “one man.” Now, think about this—though we are all different from each other in some way, because the Bible says that actually all of us come from Adam, then no matter how different we may appear to be, we are all equally Adam’s descendants. Whether our differences are our looks, our language, our location, or the way we live, God has made us from the “one man.” No one is less his descendant than another. No one is less human than another. No one is less made by God than another.  

This is what the Bible teaches about humans. 

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1 Genesis 2When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up- for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground- 7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. (See also, 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47) 

2 Genesis 5This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.  

1 Timothy 212 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 

4 1 Corinthians 11For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 

5 Matthew 19He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female.” 

6 1 Corinthians 8Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (See also, Job 12:10; Isaiah 42:5) 

7 1 Samuel 1But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. (See also, Genesis 30:22; Psalm 127:3) 

8 Deuteronomy 2811 And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. … 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. (See also, the context where God promises to bless Israel or curse them based upon their obedience to Him.) 

9 Ecclesiastes 115 As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.