WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT MAN?
I. The Creation and the Original Condition of Man
In the beginning God created man in His own image and after His own likeness (Gen. 1:26, 27) (Gen. 9:6).
A. What is meant by the terms created in His image and likeness?
1. The image of God does not refer to a physical likeness because God is a Spirit, and does not possess a human body (Deut. 4:15, 16).
2. Yet, man was created with intellectual, moral and spiritual
qualities very much like God.
a. Man had an intellectual ability to name all animals brought before him (Gen. 2:19,20).
b. Man had the ability to make a sovereign moral choice over sin (Gen. 2:15-17).
c. Man could choose to have spiritual fellowship with God. God commanded Adam (Gen. 2:16), warned Adam (Gen. 2:17), and they both knew the voice of God when He came to them in the garden (Gen. 3:8).
3. In the New Testament we are encouraged to put on the new man which is "renewed in knowledge after the image of him who created him" (Col. 3:10). Also, this new man is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:23,24). These verses again show that the image of God refers to their intellectual, moral and spiritual likeness that God is seeking to conform us to.
B. The original condition of man
1. Man had freedom of fellowship with God (Gen. 2:15-17) (Gen. 3:8).
2. Man had freedom to enjoy all that the garden provided (Gen. 2:16).
3. Man had the responsibility to work and cultivate the garden (Gen. 2:15).
4. Man had the responsibility to obey God (Gen. 2:17).
5. Man had the responsibility of a wife (Gen. 2:22-25).
6. Man had never experienced evil or sin of any kind (Gen. 2:25) (Gen. 3:9,10).
II. The Fall of Man
Man today is far from the original condition that Adam & Eve had in the beginning. Man has turned from fellowship with God to total independence from him.
A. Steps to the fall
1. Listening to and considering slanders against the character of God (Gen. 3:1-5).
2. Doubting God's love and that His commandment was for their best (1 John 5:3) (Gen. 3:1-5).
3. Looking at and lusting after what God had forbidden (Gen. 3:6).
4. Both Adam and Eve made a clear choice of their will in denial of God's will (Gen. 3:6).
5. They disobeyed God's commandment.
B. The results of the fall
1. The sinful nature of man begins, for the first time, to shift the blame for its sin.
a. Adam first blames God. "The woman You gave me" (Gen. 3:12).
b. Adam blames the woman (Gen. 3:12).
c. Eve blames the devil (Gen. 3:13).
2. The ground is cursed (Gen. 3:17-19).
a. Thorns will begin to grow.
b. Toil and sweat must occur now in order to eat.
3. Sorrow and pain in childbirth (Gen. 3:16).
4. Physical and spiritual death passed to all men (Gen. 5:3-5)(Rom. 5:12)(Eph. 2:1).
5. They were expelled from the garden (Gen. 3:22-24).
6. Sin passed to all men (Rom. 5:19)(Rom. 3:10).
7. The wrath of God abides on all men (John 3:36)(Eph. 2:3).
8. All men are held captive and under the control of Satan (2 Tim. 2:25,26)(Eph. 2:2)(1 John 3:8-10).
9. The entire nature of man has been affected by sin.
a. His understanding is darkened (Eph. 4:18) (1 Cor. 2:14).
b. His heart is deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:9,10).
c. His mind & conscience is defiled (Titus 1:15).
d. His flesh & spirit are defiled (2 Cor. 7:1).
e. He is totally unable to free himself from his sin. He has become a slave of sin (Rom. 6:17)(Rom. 7:14,18).
10. If a man dies in sin, apart from the redemption and forgiveness of Christ, he will experience the judgment of God.
a. Jesus will say, "depart from me into eternal fire" (Matt. 25:41,46).
b. They will experience the vengeance and punishment of their disobedience, being removed from the everlasting presence of the Lord (2 Thess. 1:8,9).
c. They will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
d. This punishment will be for ever and ever (Rev. 14:10,11).