LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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Lesson 8 Man, In the Image of God

 

Devotional Reading:   Psalm 100.

 

Memory Verse:           Genesis 1:27.

        

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

LESSON TEXT

 

Genesis 1:26, 27. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

Genesis 5:1. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.

 

Ecclesiastes 7:29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

 

Colossians 3:9, 10. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

 

Ephesians 4:22Ė24. That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

Genesis 1:26. God proposes to create man in his own image. The dominion given to man in the creation shows that he is far superior to the beasts. V27. God carried out his plan in the creation of man.

Genesis 5:1. The same truth is related, making Adam the first man.

Ecclesiastes 7:29. Man was created morally upright but has since changed that condition. The original man was very good.

Colossians 3:9, 10. The change in conversion includes putting on the new man. This new man is in Godís image which must be a moral image.

Ephesians 4:22Ė24. The image or likeness of God is here said to be righteousness and true holiness.

 

LESSON TOPIC: MAN, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

 

I. PRIMITIVE MAN

Man is man. Whatever man is today is essentially what man has always been. The Bible assures us that the first man was in Godís image.

 

1. Physically.

 

A) Man is not a brute. Among all the beasts there was no mate found for Adam. The formation of Eve was necessary that he might have a companion. This accounts for the lack of intermediate forms between man and beast. These are quite distinct. B) He was not of a low type. The Bible picture of Adam does not indicate that he was a base type of man. The notion that primitive man was scarcely more than a brute, living in caves or trees is without proof.

 

2. Intellectually.

 

A) He was not a savage. This is shown in the dominion given to man. This dominion Adam immediately assumed, naming the beasts presented before him. B) The Stone Age. Much is said of a stone age as though all men had passed through it. Some races, as the American Indians, have but recently passed such an age. The farther back one goes in Egyptian history the higher he finds civilization. Much the same is true of the Euphrates Valley from whence Egypt received her civilization. C) Civilization is derived. The civilization of Europe comes from Egypt, Phoenicia, and the East. American civilization comes from Europe, and the interior of Africa is now receiving its civilization from Europe and America. There is no record of any race civilizing itself.

 

II. THE IMAGE OF GOD

 

Man was created in Godís image. This image, through nature and through redemption, is still the possession of man.

 

1. Not the physical man.

 

A) Manís body is much like the beastís. Although man is not a beast, in physical form he is not essentially different from them. Both have much the same general structure, organs, and powers. B) ďGod is a spirit.Ē He is not a physical form, hence man, to be in Godís image, just be a spirit. It is the spirit of man, not the body, that is in Godís image.

 

2. The intellectual image.

 

A) Man, like God, possesses intelligence. The faculty of knowing, though not reaching the infinitude of Godís omniscience, is, never-the-less, after Godís image. Man is far removed from the beasts in the range and extent of his knowledge, especially in his possession of reason. B) Sensibilities. Man is susceptible of feelings entirely out of the range of the beast kingdomófeelings that prove him to be akin to God. C) Man possesses free will. Through the use of this power he approaches near unto God. The exercise of this faculty is the greatest privilege given to a creature.

 

III. THE MORAL IMAGE

 

Though manís intellectual powers are after Godís likeness, it is rather in moral constitution that the image of God is revealed. In this respect man is completely removed from the lower creation and made like God.

 

1. Conscience.

 

The faculty of conscience shows that man is a moral creature. This power reveals that man is a creature of duty, that he is responsible for his deeds, and responsible to someone. The functions of conscience may be compared to the three divisions of government.

A) Legislative. A function of conscience is to decide whether an act is right or wrong. The decision is made in the light of the knowledge possessed by the individual. All men have an intuition of right which is quite safe, yet conscience, being subject to education, may wrongly decide as to the rightness or wrongness of an act.

B) Executive. It is also a function of conscience to impel its possessor to do what it has decided is right. The intensity of this urging depends upon the moral state of the person, whether his conscience be tender or seared.

C) Judicial. When the decision is made or the deed done the conscience sits as judge of the doer either to approve or condemn.

 

2. Free will.

 

A) All men intuitively consider themselves free. It is only in the realm of speculation that free will is denied.

B) The feeling of responsibility concerning our actions is a proof of freedom. Why should a man feel remorse over an act he was powerless to prevent? The denial of freedom is the denial of moral responsibility.

C) Freedom is shown in deliberation. Men hesitate before making a choice, wishing to make the right choice. If he is at liberty to do only what he is predestined to do there is no occasion for deliberation or delay.

D) Manís freedom is limited. Choice must be made between available alternatives. The sinner is represented as not free, and such freedom is promised through Christ. The sinnerís lack of freedom is due to the lack of righteous character. ďWhen I would do good, evil is present with me.Ē This loss of power is the result of sin. We must have a moral character.