Adam and Eve | A Bible Class on the Creation of the First Couple
If we are going to discuss characters from the Old Testament, I believe it’s important that we start at “the beginning.” Adam and Eve can teach us many important lessons. Tonight, we want to look at Adam and Eve that we might learn those important lessons.
Made in God’s Image (Genesis 1:26-27)
There are several important implications in these two short verses.
- Man bears the image of God. In biblical studies, this is often known by the Latin phrase Imago Dei.
- Man has dominion over animals.
- Man was made male and female.
Man bears the image of God. What is “the image of God”? There are seven main views of what God’s image means:
- Some believe that this means that man’s physical features are a copy of God’s physical features (cf. Gen 5:3).
- Some say that this means that man’s upright posture (which distinguishes him from the rest of the animal kingdom) is a reflection of God’s upright posture.
- Some believe this means that man has dominion over the animals.
- Some of the early Christians said that the divine image was something God originally gave man, but that the divine image was lost in the Fall (Gen 9:6).
- Many say that this means that God gave man spiritual qualities like His own (e.g., the ability to think on a very high level, the power to communicate meaningfully, the ability to look beyond oneself to higher goals, and the propensity to examine one’s own motives and actions).
- Man’s being made in God’s image sets him apart from every other creature; this would speak of the need for humans to treat one another with dignity and respect.
- The fact that man is made “in the image of God” means that man is not God. Man has a likeness of God; he is like God in many respects. However, he must remember that he himself is not God.
Many of these ideas can be rejected out of hand. God has no physical appearance or posture; therefore, the “God likeness” cannot refer to that. It seems that man has dominion over the animals because he bears God’s image; therefore, the image of God does not seem to be equal to the dominion over animals. Since God after the Flood that man bears the image of God (Gen 9:6), the divine image was not lost at the Fall.
The other three ideas do seem to fit the idea of God’s image. I personally believe that the Imago Dei does say something about our spiritual nature.
- Man is creative; God is the Creator.
- Man has a spirit; God is Spirit.
- Man (from his conception) is eternal; God is eternal.
Without any doubt, man’s bearing God’s image speaks about the dignity with which man needs to treat his fellow man. John Locke believed that the image of God meant that men are equal and that governments could only govern with the consent of the governed. Both ideas found themselves into the Declaration of Independence. “All men are created equal, … they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights …”
What are some of the major ways that humans are denied dignity today?
What are some of the ways that Jesus demonstrated human dignity?
How can the church communicate human dignity?
What are some ways that man tries to make himself God?
How can we remember that we are merely the creature and not God?
God placed man over the animals. One thing this demonstrates is that man is the apex of creation. Man is a created being; he did not evolve, but he was created. Man is the “crowning glory” of God’s creation.
Man is over the animals. What are the implications of this? How can we show we are over the animals?
God made man male and female. In this passage, that truth comes to bear on reproduction (v 28). Obviously, males and females are needed for reproduction. Why might have God wanted the earth filled with humans? Why should people today want to be parents? What role should children have in the home?
This also comes to bear on sexuality. God created sex. Sex, therefore, isn’t “dirty.” Yet, since God created sexuality, He has the right to govern sexuality.
This text obviously speaks about homosexuality. God made man male and female. Jesus affirms that man was made male and female. “He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female”’?” (Matt 19:4). Some say that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. That statement is only partially correct. Obviously, there are a host of sins Jesus did not mention. From what Jesus says at Matthew 19:4, it’s clear that He understood heterosexuality within marriage to be God’s design.
Throughout Scripture, the practice of homosexuality is universally condemned. Genesis 19:1-11. Some argue that we cannot say that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality. Pride and unbelief are given as the reasons for Sodom’s destruction. Ezekiel 16:48-49. Matthew 19:14-15. Obviously, homosexuality wasn’t the only reason Sodom was destroyed. Notice Ezekiel 16:50, however.
Leviticus 20:13. Because this passage mentions the death penalty for homosexual acts, it is often disregarded. True, the Law was nailed to the cross (Col 2:14). However, the fact that God condemns homosexuality cannot be ignored.
Romans 1:18-32. Do notice the progressive nature of sin from this text. Because they were involved in idolatry, they became involved in homosexuality. Homosexuality led to other sins. Getting caught up in one sin can have dire consequences – We must guard our hearts and minds.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
1 Timothy 1:9-11.
It must also be noted, as in the case of Jesus, that heterosexuality in marriage is considered God’s design. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. Ephesians 5:22-33.
It seems to me that homosexuality is quite “popular” today. Do you think I’m right? If so, why do you think homosexuality is so popular today?
How can the church reach out to homosexuals?