What We Believe: Man (Part One): Our Magnificent Beginning

Click here, to hear our sermon in the series, What We Believe at Grace Bible Church.

Man (From Grace Bible Church Constitution)

We believe that human beings bear the image of God, retained despite the utter ruin and lost condition of the entire race.  We believe that apart from the divinely provided gift of salvation in Jesus Christ all people are truly and rightfully lost and eternally alienated from God.  (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:23; 5:14-15) We consider this belief to be a definitive doctrine of the Christian faith; it is required of all members of Grace Bible Church.

Three things that Genesis teaches us, about us

I.          Our Creation:  Personal, Immediate, Distinct

A.        Humans were created by a Personal God, not an impersonal process.

B.        The first two human were created at once as human beings—they did not develop into human beings over time.

Evolution: All life arose from earlier, different life forms that developed over a very long period of time.

Theistic evolution: proposes that God’s method of creation was to cleverly design a universe in which everything would naturally evolve.

C.        The first humans were created differently than everything else that God created—and differently from one another!

1.         Adam, the man: skillfully formed from the dust, made alive by the breath of God. 2:7

2.         Eve, the woman: fashioned by God using flesh and bone from (unconscious!) Adam’s side.

Fashion = Ba’nah = to build, as a house, city, wall, etc.  God was not “shaping” a new species, as when He created Adam; he was creating the female gender of the species, out of “human” material, not dust.

Note: Adam had nothing to do with his wife’s creation, other than submitting himself for God to use to create the woman.  Men are not to act as if they possessed the rights of a Creator/Master over women, or as if they stood in a position between God and their wives.

II.         Our Occupation: We relate to all creation as God’s image bearers.  1:26-28  

A.        We all bear the image of God.

What is the image of God?  We bear the image, and express it.  Aspects to consider…

Substantive:  The image of God is simply found in all humans.  It has been put there; an evidence and presence of the divine, in every human being.  (cf. James 3:9)

Relational: The image of God is expressed primarily in the human ability to relate, to form and maintain promise-keeping, loving relationships with others.

Functional: The image of God is primarily expressed by what we do, how we act, what we achieve, etc.  This view would say, “In the same way Adam expressed the image of God in naming animals and caring for the Garden of Eden, so we express this image in caring for our environment, getting along, improving the world, etc.” (Gen 1:26-28)

B.        We bear God’s image in our responsibility to manage and care for the natural world around us.

III.        Our Relations: Humans were created to live in healthy relationships

A.        God created Eve to form community with Adam 2:18-23

B.        God instituted marriage, and so set down the principles for how human                             beings are to treat each other. 2:24-25

CONCLUSION: How does this passage inform us today at Grace Bible Church ?

1.         We are spiritual, created to relate to God as much as to people.

The unique, astounding way that we were created tells us that God loves us, and desires relationship with us—there is no other creature that has been granted such a privilege and position.

2.         We are vocational beings, called to treat creation a certain way.

The responsibility that God has placed on humans to care for the creation that He made for them tells us that how we live in the present world matters as much to God as having us join Him in the world to come.

3.         We are relational beings, needing to give and receive from a community.

The meticulous attention and effort that God invested in creating both Adam and Eve, and the institution of marriage, tells us that we were created to live in healthy, respectful community with each other, from marriage, to family, to the surrounding culture.

Application: Man (From Grace Bible Church Constitution): conclusion…

Therefore, respecting the image of God in every person, we strive to introduce every person to the gospel of Jesus Christ, that every person might escape the eternal punishment due for their sins.