LESSON 1
CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD 
(GENESIS 1 & 3)

Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All scripture references
are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973,
1978, 1984 International Bible Society,  unless otherwise
noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of
Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found
within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a
blackboard or some other visual aid. This lesson can be
found at: <url:http://www.CameronLaw.com>

Introduction: This week we start a new quarter on a new
subject: the nature of man.  We will look at how we came to
be, what happened to us because of sin, how we are now and
what we will be.  This week, however, we begin at the
beginning and look at how we came to be.  Let's dive in!
 

     I.   CREATION v. EVOLUTION

               A.   I have a friend who believes in God and also
          believes in evolution.  He says, "Yes, God created
          man and evolution was the method He used."  Is it
          possible to believe in both the Bible and
          evolution?

               B.   Let's look at the Biblical account of how mankind
          came into existence. Read Genesis 1:26-28.

                         1.   In a court case the judge or jury "tests" the
               position of each party against the evidence.
               The party whose view is most supported by the
               evidence wins. What do you find in the
               Biblical evidence in these verses that is
               incompatible with evolution?

                                   a.   What about the use of the term "make?"
                    Could God "make" us through evolution?
                    (Yes.)

                                   b.   Notice that "make" is just the beginning.
                    God says He is making us "in [Their]
                    image and [Their] likeness."

                                             (1)  What do you think this means?

                                             (2)  If you evolved, and started out as a
                         slug, would you be in "God's image?"

                                   c.   The evolutionary concept starts man out
                    at the bottom and works him through the
                    ranks of nature.  Is that consistent with
                    the idea of "ruling" (v.26) over the
                    creatures?

                                   d.   Is it possible to have evolved and yet
                    rule?  Is this was just a prediction of
                    what would happen?

                                             (1)  What does v.28 suggest about timing?
                         (God is pictured as speaking to man
                         initially and telling him what his
                         place is among the creatures.  This
                         is completely incompatible with the
                         idea that man moved his way up
                         through the ranks of nature.  Man
                         started out as the ruler of nature.)

               C.   Let's read on: Genesis 1:29-31.  Do we have a time
          sequence here? (Yes, this says that man was
          created in a day.  This directly contravenes the
          idea of millions of years of evolution.)

                         1.   Sometimes people define things differently. Is
               it possible that a "day" was defined as
               millions of years or that "day" is just being
               used in a symbolic way? (This text carries its
               own definition of day: "evening and morning."
               This refers to the orbit of the earth around
               the sun and the resulting day/night cycle.
               This cannot be defined or symbolized away
               without ignoring the text.)

                         2.   Was all of creation vegetarian; including the
               lions?

                                   a.   Why? (Verses 29 and 30 give the diet of
                    man and beast.  It is all plant life.
                    This reflects the lack of sin and death
                    at all levels of creation.)

                                   b.   Does the "vegetarian" state of things
                    have any bearing on the creation v.
                    evolution debate? (Yes! Evolution "weeds"
                    out the weaker varieties through death.)

               D.   Friend, the concept of evolution offends several
          important truths about the relationship between
          God and man.  First, it downgrades God's power and
          casts doubt on His word.  Second, it lowers man
          from a being created in the image of God to a slug
          who worked its way up through creation. Third, it
          denies the idea that God created us perfect and
          sin has caused a downward spiral.  Instead,
          evolution says we are "created" imperfect and
          become perfect through the sin (death) around us
          as natural selection guides our growth. Evolution
          "works" our way towards Godliness, creation
          teaches us that we are on a downward spiral and
          our only hope of Godliness is through recreation
          by our God and Savior. Let's explore these ideas
          further!

     II.  "OUR IMAGE"

               A.   Let's take a little closer look at Genesis 1:26.
          How can God create both "male and female" in His
          image when God is always referred to as a male and
          Jesus was a man?

                         1.   Does this mean that God is not talking about a
               physical "image?"

                                   a.   Read Exodus 24:10-11. What does this
                    suggest that God has in terms of physical
                    nature? (Hands, feet and a body you can
                    see.)

                                   b.   Read Ezekiel 1:26-28. What does this
                    suggest about how God looks?

                                             (1)  What do you think is meant by the
                         phrase "appearance of the likeness
                         of the glory of the Lord" in v.28?
                         (This seems to allow a lot of room
                         for error in describing God's
                         appearance.)

                                   c.   Read Hebrews 1:3. What does this suggest?

                         2.   Are we like God in some why other than a
               physical "image?"

                                   a.   Read Colossians 3:10 and Ephesians 4:22-
                    24. Were Adam and Eve created in God's
                    spiritual image as well?

                                             (1)  Is it your goal to be recreated in
                         God's spiritual image?

                                             (2)  How does Ephesians tell us we can be
                         created in God's image?

     III. THE EFFECT OF SIN ON OUR "IMAGE"

               A.   Read Genesis 3:1-5. What is Satan promising to
          Eve?

                         1.   Is he saying that she will come to be more in
               God's image? (Verse 5: "you will be like
               God.")

                         2.   Was Satan right?  Because God knew about evil
               was Eve now more in His image?

                         3.   Our lesson is about being in "God's image."
               Is there an aspect to this idea of "being like
               God" that is sinful? (Yes! Read Isaiah 14:13-
               15.  The origin of sin was Satan wanting to be
               like God. The very sin that tripped him up he
               now uses to tempt Eve.)

                                   a.   How do you distinguish between the "good"
                    being like God and the "bad" being like
                    God? (It is a question of dependance. God
                    created us in His image.  If we accept
                    that and obey Him He will continually
                    transform us to be more like Him.  But if
                    we decide that on our own we will become
                    like God, then sin enters in. I think
                    this is very hard for Americans to
                    understand. We believe that anyone can
                    rise to whatever level in society hard
                    work and intelligence will allow.  We do
                    not think that we have a "place" in
                    society. On the other hand, the Bible
                    teaches that we are created beings.  "Our
                    place" is to obey our Creator -- not take
                    over His judgment prerogative and make
                    our own executive decisions on what is
                    good and bad.)

                                   b.   Have you ever been tempted to ignore the
                    teaching of the Bible on the basis that
                    you think you understand that issue a
                    little better?

                                             (1)  Do you see other Christians with
                         that attitude?

               B.   Read Genesis 3:6-7. Eve and Adam sin.  What is the
          very first thing that they notice? (Their
          perception of their image changed: they were
          naked.)

                         1.   What do you think really happened here. Were
               they always naked and just did not perceive
               it?

                                   a.   Or, did they actually lose a covering?
                    (Consider Psalms 104:1-2.  I read a
                    number of commentaries which essentially
                    said that the perception of Adam and Eve
                    changed.  They lost their innocence and
                    now realized they were naked.  I am not
                    sure that is the extent of this. If man
                    was made in the image of God, it is
                    reasonable to believe that man was also
                    wrapped in light like God.)

                         2.   We discussed the spiritual aspect of being
               made in the image of God.  Let's look at the
               dialog between God and man after the fall to
               see what has happened to the spiritual image.
               God comes along after Adam and Eve notice they
               are naked. Read Genesis 3:11-13.

                                   a.   Who does Adam blame for his sin? (God!
                    "The woman you put here...")

                                   b.   Does God rebuke Adam for blaming Him?

                                   c.   Who does Eve blame?

                                             (1)  Did the serpent really deceive Eve?
                         (Review vv. 1-5. This sounds like a
                         choice and not confusion. Satan
                         first reviewed God's rule with her
                         and then suggested that God
                         established that rule because He was
                         selfishly preventing her from being
                         like God.)

                                   d.   After reviewing this, are Adam and Eve
                    still in God's image spiritually
                    speaking? (No. Both are showing a serious
                    deficiency in the spirituality
                    department.)

               C.   Friend, God made man perfect. But He gave us
          choice and we can choose to turn away from
          perfection.  Today you have a choice. God offers
          us a way back to the perfect state in which He
          created us.  Will you choose the way back?

     IV.  NEXT WEEK: OUR PHYSICAL NATURE.