Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references
CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
(GENESIS 1 & 3)
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
c. Read Hebrews 1:3. What does this suggest?
2. Are we like God in some why other than a
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
1. Is he saying that she will come to be more in
God's image? (Verse 5: "you will be like
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
(1) Do you see other Christians with
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
1. What do you think really happened here. Were
they always naked and just did not perceive
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
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
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.