Image of God
31. What is the meaning
of "man created in the image of God"?
a. Man was created in the "image
and likeness" of God (Latin Imago Dei) (Gen 1:26-28; 5:1;
Col 3:10; Jas 3:9; Eph 4:22-24).
b. Image and likeness are used interchangeably
in the Bible and mean the same thing.
c. They are NOT physical likeness
(because God is spirit) and NOT inherent perfection (because man does not
d. Dimensions of the image of God:
(1) Functional dimension:
Man is given responsibility to exercise
limited dominion over the Earth (Gen 1:26-28; Ps 8:4-8).
(2) Personality dimension:
(3) Rational dimension:
Man is a person, with self-consciousness
and self-determination, and can exercise freedom of will to resist or yield
(4) Spiritual dimension:
Man has an intellectual capability,
possessing reasoning, thought, and self expression with language. Man can
possess true knowledge.
(5) Moral dimension:
Adam and Eve had fellowship with God
(Gen 3:8) but feared God after their sin (Gen 3:10).
e. The image of God in man has
been defaced and obscured but not totally erased by sin (Gen 9:6; Ps 8:4-9;
1Co 15:49; Jas 3:9; Heb 2:5-8). In redemption, manís knowledge of righteousness
and holiness is restored by Christ (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10).
32. Is there a difference
between spirit and soul?
Adam and Eve had a sense of moral uprightness
(Gen 2:25). Adam and Eve experienced guilt following their transgression
(Gen 3:7). This seems to indicate that the image included original righteousness
(Gen 1:31; Ecc 7:29). Man possesses a moral conscience (Ro 2:15)
a. Some believe that man is a
being, composed of 3 parts: spirit, soul, and body. Spirit is said to be
the principle of higher rational and moral life, the part that worships
God while soul is said to be the animal life in man, the part that thinks,
b. However, Biblical evidences (in
the table) show that it is more likely that man is a bipartite being,
composed of 2 parts: body and soul. The word "spirit" in the Bible is mostly
used interchangeably with the word "soul".
33. What is the origin of
God breathed into man only one thing,
the breath of life (Gen 2:7).
The terms Spirit (Gr. pneuma)
and soul (Gr. psyche) are used interchangeably in the Bible. Both
represent one life principle (Gen 41:8 and Ps 42:6; Mt 20:28 and 27:50;
Jn 12:27 and 13:21; Heb 12:23 and Rev 6:9).
Body and soul are spoken of as constituting
the whole person (Mt 10:28; 1Co 5:3; 3Jn 2).
Body and spirit are spoken of as constituting
the whole person (2Co 7:1; Ecc 12:7).
Death is described as "giving up the
soul" (1Ki 17:21) and also as "giving up spirit" (Lk 23:46)
The immaterial element of the dead
is described as "soul" (Rev 20:4) and as "spirit" (Heb 12:23)
Consciousness distinguishes a material
part and an immaterial part, but the consciousness of no one can distinguish
between soul and spirit.
Hebrew text for Gen 2:7 is plural:
"breath of lives; and man became a living being"
The terms "soul" and "spirit" apparently
are different (1Th 5:23; Heb 4:12).
Jas 2:27 "The body without the spirit
is dead" Ė pneuma apparently refers to a life principle apart from
The spirit of man deals with the spiritual
realm (1Co 2:14; 14:14; Jn 3:7). The soul deals with the mental
realm, manís intellect, the sensibilities, and the will Ė the part that
reasons and thinks. The body deals with the physical realm.
There are 3 theories on the
origin of souls.
Souls exist prior to the present life
(taught only in 2nd and 3rd centuries)
no Biblical support
Souls are propagated along with the
bodies by generation, that is, transmitted by the parents.
God ceased work of creation after He
made man (Gen 2:2)
Gen 2:23 creation of Eveís soul
descendants are loins of their fathers
(Gen 46:26; Heb 7:10)
analogy of animal world
inheritance of mental peculiarities
and family traits
inheritance of moral depravity of sin
implying splitting of souls, or parents
problem with sinlessness of Jesus
34. What is sin?
a. Definition: a transgression
of the law of God (the definition is always related to God).
b. Sin was originated in the angelic
world. The fall of Satan was the result of the sin of pride, of aspiring
to be like God in power and authority (Isa 14:12-15; Eze 28:11-29).
c. Nature: The Bible uses many terms
to describe the nature of sin: ignorance (Eph 4:18), error (Mk 12:24-27),
impurity, idolatry (Gal 5:19-20), trespass (Ro 5:15), lawlessness (1Jn
Souls are created individually by God
although the time cannot be precisely determined
Support: body and soul as having different
origins (Isa 42:5; Zec 12:1; Ecc 12:7; Heb 12:9)
no explanation for mental and moral
traits of parents
beast even more advanced in terms of
ability to multiply itself after its kind
God creates sinful souls
e. Result: Sin is a moral evil
for which man is responsible and which brings him under a sentence of condemnation.
It is first of all guilt, making men liable to punishment (Ro 3:19; 5:18;
2:3) and then also inherent corruption or moral pollution.
Sin is lack of conformity to the law
of God, opposite to the divine law (Ro 1:32; 2:12-14; Jas 2:10).
Sinís essence is placing something
else in Godís place.
Sin is anything that falls short of
His glory and perfection.
Sin is disobedience.