[9]    Man: 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; 9:6; 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 possess perfection).

  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: (4) Spiritual dimension: (5) Moral dimension: 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?
    Bipartite (Soul/Spirit and Body)
    Tripartite (Spirit, Soul, Body)
    • 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 soul.
    • 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.
    a. Some believe that man is a tripartite 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, feels, wills.   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 our souls? a. Pre-existentianism: b. Traducianism: c. Creationism: 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 3:4).   d. Characteristics: 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; Eph 2:3) and then also inherent corruption or moral pollution.