Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Bible Doctrine Series-The Doctrine of Man
The doctrine of man is important because of its relationship to other major Christian doctrines. The doctrine of man is also important because it is a point where the biblical revelation and human concerns converge. The doctrine of man is particularly significant in our day because of the large amount of attention given to man by the various intellectual disciplines. The doctrine of man is important because of the present crisis in man’s self-understanding. And the doctrine of man is important because it affects how we minister. The Origin of Man. A. The First Man (Adam) was Created Supernaturally and Directly. Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; Matthew 19:14. 1. Adam’s Body was created from previously existing inorganic matter. a. The “dust” is simply ordinary ground, earth or dirt. It cannot mean some kind of animal ancestry (cf. Genesis 3:19). b. Although God used previously existing material, the act was no less “creative,” direct and supernatural than those acts which were “exnihilo” (out of nothing). The verbs for creation are used interchangeably and synonymously in the creation account (cf. Genesis 1:26, 27, 2:7, 22). 2. Adam’s Spirit was created by a direct in breathing of Life from God. The “breath of life” was more than air rushing into Adam’s lungs; it was the image of God being infused into him. 3. Adam’s Soul resulted from the Union of His Body and Spirit. a. It was not until the spirit joined the body that Adam had any kind of existence. Before then he was nothing; he had no evolution or any kind of history prior to that. b. “Living soul” (2:7) means “living person” or “living being.” The soul in the Old Testament commonly stands for the person. Man is soul as well as has a soul in Biblical thought. B. The first woman (Eve) was also created supernaturally and directly. Genesis 2:21-22. 1. The creation of Woman also contradicts evolution. The theory of organic evolution cannot account for the female counterpart of anything, much less woman. 2. The Woman is a helper—Genesis 2:20. The word “help” has the idea of “helper.” The word “meet” means corresponding, suitable, adequate, complementing and appropriate. No animal could fulfill this role. 3. Lessons from the creation of woman. a. The unity of the race—physically and spiritually. b. The true dignity of Womanhood. C. The Entire Human Race descended from Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:20; 9:19: Acts 17:26. 1. The descent is by natural procreation. 2. The exception: Jesus—who came from heaven but made of a woman (1 Corinthians 15:47; Galatians 4:4). The Image of God in Man. A. The definition of the Image of God. The image of God in man is Man’s resemblance to God. It is synonymous to “likeness”—Genesis 1:26, 27. B. The delineation of the Image of God. 1. It refers Primarily to Mans’ Spiritual Resemblance to God. a. Man is a personal being. This includes factors such as self-consciousness, intellect, emotion, will, freedom, rationality, world-consciousness and the use of language. In Adam it included his original dominion over the animals. b. Man is a Spiritual being. This incorporates man’s capacity for fellowship with God, worship, and eternal life. In Adam it included original holiness (Ephesians 4:24). c. Man is a Moral Being. Man has powers which fit him for right or wrong action—a sense of “oughtness.” In Adam it included his original righteousness (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). 2. It May Include a Physical Resemblance. God made man’s body after the archetypal form in His own mind, the pattern which He Himself had designed for His own corporeal and visible expression (i.e., in Jesus). Cf. Hebrews 10:5. 3. It is What Makes Man qualitatively different from Animals. 4. It was Marred at the fall but not Obliterated—Genesis 9:6; James 3:9. The Composition of Man. A. Generally, Man has a spiritual and a physical part—Matthew 10:28. B. Specifically, Man is a three part being—1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12. 1. Body (no need to elaborate). 2. Soul (nephesh in Hebrew; psuche in Greek). a. Soul sometimes stands for the person. 1) The inner man as distinguished from his flesh—Isaiah 10:18. 2) The whole man as a living being—Genesis 2:7. 3) The self or the person—Genesis 49:6; Psalm 25:13. b. Soul is the seat of the emotions, appetites and passions. Hunger—Psalm 107:9. Thirst—Proverbs 25:25. Desire—Deuteronomy 12:20. Sorrow—Isaiah 19:10. Joy—Psalm 35:9. Hatred—Jeremiah 6:8. Love—Song of Solomon 1:7. Loathing—Leviticus 26:11. c. Soul includes life in the abstract sense—conscious life or the animating life principle (Exodus 21:23). The seat of the soul in this sense is the blood (Leviticus 17:11). d. Animals are said to have souls (Genesis 1:20, 24; Leviticus 17:11). The soul of an animal is simply its life principle which is related to the body. The soul of man is related to his spirit. There is no real comparison. e. The soul leaves the body at death (Genesis 35:18) and survives in the intermediate state (Psalm 16:10). 3. Spirit. a. The spirit is basically the image of God. It is what makes man moral, rational and spiritual. It is that point at which he has closest resemblance to God who is Spirit (John 4:24). It is the source of personality. b. The spirit is the seat of the intelligence—man’s mental endowment. 1 Corinthians 2:11; Proverbs 20:27; Romans 8:16. c. The spirit is the source of the disposition. Proverbs 16:18; Psalm 51:17. d. There is some overlapping of soul and spirit. Some powers and activities ascribed to soul are also ascribed to spirit. 1) Emotions—Judges 8:3; Genesis 26:35. 2) Life—Genesis 45:27; Ecclesiastics 12:7. C. The Propagation of the Soul and Spirit. (3 views) 1. Creationism. This teaches that the body is procreated by the parents and the soul and spirit are directly created by God and paced in the body 2. Pre-existence. This holds that the soul and spirit exist prior to birth and are placed in the procreated body. All souls and spirits were created in the beginning and are united with the body at procreation. 3. Traducianism. This view holds that the parents procreate the whole child; body, soul and spirit are transmitted from the parents. This is supported by the Biblical teaching that man is given the ability to produce offspring in his image and likeness. Genesis 5:3; Acts 17:26; Hebrews 7:9-10. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.