Quarter One Lesson Two

08 Aug Quarter One Lesson Two

 
 
What is man?
 

 
When we ask the question, “what is man?” it seems pretty easy to answer. Mankind is all human beings who have ever lived, or ever will live, on earth.
 
But what does the Bible say about man, and why does this matter to you and me?
 
From our last lesson we recall that God created the heavens and the earth, that God is made up of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that He created man for His glory.
 
Today, we want to focus on who man is, how God created him, and what role he is to play on this earth. And whenever we say “man” generally, we mean “mankind” that is made up of both male and female.
 
So In Genesis chapter 1 we see God creating and filling the earth with plants and trees, birds and fish, sun, moon and stars, etc. Then we come to verse 26 and read this:
 
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV)
 

Question 1. According to Genesis 1:26-27, in whose image was mankind made?


 
Once again we see the Trinity when God said “let us make man in our image”, as He did not say “I will make man in my image.” So God the Trinity made man (mankind) in His image, after His likeness.
 
This means that Adam (the first man) bore the image of His Creator. It also means that all humans bear the image of our Creator. We were made in His likeness.
 
Sometimes we say about a child who resembles his father, “He is the spitting image of his Dad”. This is because all people were made to resemble their parents: “When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”Genesis 5:3 (ESV)
 

Question 2. What do you think it means that Adam was made in the likeness, or in the image of God, and that all humans are made in God’s image?


 
The fact that Adam was, and all humans are made in the image of God means, at a bare minimum, that we are intelligent beings; we have cognitive capabilities and we can make decisions based upon factual information and logic. It also means that we are born with a moral code; like God, we have a sense of right and wrong, and an understanding of good and evil. We are higher than the animals in that we do not merely live to eat and procreate, but we can also think, plan, dream, study and grow; and we have a conscience that helps us know right from wrong. We are in the image of God.
 
If we study Genesis chapter 2, we see the actual process of how God created the male part of mankind:
 
then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.Genesis 2:7 (ESV)
 
God formed the first man from the dust of the earth, then breathed into him the breath of life. So the very breath that caused Adam to live came from God, and Adam’s life and breath were in the hand of God. This is the way it is with you and me today. God made us, and our very lives are in His hand. Job understood this and said, “In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).
 

Question 3. Do you understand that your life is in God’s hand, meaning it is under God’s control? He gave you birth and breath, and now your every heartbeat comes from Him. Do you believe this to be true? And if this is the case, does it give you comfort knowing God is in control or do you feel something different? Please explain:


 
Next, let’s continue to read in Genesis chapter 2 and see how God created the female part of mankind:
 
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”Genesis 2:21-23 (ESV)
 

Question 4. According to Genesis 2:18 above, what title did God give the woman?


 

Question 5. What is the difference between how God made man and how He made woman?


 
Next, notice what man’s job was to be:
 
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Genesis 2:15 (ESV)
 

Question 6. According to Genesis 2:15, what job was man given to do?


 
Right away, at the creation of man and woman, we see they were created differently. The man came from dust of the ground, whereas the woman came from the rib of the man. This is in keeping with the tasks that they were to be assigned; the man was to work the ground and rule over the animals; the woman was to be his helper. He was of the earth and would work the earth; she was of his side and would be his helper.
 
We see that both the man and the woman came from God; that is, were created by Him. But we also see the interdependence of man and woman, as woman came from man and man is now born of woman:
 
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12  for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.   1 Corinthians 11:11-12 (ESV)
 
So far we’ve seen that God created man, both male and female, in His own image. He created the male by forming him from the dust of the earth and blowing in his nostrils the breath of life. He created the female from the male’s rib, and called her the man’s “helper.”
 
The next thing we want to see is what God did after He made man:
 
This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2  Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.Genesis 5:1-2 (ESV)
 

Question 7. According to Genesis 5:1-2, what did God do after He created man?


 
The fact that God blessed man after He made man is an important concept to understand. The Bible does not specifically state how, in what way, God blessed man. But the fact that He blessed them tells us much about His nature. Let’s compare a passage in the New Testament:
 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)
 
Again we see it is the nature of God to bless His people. We are “blessed with every spiritual blessing…” This is Who God is and what He does for His people.
 
This is similar to the desire within the heart of a man who, when he has his first son or daughter, works hard to feed, clothe and provide a roof for his child. Then he continues working hard to save up funds for the child’s education, helping all along the way with financial needs through each stage of the child’s growth, as well as trying to be there for his child spiritually and emotionally as well. Why does the father do this? It’s because he loves his son or daughter and wishes to bless them.
 
Similarly it is the nature of God to bless His children. And did you notice from Ephesians 1:3 how we come to receive His blessings? It is by being “in Christ” which simply means those people who believe in Jesus. When we believe in Jesus we come to receive “every spiritual blessing” because we are then “in Christ.” We will talk more about this later in these lessons.
 
So we have seen that God made man(kind) in His image and for His glory. We saw that God made the first man out of the dust of the earth and the first woman out of the side of the man. We saw that He blessed them, and that He gave them tasks, or chores, to do: the man was to work the ground or keep the garden, the woman was to help the man.
 
We could summarize these concepts by placing them into numbers:

  1. God created man.
  2.  

  3. God created man in His image and for His glory.
  4.  

  5. God created man out of the dust.
  6.  

  7. God created the woman out of the man’s rib.
  8.  

  9. God gave both man and woman specific jobs to do.
  10.  

  11. God made man and woman interdependent on each other.
  12.  

  13. God blessed man.

 

Question 8. Out of the above seven concepts, do you find any that are difficult to believe? If so, which ones?


 
If you answered above that there are concepts difficult to believe, that is perfectly fine, do not worry one bit. As you study the Bible on your own, and as you continue in these lessons, you will begin to see much evidence for believing the truth of the Bible. You are not expected to believe something unless you can see the evidence for believing it. That is coming.
 
Before we move on to Genesis chapter 3 in lesson 3, we must discuss one final concept that God did for man. Please read the following passage and share your thoughts below:
 
And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10  A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11  The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12  And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13  The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14  And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”Genesis 2:9-17 (ESV)
 

Look for just a moment at the abundance God made for mankind. He gave them “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” (verse 9). He gave them “the tree of life” (verse 9) which we find out later is that which would have kept them alive forever (Genesis 3:22). He gave them “four rivers” (verse 10) and land where there is “gold” (verse 12).
 

This is super-abundance, more than enough for their sustenance and enjoyment. God provided all they needed and more. Again, this is the nature of God, as we will see in upcoming studies. He loves to provide all we need. Notice what one Bible writer named Peter said about this:
 
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
 

Not only everything we need, but more than we could ask or imagine:

 

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

 

Question 9. According to Genesis 2:9-17 above, what is the only thing that God prohibited the first man and woman from doing? What would happen to them if they disobeyed God and did what He commanded them not to do?

 

Yes, God commanded the man and woman not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They could eat from any other tree, they could enjoy all the sustenance and nourishment that came from all plants and trees, and the delicious water that came from the four rivers, but they could not eat from one tree. One prohibition. One commandment. And if they did, they would die.

 

We can learn from this that God as the Creator has the right to prohibit us from doing certain things. We are not just to live life on our own, doing as we please, making our own decisions with no regard to God’s design and instruction. We are to find out what pleases God and to live in accordance with His principles (see Ephesians 5:10).

 

If we were to go our own way, live by our own rules, not considering God’s commands and being disobedient to Him, we should expect the same consequences as the first man and woman had. God said, “when you eat of it you will die.” Later, in the New Testament, He would say, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

 

So let’s summarize what we have studied today, and then I will ask you to please give your closing thoughts and comments:

 

  1. God created man.
  2.  

  3. God created man in His image and for His glory.
  4.  

  5. God created man out of the dust.
  6.  

  7. God created the woman out of man’s rib.
  8.  

  9. God gave both man and woman specific jobs to do.
  10.  

  11. God made man and woman interdependent on each other.
  12.  

  13. God blessed man.
  14.  

  15. God gave the entire land, every tree and all water for man to eat and drink.
  16.  

  17. God commanded man not to eat of one tree.

 

One final thought as we close this lesson today: when God commanded man not to eat of one particular tree in the garden, He had already made a solution for Adam and Eve’s eventual disobedience. This solution is called the gospel. It means “good news” and it involves a substitute taking the penalty that was due Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God’s one restriction. This good news is not just for Adam and Eve, it’s for you and me too. As we continue to study, I believe you will start to see just how really good this good news is.
 

Question 10. What are your final thoughts about this study today? Please include any questions that you might have while you studied through this section about mankind.


 

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Lesson: Quarter One Lesson Two

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