The Doctrine of Humanity

Doctrine

In the Genesis 1 & 2 creation accounts, God systematically created the heavens and the earth, light and darkness, plants and animals, and finally Adam and Eve.  In each case, God spoke them into existence.  He said, “Let it be.” and it was.  The creation of humanity took a different direction, though.  God didn’t just speak them into existence, He crafted them.  Genesis 2 describes it as a supernatural sculpting of the first man, Adam, from dust with His very hands.  The first breath of life was given directly by God, too. 

It’s hard to imagine the kind of buzz that was present as all new life began to explore its surroundings.  God had created everything out of nothing and it seems as though there were components of God interwoven within the creation itself or at least they gave a type of testimony to His creative mastery.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.  Psalm 19:1-4 (NLT)

“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”  Luke 19:38-40 (NLT)

The Creation of Humanity

When we studied the doctrine of creation, we noted that the Bible shared more about the creator than about the technicalities of the creation process.  Looking at the creation of people we see a few things about God.

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like ourselves. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened. Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.Genesis 1:26-31 (NLT)

  • We were made in God’s image.
  • God existed eternally in three persons.
  • In some way, God intended for people to mimic some of His own qualities.  This idea would be known as the Imago Dei or Image of God.

In most ways, God is Unique

  • Only God is Eternal
  • Only God is Omnipotent/All Powerful
  • Only God is Omniscient/All Knowing
  • Only God is Omnipresent/All Places
  • Only God is Immutable/Doesn’t Change
  • Only God is Ruler and King

In some ways, we mimic the attributes of God

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.  Colossians 3:10-15 (NLT)

Ways we  can be like God/Imago Dei

  • We Can Love
  • We Can Create
  • We are Spirit
  • We Pursue Holiness
  • We seek Justice and Righteousness
  • We Receive and Share Grace
  • We Exist Best in Community

How do we pursue a life that mimics the qualities of God?

  1. Seek to do the will of God instead of trying to get God to do our will.  He created the universe…and us…certainly he knows what is best.
  2. By worshiping God instead of the things that the world created (idols).
  3. By demonstrating what it means to live in the image of God.  Leading others to have a relationship with God is one way we fulfill our purpose.
  4. By serving God and serving others.  Something happens when you put someone else’s needs above your own.  Your entire perspective of life and value changes.
  5. Struggle with what it means to love others and do it.
  6. Care for those that were important to Jesus, namely the poor, sick, hurting, oppressed, and needy.
  7. Live in Community, not in obscurity.  We were created to live with people and interweave our lives with each other.

How is life with God different from life without God?

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.  Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.  Galatians 6:2-3 (NLT)

Bottom Line

A full life is only possible by living out the image of God.

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