What Is Man's Nature?
What Is Man's Nature?
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Humanism places man at the center of human values and thinking. The reason that humanism is able to do this with intellectual integrity is because it is based on evolution. Evolution places man at the point where he is the highest being in the universe - and there is no one over him to tell him what is right, wrong, good, or bad. In one form, humanism insists that society, man as a group, determines the values of right and wrong, as well as the goals to be reached.
But humanists also stress that for this to happen each individual must be free to do and act as he pleases, seeking his own goals - without regard for right and wrong, which to the humanist is an artificial limit imposed on people. In the humanist system, only when one's individual freedoms remove the freedoms of other individuals can society step in and limit those freedoms. This is how the state becomes the ultimate authority that dictates which values are good and which are bad, and which goals individuals should seek. Biblically, this entire worldview rests on unreality, and therefore it cannot work - which is why it is opposed by God in His Word.
1.Many Christians are enticed by some of the initial positive aspects of humanism's view of man, citing that Genesis 1:27 teaches that man was created in God's image. To whom does Genesis 1:27 specifically refer?
At what point in man's existence is this?
2.Now read Genesis 5:3. To whom does this verse specifically refer? Most Christians forget that the children of Adam are not described in Scripture as being created in the image of God, but says that they (and therefore we) are born in the image of sinful Adam. This condition is first described in Genesis 5:3.
3.Turn to Psalm 17:15. Does the psalmist speak as one who already realizes the image or likeness of God in his being, or as one who looks toward the day when he shall have it?
When does the psalmist believe that he will have the likeness of God?
4.There is only one passage in Scripture that speaks of the image of God in man after the fall, without reference to the restoration in the image of Christ. This passage is found in Genesis 9:6, where God, speaking to Noah and his sons, forbids the killing of human beings because man was made in the image of God. But note the words here. A man's blood shall be shed by man if he first sheds man's blood because God made (past-completed action) man in His image. This passage is not saying that man still has the image of God but that he was made in the image of God. The reasoning here is simple. Since man was made in the image of God he is not just another animal (the killing of which is allowed in the verses immediately preceding this passage). After all, the image of Christ, the promised Savior, is available to any man, should he repent and come to faith.
5.There are also other passages in Scripture that teach about the image of man. Passages that speak of the image of man after the fall clearly show us that this image is very different from the image of God. Psalm 73:3-20 speaks of the wicked. What does verse 20 specifically say about God's attitude toward the image of those who are wicked?
How does Romans 1:23 illustrate the sharp contrast between man as he was created in the image of God and his image now that he is in sin?
6. The restoration of the image of God is part of what God promised in Genesis 3:15 and following verses as He describes what the promised Savior would accomplish as He reversed the effects of sin which had now become part of man's nature. And the fulfillment of this promise is carefully noted in the New Testament. For example, Romans 8:26-30 notes that those who are called in Christ will become conformed to His image - which would not be necessary unless we had lost the image of God.
7.How does Colossians 3:5-11 show us that the image of Christ which is given to believers has earthly or temporal consequences?
What are some of those consequences?
In what ways is this at least a partial restoration of the image of God for believers?
8.Verse 6 tells us why we are to consider ourselves dead to sin. What is the reason given?
Another reason that is clearly suggested by this text is that it is simply unnecessary for us not to be dead to sin any longer when we are in Christ. How is this second reason for putting off sin made clear in verse 9?
9.So verse 8 continues to list the types of things that we are to put aside. Verse 10 continues to explain why we can do this and why we are to do this. Just as Adam and Eve in perfection found the will of God to be their highest joy, so, now that we are renewed in the image of Christ - the answer of God's grace for the lost image of God - our deepest desire and joy is once again the will of God. Note the use and application of the term 'image' in this section.
Our efforts in response to God's work of grace in us are never perfect in this life. We must daily struggle with the desire of our flesh which raises its ugly head every time our guard is down. But our encouragement is to daily reliance on the grace of God in His forgiveness of our daily sin because of the work of our Savior on our behalf. With His help and power in grace we can grow in this life in His will and the joy which results from it.
After all, it is His image we now have!
Enlightening resources on this topic:
1019-5 Science, Creation, and the Bible $19.95
1018-0 The Bible has the Answer $11.95
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