Basic Bible Doctrines | Lesson 3 – Anthropology, The Study Of Man
I) The creation of man
A) The Scriptures clearly teach that man was created by God and in His image and in His likeness.
V26 And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
V27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
V28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
The Hebrew verb for create (bara) in Genesis 1:27 shows the absolute separation of mankind from the animal kingdom.
B) The method – The Scriptures clearly teach that man is the result of the act of divine creation on God’s part.
Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
See also Ecclesiastes 12:7; Zechariah 12:1 some 139:14.
Strong. “No single instance has yet been adduced of the transformation of one animal species into another, either by natural or artificial selection; much less has it been demonstrated that the body of the brute has ever been developed into that of man. All evolution implies progress and reinforcement of life and intelligible only as the immanent God gives new impulses to the process. Apart from the direct agency of God, the view that man’s physical system is descended by natural generation from ancestral simian form can be regarded only as irrational hypotheses. Since the soul, then, is an immediate creation of God, and the creation of man’s body is mentioned by the Scripture writer in direct connection with this creation of the spirit, man’s body was in this sense an immediate creation also.
II) A Fall of Man
General statement – The Scriptures teach that Adam and Eve fell from their first estate, in sinning against God by disobeying His direct and personal command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Romans 5:12, 19
V12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for the all have sinned:
V19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Dr. R.A. Torrey points out five steps leading to the fall of man:
1) Listening to slanders against God.
2) Doubting His Word and love.
3) Partaking at what God had forbidden.
4) Lusting for what God had prohibited.
5) Disobeying God’s command.
A) Free will -Choice
It must be established in understanding God’s dealing with man before and after the fall and presently in the new creation that man is a free moral agent and must choose to obey and follow God or to disobey and follow his own lusts which is following the devil. God will exhort, encourage, reveal and empower man to do the right thing and make the correct decisions, but the ultimate choice is left up to man.
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both of thou and thy seed may live.
V7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
V8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
The word “whosoever” is used 182 times in Scripture. God is not willing that any should perish but for all to come to eternal life. The fact is that not all come. Why? God has provided the way in Jesus Christ, He presents it as a free gift and convicts every soul of sin by the person of the Holy Spirit. Why doesn’t everyone come? Has God destined some to be saved and others lost? Is the atonement and forgiveness of sins only for a select group of people foreordained of God before time began? No, God has given man free will, the ability to say yes to Him and no to Satan or vice verse.
B) The Fourfold Divine Judgment – Genesis 3:14-19
1) upon the serpent – Micah 7:17
2) The woman – subjection John 16: 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
3) The man – sorrow and toil Job 5:7; Ecclesiastes 2:22, 23
It should be noted that work is a blessing and not a curse. Genesis 2:9, 15. It is only the curse resting upon the ground which makes man’s labor vexatious and remunerative.
4) Upon the ground – thorns and thistles. Like the serpent, the thorn is the natural enemy of man. Matthew 7:16. It is used in Scripture as a symbol of evil. Numbers 33:55; second Corinthians 12:7. Our Lord’s mock crown was made of thorns. John 19:2,5. During the millennium the curse upon the ground will be removed. Isaiah 55:13.
C) The threefold separation
1) From the tree of life. Genesis 2:7. The tree of life was an emblem of Christ. Revelation 2:7;1 Corinthians 15:44, 45, 47.
2) From the Garden of Eden. The tree was in the garden so to prevent them physical immortality without holiness which would result in unending misery they were banished from the garden.
3) From the personal presence of God.-2-stages-first they physically walked with God. Second they lost the God nature and took on Satan’s nature.
Their sin separated them from God and shamefully made them unfit for personal and face-to-face communion in fellowship with their Maker.
D) The threefold death. Genesis 2:17
1) physical-physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. Man did not immediately die.Adam lived to be 930 years old. Physical death is the natural consequence of the sin of Adam. Weakness and disease followed by death resulted primarily from the exclusion of Adam and Eve from the tree of life. Jesus is our tree of life
Romans 4: 24-25, 6:9-10, 8:10-11;1 Corinthians 15:21, 22;1 Peter 4:6; Galatians 3:13.
2) spiritual death-separation of the spirit from God. John 5:24, 8:51; Romans 8:13; Ephesians 2:1; James 5:20;1 John 3:14.
3) eternal death-the result of spiritual death-eternal separation from God. Eternal death is the same as hell or gehenna, or second death.
Both spiritual and eternal death were arrested by grace through the atonement. Hebrews 9:22. Jesus tasted death for every man. This includes those in the Old Testament who through faith and obedience believed in him. Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:9.
III) The Salvation of Man
1) Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
v9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved.
v10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
2) Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
3) Ephesians 2:8-10
V8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
V9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
V10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
See also Isaiah 53:1-10;1 Peter 2:24;2 Corinthians 5:17-21
B) Fruit of Salvation
1) 1 John 4:7-8
V7 Beloved, let us love one another: for lover is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
V8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
2) 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
3) 1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us his Spirit.
Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. On the cross, Jesus Christ became sin and sickness providing both salvation and healing for all mankind.
Psalm 103:3. This salvation comes my believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confessing Him with your mouth, Jesus as Lord.
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. See also Romans 10:8-10; Ephesians 2:8
The inward evidence to the believer is the direct witness of the Spirit. Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
The outward evidence to all men is a life of true holiness and love. 1 John 3:23 “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” John 13:35 “By this shall all men know ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and not by human works; however, our works are evidence of our faith and will determine our rewards in eternity.
Romans 10:9-10; 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; James 2:18