Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Humanity Is Made In the Image of God (ONE-HOUR SEMINARY NOTES)

Butterfly in my back yard

Last evening my brother-in-law Grady Hauser gave an excellent presentation on what it means to be made in God's image, and why this is important to understand. During Grady's presentation one of my thoughts was that this is giving great dignity to humanity.

Here is Grady's teaching outline.                                                                                                                               
Initial text:   Gen. 1:27.   Psalm 8.

Being Made in His Image: 

10 Things That Set Us Apart from the Rest of God's Creation.

1.       We have a moral compass at birth.
2.       We can think and reason.
3.       We speak and write---like God.   (Ex. 31:18)W
4.       We have authority over all of creation, including the animals.  Gen. 1:28    Stewards (reference - Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, by Kenneth Bailey)
5.       We make and keep promises---like God.                                                                                               
6.       We make choices based on spiritual criteria---leading to sin or glorifying God. (Animals don’t sin)
7.       We make and appreciate music, art and general beauty.  Animals can’t---birds don’t sing.
8.       We have an eternal soul and destiny.
9.       We understand the past and anticipate the future---we contemplate death.  Past = regret  Future=worry
10.   We work, by God’s perfect design, because God works.  Retirement is a transition to other efforts.

Major doctrines that emerge from our being made in God’s image.

1.       The doctrine of work.  (Keller background info)
2.       Marriage.  Only humans marry by choice, for life, for the purpose of extending God’s family.  The scripture uses marriage as the picture of Christ and the Church, God and Israel.  In both cases “his chosen bride”.
3.       Justice and Grace.  God is both of these.  Only humans are commanded to give and respond to both. 
4.       All of the Biblical covenants: Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, hinge on our being Made in God’s Image.  God makes promises and we are to keep our end of the covenant because---we are made in his image. 
5.       The sanctity of life.  We are inherently valuable---whether pre-born or old, wise or challenged, because of his image.  Animals are not.  This distinction in worldview is not clearly understood by many.
6.       The Gospel.  His image both in humans and in creation has been marred by sin.  The Good News is that through Jesus (on the cross and in the future) he will fully restore his image.
7.       Eschatology.  The crowning doctrine in this subject promises that because we are of his “kind”, and related through his Son (family), he goes to prepare a place for us (work),  and will come again and receive us unto himself (marriage), that where He is, we will also be.   John 14:2,3  (1st century marriage picture)

Final thought:   We are Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Social, Emotional creatures made in God’s image.  A major weakness in any of these areas compromises our ability to minister.   Ref.  Emotionally HealthySpirituality”,by Peter Scazzero.