FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 05
Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
Genesis 1:26-31. “Image and Likeness” -Man’s Significance
“Image” -selem- “Representation.” Mostly used to describe an idol made into an animal or person.
“Likeness” -demut- “Similar Appearance.” See also Gen 5:1-3. Man is like a mirror reflecting an object, but is not himself that object.
Man is also significant because of his:
1. “enlivening”- “breath of life,” Genesis 2:7, God is the Life-Giver!
2. “commissioning”- “dominion, rule” Genesis 1:26, 28.
Man does NOT have aseity, eternality, or omnipotence!
Q: How is man in the “image and likeness” of Elohim?
- MIND- The intellect is God’s design. He has created us with a conscience, a capacity for logic, and the ability to reason.
- FEELINGS- Emotions are a gift from God. They are part of proper communication. The capacity to love would be impossible without God making it so.
- WILL- God allows us to make decisions. Our preferences serve to characterize us, whether good or bad. Mankind is not a robot. Sin is the evidence & result of free choice.
- BODY- While God is Spirit (John 4:24), the “image and likeness” spills over into our physical form, while our makeup is clearly from the earth (adama, Gen 2:7). God knew that His Son would one day inhabit flesh. It had to be properly designed for the purposes the Father intended in supplying salvation for the world (Acts 4:28).
Q: What is a “divine institution?”
A God-ordained system that was mandated before the Fall.
Divine Institution #1- FAMILY
Under the heading of “MAN” (adam) are the categories of “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Though Genesis 2 speaks of the separate formation of man and woman, it is clear that God wants to make a point in this opening chapter. The only inferiority in play is between the Creator and His creation, not between man and woman. Each is given a role to fulfill, not a right to rule over the other.
This God-mandated co-equality is an affront to the male chauvinist (using “dominion” as an excuse) and the ardent feminist (who calls for “equality” but does not look to the Bible as the standard for their cause).
Man in Relation to God- The temptation is to:
1. compare God to something that we already know (for the sake of reference and clarity), or
2. make up our own ideas about Him apart from His self-revelation.
BOTH OPTIONS ARE IDOLATRY! They are misrepresentations!
“If we insist upon trying to imagine Him, we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts; and an idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand.” -A.W. Tozer
Isaiah 40:18-28. God is wholly (& holy) other. Different and “set apart.” Any frame of reference that we would resort to will falsely represent the Creator unless that reference is from Scripture. God tells us how to think about Him! *Compare to Psalm 8:3-9.