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54. Anthropology: The Doctrine of Man

Purpose: To help the disciple know basic things about who man is and what his afflictions are.


1. The disciple will understand what Scripture teaches about the original state of man.

2. The disciple will understand the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.

3. The disciple will understand the effect of this fall on the human race.

4. The disciple will understand what God’s purposes are for man today.

Scripture Memory

God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27


1. Mutual sharing and prayer

2. Discuss the worksheet and questions.

3. Discuss any new terms.

4. Mutual sharing of memory verse.

This is a brief study of the doctrine of man. "Anthropos" is the Greek word for man. The Biblical study of man therefore is called ______________ . In anthropology we will consider the nature of man, his origin, and the results of his fall through Adam.


The Beginning of Man

When we look at Scripture and what it records in relation to the beginning of man, we find that man was made in the ______________ and ________________ of God, Genesis 1:26. Let's look at the meaning of these two words. Image means shadow or outline of a figure, while likeness has to do with resemblance. Yet the way this translates into reality for our understanding is not as easy as it might seem. Even the theologians are not in agreement about the nature of the meaning of "image and likeness" and how this is true of man. Let's look at some verses in Scripture that will possibly shed light on this area of truth.

Ephesians 4:23,24 tell us that man is created to be like God in ______________ and __________________. Colossians 3:10 tells us that the new man is being _________________ to a true ____________________ according to the ________________of the one who created him. That man was given intellectual faculties is seen in the fact that God asked man to do what? Genesis 2:19,20 _______________________________________________. Man also had the ability, not only to discern evil, but to___________________________, Genesis 2:15-17. What similar experience did Christ, the last Adam, endure? Matthew 4.

He was successful in resisting sin, though Adam was not. In the image of God, man had the power to be tempted and the ability to resist sin. In summary, man was made in the _______________ and ______________ of God. This consisted of God's intellectual, moral, and spiritual characteristics. We need to remember that while man, from one side of his nature, is linked to creation as a mammal, he is a creature of much higher order and more splendid nature. He is in the image and likeness of God.

Perhaps a word needs to be added because of the common interpretation and propagation of a theory by the Mormon organization today. Being created in the "image and likeness of God" does not denote physical likeness on the part of God. John 4:24 states clearly that God is _______________. A spirit does not have flesh and bones. Deuteronomy 4:15 implies what?

Then how can we explain the references to God that have to do with His "eyes", His "arm", and His "back"? These are called "anthropomorphisms", which are simply ways of referring to aspects of Him in human terms that make understanding Him more simple.

The Sin of Man (his fall)

I. The biblical narrative is found in Genesis 3. Read this account carefully several times. How do you see this story — literally, allegorically, or mythically? Write a few sentences and explain your position as clearly as you can, as well as why you reject the alternative positions you have excluded.

A. Read Genesis 3:5 and see if you can put in your own words what Satan said.

B. Neither Adam nor Eve were sinners. There was no sin principle in either of them. Where did sin come from?

C. 1 Timothy 2:14 tells us that the sins of Adam and Eve differed. In what way was this true and what are your feelings about what happened, according to this verse?

D. Genesis 3 gives us many of the results of sin. See how many of these you can find, and discuss their implications in life today.

The Ultimate Effects of Sin upon Man and the Entire Creation

I. Romans 5:12 says that through ________ __________'s sin, death came to ______ _______ because when Adam sinned, all _________________. This means that I sinned in ____________ when he sinned. I am therefore born a______________ and sin because I am a ______________.

There may be a difference in the degree, but not in the fact of sin. Romans 3:23 says we all have ______________ and _________ ________ of the glory of God. There is organic unity in the human race. We bear after our kind. Adam was a sinner and he was our human father. As such, then, all of us who are related to the race through him are____________________.

II. Romans 3:19 and John 3:36 tell us that the entire world is ______________ and that the wrath of God abides upon whom? ________________________

III. Many in the world would say that all men are the sons and daughters of God. There are lines of a hymn that read, "Dear Lord and Father of mankind..." Since God is the Father of all through creation, perhaps there is some truth, in a sense, to those lines. But John 8:44 and 1 John 5:19 tell us that those who are not the children of God through faith in Jesus, are in reality children of ____________________________________.

IV. The totality of the nature of man is affected by sin. See the following verses and what they teach with respect to this.

A. Understanding is ______________________, Ephesians 4:18.

B. The ability to do good is ______________________ , Romans 7:18.

C. The heart is _____________________, Jeremiah 17:9,10.

D. Minds and consciences are __________________, Titus 1:15.

Looking at these truths about the nature of man, what can be said for him in his ability to stand before God in his own righteousness?

All of creation itself seems to be reeling under the effects of sin. See Romans 8:19-22. How does this teach that creation has felt the effects of the sin of mankind?

Questions for Review and Discussion

1. Man has been made in the image of God. The fall greatly marred that image. Where is natural man in his understanding of God and who He is?

2. Man is pictured as "dead in trespasses and sins". How can a dead man come to life and believe in Jesus?

3. What is the dilemma of the man who has never experienced the new birth and attempts with his old nature to be a "good man"?

4. In regeneration, what does God do as far as the old nature is concerned? For example, does He remake the old nature, eliminate forever the old nature, create an entirely new nature?

Related Topics: Discipleship

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