God created human beings in His image to love and glorify Him. Humans were the greatest of all God’s creation, made with dignity and beauty. Because it was made in God’s image, all human life has value. Scripture shows that God’s image in man has been tainted because of sin. After the first man Adam rebelled against God, all humanity has inherited a sinful nature which leads to our many transgressions.
Read Genesis 1:25-27
Discuss: What is significant about the origin of humankind?
Being made in God’s image means that man reflects God and represents God.
Character - Man reflects God’s image because we have an inward sense of right and wrong.
Spirit - Man reflects God’s image because we are not merely physical beings, we have a spirit that relates to God and lives eternally.
Relationships - Man reflects God’s image because we naturally long to connect with others in meaningful relationships. Much like God experiences interpersonal harmony with the members of the trinity, humans long for harmony with other humans.
Read Psalm 139:14.
Discuss: How does God’s careful design impacts your view of human life?
Man was made with more authority and more worth than all the other creation. (Genesis 1:28)
God made us not because He needed us to feel complete, but for us to be satisfied in living for Him. Our purpose in life is to bring Him glory. (Isa. 43:7, Eph. 1:11-12)
Read 1 Cor. 10:31
Discuss: How does this verse describe what we were made to do?
Man was made with a greater purpose than all the other creation.
Read Gen. 3:1-16.
Discuss: What was man’s rebellion against God?
Man has fallen into sin - Though man was created in God’s image to reflect Him and represent Him, God’s image in man has been distorted because of sin. (Isa. 53:6)
Sin - Sin is to disobey the law of God in word, thought, action, or nature. (Gal 5:19-20)
Original sin - The first sin was committed by Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:1-16), but scripture teaches that the guilt of their sin was imparted to all humankind. We are counted guilty because of the first sin of Adam.
Read Rom. 5:12.
Discuss: How did the penalty of death spread to all people?
Scripture also teaches that we have a sinful nature because of the first sin. (Ps. 51:5; Ps. 58:3, Eph. 2:3)
Actual sin - Because of our sinful nature, all humans act in willfully sinful ways. (Rom. 3:23, Rom. 3:9-10, Ps. 14:3)
Wages of Sin -The Bible teaches that because God is holy, our sin separates us from Him. He must condemn sin with judgment in hell. (Rom. 6:23)
After meditating on the corruptive nature and harmful effects on us, how should our attitudes toward sin change?