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Faithlife

Nature of Man 1

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What was the image and likeness of God that man was made after?
(KJV 1900) 26 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 creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 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.
7512 I. צֶלֶם (ṣě·lěm): n.masc.; ≡ Str ; TWOT 1. LN image, idol, i.e., a created and formed artifact that is worshiped as or as representing a pagan deity (; ; ; ; ; ; +), note: for another interp in [EB ]; , see 7513; 2. LN image, likeness, i.e., that which is a pattern, model, or example of something (, ; ; +), note: the exact reference of whether this is moral, ethical, physical, nature, etc. is not clear; 3. LN model, figures, i.e., a two or three dimensional painted or sculptured representation of something, but not necessarily a worship object (,+) Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
The Hebrew word for "image" and "likeness",צֶלֶם (ṣě·lěm) means, "that which is a pattern, model, or example of something. There is no exact reference of whether this is moral, ethical, physical, nature, etc. But I am inclined to believe that it represents man being made in the "image" and "likeness" of God in character which encompasses morality and nature.
Ater some thought, I believe that man was made in the likeness of God both physically and morally. After man sinned both his physical and moral likeness to God were blemished. It this "image" in both senses of the word that God is seeking to restore in us. Was not this the purpose of Christ? , . When He came to this earth He bore moral image of God and restored it in humankind, and after His death and resurrection He glorified the human body, thus restoring the physical image of God in man. The image of God was restored in Christ's humanity, that we might receive through grace and the Holy Spirit.
God created Adam and Eve first in His own physical image from the dust of the earth, but what gave man the moral likeness of God? I would conclude that it was His breath, the breath of life. It was the Spirit that gave rise to the perfect functioning of not only the body, but of the intellect and spiritual nature.
It is no different in the plan of redemption. We can do nothing to accomplish the restoration of our bodies except that God changes us "in the twinkling of an eye", thus the physical likeness of God being restored in us. Also it is by the breath of God, the Holy Spirit, that we now receive moral likeness of God. . We are born again by the Spirit and the Word. ; . It is by the "breath" of the Almighty that we are able to "put off the old man" and "put on the new man" even Christ Jesus who is the glory of the image of God. ; ; .
Just as God in the Old Testament breathed the breath of life into Adam and invigorated every cell and spiritual sense in his body and mind, so Jesus Christ in the New Testament breathed the Holy Spirit into the lives of the disciples invigorating them and giving them both the desire and the ability to God's will. ; .
Man also had the image of God in that they were clothed in likeness to the Divine. . God is clothed with a garment of light, it is impenetrable . It is this holy light that destroys all the wicked when Christ comes again, keeping in mind that Christ has this glorious light having taken upon Himself humanity. .
The word for Adam means "mankind" and encompasses both male and female. Both Adam and Eve composed the image of God. describes that their name is Adam. It was not Adam and Steve but Adam and Eve that constituted the image of God and was complete, as far as it could be, in the make-up of the male and female.
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132 I. אָדָם (ʾā·ḏām): n.masc.; ≡ Str ; TWOT 1. LN person, human, i.e., a single human being of either sex ([EB ]), see also 134; 2. LN humankind, mankind, a class of being created by God without regard to sex, with a focus as a class of creature, distinct from animals, plants, or even spiritual beings (); 3. LN unit: בֵּן אָדָם (bēn ʾā·ḏām)1 low class person, formally, son of man, i.e., a person of low status, implying poverty ([EB ]); 4. LN unit: בֵּן אָדָם (bēn ʾā·ḏām)1 human, formally, son of man, i.e., a person who is in the class of humanity, as contrasted to other classes of supernatural beings ()
Made a little lower than the angels
When God created man, the wise man describes that He made man "upright". .
3838 I. יָשָׁר (yā·šār): adj. [see also 3838.5]; ≡ Str ; TWOT 1. LN straight, i.e., pertaining to not being crooked (); 2. LN level, i.e., pertaining to not being bumpy with elevations or depressions (); 3. LN right, upright, i.e., what is morally innocent and proper according to a standard (); 4. LN Upright One, i.e., a title of God (); 5. LN unit: הַ־ יָשָׁר בְּ־ עַיִן (hǎ- yā·šār b- ʿǎ·yin)1 what is proper, formally, right in the eyes, i.e., what is proper according to a personal standard (); 6. LN unit: לֵבָב יָשָׁר (lē·ḇāḇ yā·šār)1 in agreement, in accord with, formally, straight heart (; )
יָשָׁר (yā·šār): n.masc. [see also 3838]; ≡ Str ; TWOT 1. LN what is right, i.e., what conforms to a moral standard (; ; ; ); 2. LN upright person, i.e., one who conforms to a standard ()
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
From the meaning of the word in the Hebrew, we can see that there is a lot in the one word. Adam and Eve were perfect in every possible sense, otherwise, if they were not, God would be a liar when He spoke the words, "behold, it was very good", and that cannot be according to & .
Adam and Eve were created perfectly symmetrical in physical being. They were intelligent, far above the highest intellect of our day. Not only were they perfect physically, but their moral nature was perfect. As the dictionary brings out above, they were completely conformed to the standard of God.
What is the standard of God?
describes to us that God has a throne. A throne does not exist if there is not a government. All reasonable men will declare that the peace and safety of society cannot exist without government and laws. You only have to go to a third world country to understand the truth of that. It is like that because it is a faint representation of the heavenly. Peace and safety and righteousness exist because God governs the universe with laws, both natural and moral. The principles of God's government are righteousness and justice and steadfast love and faithfulness are before Him. ; (ESV). And what describes the righteousness of God? . The psalmist through Hebrew poetic writing again aligns righteousness with law and truth. The same word for truth in is used in describing the law of God.
The law of God is holy, just, and good (), and this law is the standard by which man is to live by, not only judged. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, , thus Adam and Eve were created righteous and possessed a righteous and upright character, like that of God that was in perfect harmony with His law or the principles of His kingdom. They possessed the law of God in their hearts, , just as Christ came into the world with the principles of God's kingdom in His heart . Adam and Eve knew righteousness and therefore had the law of God written in their heart, rather then being proclaimed from a mount. It was in this way that they were "made upright."
The Bible also describes them as being made a little lower than the angels. . Adam and Eve were crowned with glory and honour.
Glory: 3883 I. כָּבוֹד (kā·ḇôḏ): n.masc.; ≡ Str ; TWOT , 1. LN glory, splendor (); 2. LN honor, respect, i.e., the attribution of high status to a person (; ); 3. LN wealth, i.e., what is valued and abundant (; [EB ]); 4. LN manifestation of power, formally, glory (; ); 5. LN glorious presence, formally, glory (; ); 6. LN reward, i.e., giving of a gift (); 7. LN unit: עֹשֶׁר כָּבוֹד (ʿō·šěr kā·ḇôḏ)1 vast wealth, formally, wealth of riches, i.e., very extensive wealth and possessions (); 8. LN person, self, formally, glory, i.e., the self or inner person (; [EB ]; [EB ]; [EB ]), note: the niv in has the “tongue” as the organ of speech, see also domain LN ; 9. LN the Glory, i.e., a title for God (; ; ); 10. LN ruler, men of high rank, i.e., ones who govern (); 11. LN unit: שָׁכַב בְּ־ כָּבוֹד (šā·ḵǎḇ b- kā·ḇôḏ)1 lie in state, i.e., be in a royal state of entombment ()
Honour: 2077 הָדָר (hā·ḏār): n.masc.; ≡ Str ; TWOT 1. LN best quality, i.e., produce of a beautiful appearance (); 2. LN majesty, glory, splendor, i.e., what is beautiful and instills awe and ascribing high value or status to what is majestic (; ; ; [EB ]; [EB ]; ; [EB ],[EB ]; ; ; ; ; ; , ; ; , , ; ; ; ; ; ); 3. LN adornment, i.e., a feature of a person that enhances status (); 4. LN noble, i.e., a class of high status persons ()
So when Christ took upon Himself the cloak of humanity, He was made in the same fashion as mankind. .
Face to face with God
Adam and Eve held pure and holy communication with God. Although lost through sin, and now we must look through the glass, darkly, at that day we shall behold our God face to face. .
The knowledge that we lost of God in Eden is gained through the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. .
(KJV 1900) 26 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 creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 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.
8097 I. רָדָה (rā·ḏā(h)): v.; ≡ Str ; TWOT , 1. LN (qal) rule over, dominate, direct, lead, control, subdue, i.e., manage or govern an entity, people or government with considerable or forceful authority (, ; , , ; ; ; [EB ],[EB ]; ; ; ; [EB ]; [EB ]; ; ; , ; ; ; +), note: in some contexts the object being controlled is formerly hostile; (hif) subdue, cause to dominate (+); 2. LN (qal) trample, i.e., make a pressing motion on an object ([EB ]+), note: for another interp in , see 8098
Adam was given dominion, the authority to manage and govern. This privilege was not his right by creation, but was given to him. This right was given to at creation when God crowned Adam with honour and glory He was king on earth, but he was subject to the higher King. Christ alone is Potentate, He is a King of kings, and Lord of lords . So Adam and Eve were to rule the earth and exercise dominion over all the creatures, and subdue the earth, they were to tend to it and maintain it as their palace. .
What is its meaning? When we talk about the "nature" of man before and after the fall, what does it mean?
na•ture \ˈnā-chər\ noun
[Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin natura, from natus, past participle of nasci to be born—more at nation] 14th century
1 a: the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing: essence
b: disposition, temperament
2 a: a creative and controlling force in the universe
b: an inner force or the sum of such forces in an individual
3: a kind or class usually distinguished by fundamental or essential characteristics 〈documents of a confidential nature〉 〈acts of a ceremonial nature
4: the physical constitution or drives of an organism especially: an excretory organ or function—used in phrases like the call of nature
5: a spontaneous attitude (as of generosity)
6: the external world in its entirety
7 a: humankind’s original or natural condition
b: a simplified mode of life resembling this condition
8: the genetically controlled qualities of an organism
9: natural scenery synonym see type
Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
The first meaning is that 'nature' is an inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing.
The second meaning links to other words such as 'essence, disposition, temperament'.
Essence: The properties and attributes of which something can be placed in its proper class or identified as being what it is.
So the properties and attributes that reveal whether man is unfallen, or fallen.
Essence is the permanent element(s) of a being.
Disposition: A prevailing tendency, mood, or inclination; Temperamental makeup; the tendenacy of something to act in a certain manner under given circumstances.
Temperament: The makeup of a person with respect to its elements, qualities, or parts; The characteristic or habitual inclination or mode of emotional response.
synonym disposition, temperament, temper, character, personality mean the dominant quality or qualities distinguishing a person or group. disposition implies customary moods and attitude toward the life around one 〈a cheerful disposition〉. temperament implies a pattern of innate characteristics associated with one’s specific physical and nervous organization 〈an artistic temperament〉. temper implies the qualities acquired through experience that determine how a person or group meets difficulties or handles situations 〈a resilient temper〉. character applies to the aggregate of moral qualities by which a person is judged apart from intelligence, competence, or special talents 〈strength of character〉. personality applies to an aggregate of qualities that distinguish one as a person 〈a somber personality〉.
Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
God created man with free will. If this were not the case, man would be a mere automaton and true love can never be felt, nor expressed in this state. God is not a dictator, but reveals to us all things that are true, pure, lovely, etc. that we might be led to choose Him as our God and Sovereign and obey Him, not because He made us obey Him, but because He first loved us. . He satisfies our highest desires and therefore all praise and serve Him as their God. . According to the Genesis account, if Eve did not have a free will, she could not have fallen, because she could not have chosen to disobey the lord God. But she did. She was deceived to distrust the truthfulness of the word of God, and presume upon the mercy of God to not regard an act of disobedience as sin adn deserving of divine consequences. .
Even after the fall, God only accepted offerings that were of "freewill". , .
The restored image of God is seen in the term "a perfect heart", which David prayed to God to give to his son Solomon. ; . This was another phrase for "born again". This perfect heart serves God and keeps all His commandments with a "willing mind". A perfect heart also means "singleness of heart". It was from this singleness or as the word is also translated, "simplicity", that Eve lost in Christ. .
The will of God concerning His creation is that their life should measure with the life of God. This is shown in when God creates the tree of life for Adam and Eve. While Adam and Eve would eat the fruit of this tree, they would have eternal life. Although life is a gift to man, God made man, even in his perfection, to depend upon the fruit found on the tree of life. It shows their dependance on God for life and sustenance. We know that the tree of life was the source of their eternal life for their bodies when, after they sinned, God commanded the angel to guard the tree of life and prevent any sinful beings from eating its fruit. Why? Because this would have immortalized sin!
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