The Essentials of Christianity Man & Sin Beyond Sunday Who is Man?

One of the most important questions we could ask! The answer lays the foundation for how we see and interpret everything else! Two views on this question: The Biblical View & The World’s View Each can be examined by its description of the 3 states of man: - His essence, his moral state, and his need The Biblical View Essence: Made in the image of God (Imago Deo) Gen 1:27:

Q. What does it mean to be created in God’s image? - We are moral creatures - Reflects God’s perfect sense of right and wrong - We are physical and spiritual creatures - God is spirit - We think about and process information - Reflects God’s perfect knowledge - We relate to other and have a desire for community - Reflection of God’s perfect community within the Trinity Dualistic (both flesh and spirit) Moral State: Fallen nature Rom 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Gen 6:5
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

Continuing in this mode leads to Hell Rev 20:15
If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Heb 9:27

…man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

Need: Redemption Rev 5:9

…with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

But we carry something with us: Galatians 5:16-17

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the

Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Rom 7:15, 18-20

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

However, we are not absolved from responsibility Rom 6:12

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

But it won’t always be this way (Glorification) 1 Cor 15: 42-44, 48-49

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body…48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

The World’s View Essence Product of mindless, purposeless forces (Imago Goo) Carl Sagan (The Cosomos)
“The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.”

Corliss Lamont (Humanism as a Philosophy)
“The nonreality of the supernatural means, on the human level, that men do not possess supernatural and immortal souls…”

Paul Kurtz (The Humanist Alternative)
“Using the powerful critical tools of science and logical analysis, modern man now recognizes that the universe has no special human meaning or purpose and that man is not a special product of creation.”

Q. If man is just the product of time and random processes, what must we conclude about man? What about his purpose or meaning? Moral State Man is basically good Abraham Maslow (Influential humanist psychologist)
“As far as I know we just don’t have any intrinsic instincts for evil.”

Carl Rogers (another influential humanist psychologist)
“I do not find that…evil in inherent in human nature.”

Need Self-actualization through self-oriented pursuits Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Physiological, Safety, Social, Esteem, & Self-Actualization Self Actualization = following/doing your inner desires Maslow
“If you think in terms of the basic needs; instincts, at least at the outset, are all ‘good’…careful study of them [instincts] will provide the values we need by which better societies can evolve. Since this inner nature is good or neutral rather than bad, it is best to bring it out and to encourage it rather than to suppress it. If it is permitted to guide our life, we grow healthy, fruitful, and happy.”

Q. What are the consequences of following this path? Romans 8:13

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

So, why is there evil (Sin) in the world? World’s View If man is basically good, where does evil come from? Jean-Jaques Rousseau
“If man is good by nature, as I believe to have shown him to be, it follows that he stays like that as long as nothing foreign to him corrupts him.”

“Sick people are made by a sick culture; healthy people are made possible by a healthy culture.”

Carl Rogers
“…experience leads me to believe that it is cultural influences which are the major factor in our evil behaviors.”

They believe evil is a product of culture Q. Who makes up the culture? - People! Evil (Sin) is a sickness that is contrary to our true natures and is produced by cultural influences Biblical View Rom 1: 21-25, 28-32

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen… 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Evil (Sin) is a natural product of man’s fallen nature Sin is anything (act, thought, nature) that is contrary to God’s character Conclusion/Main Points

Q. Given what you know about history, which view of man lines up with reality?
A. Man was created in God's image B. Man's nature was corrupted by sin and he is in a fallen state C. Sin is anything (act, thought, nature) that is contrary to God's character