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Module One - Roots

This module focuses on the creation of man in God’s image. With that focus you will also take a close
look at the characteristics of a Godly man and woman.

Stage Décor/ Room Environment:

• Plan A: Ideas for large stage


o Bring in farm equipment to use as props on the stage, such as a John Deere Tractor.
o Bring in large plants and trees to create a “Rainforest Café” feel
o If possible obtain 2 mannequins to place on the stage. Dress one like a guy and the other
like a girl. Place them in the midst of the trees and plants.

• Plan B: Ideas for limited space and budget


o Place small hanging plants around the room.
o Use thin tree limbs or vines to create life like roots that you can attach to the walls for a
backdrop.
o Use farming tools for stage props such as hoes, shovels, and a seed fork.

Promotional Idea for Series

o Mail a package of seeds to students telling them about the new series.
o Have your small group leaders hand out a package of seeds to the students; only don’t put
seeds in the package. Put 5 invite cards in the package and challenge them to pass them
out to their friends “planting a seed” for the gospel.
o Have a farmer (or someone dressed up as a farmer) introduce Roots as the new series.
o Have a Cave-man walk in at scheduled times throughout the night, after the lesson, have
him introduce the next series.
o Using a landscape sprayer or a “round-up” bottle, walk through and spray water on the
students. When they ask what’s going on, tell them that you are using “Round-Up”
because it gets to the “roots”.
o Introduce series with an ice-breaker using pans of “dirt” or Dirt Sundaes (chocolate cake,
Oreo cookies, and gummy worms or spaghetti noodles for “roots”). With hands behind
their back, make the students pull the “roots” out of the bottom of the pan, using only
their faces and teeth.
The Apple Doesn’t Fall
Far from the Tree
Lesson Objective
The students will understand what it means to be created in the image of God and the
responsibilities that come with that special position.

Genesis 1:27
In whose image was man created?

You may have heard someone say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” That
means that the young person is usually a lot like his father or mother. Either they look
like one of the parents, or they act like one of the parents, or both. Maybe someone
has said that about you and your father or mother. Sometimes mothers or fathers
aren’t so great, and their children end up being a little rough around the edges. In this
instance, the comment becomes negative.

When we say it about believers and their relationship to God, it is a good thing!
God’s desire and design for us is to act like Him. Instead of accidentally falling from
the tree, God made us specifically in His image (Genesis 1:26-29). We can’t see Him
or touch Him, so what does it really mean that we are made in His image? Why did
God do that?

Image – A tangible or visible representation.

Attribute – A distinguishing characteristic of God that sets Him apart and through
which He reveals Himself to mankind.

Fellowship – The like-mindedness and mutual acceptance of people who hold


something in common.

Checklist
1. A short 2x4 piece of wood, a few nails, a shovel, hammer, and sawhorses.
2. PowerPoint presentation for this lesson available in the Lifelines Media Pak (see
LCM catalog).

General Lesson Format


Introduction
Lecture
You’ve probably heard the expression, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
That means that children usually look and act like their parents. Though this
expression sometimes has a negative connotation, when we talk about God and His
children, it’s a very good thing!

Page 31 in the Student Lifelines Module 1 - Roots – Page 79


Toward the end of the sixth day of creation, God made man of the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). When God made man,
He had a special design in mind. He didn’t just throw a bunch of dirt together and
leave it however it turned out. God made man specially and intentionally in His own
image (Genesis 1:27).

Content
To say that God made man is His image means that in some ways we are like God.
God has many attributes, which set Him apart from anyone else and reveal Him to us.
For example, God is omnipotent—He is all-powerful. Though that is one of God’s
attributes, it is not one that was given to man. He has chosen to give us some of His
other characteristics. There are two main areas that God’s image or characteristics
can be seen in us so that we can say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

The first area is through our personality. This isn’t talking about being out-going,
funny like your youth leaders, or shy. This is talking about personality traits or
characteristics that both God and people have.

A. Man Has Personality Just Like God


God gave us several of His personality traits by design. Both God and man share
the characteristics of personal beings (Genesis 1:26). In this verse you can see that
God reasons and talks. We are made like Him; we also reason and talk. We are
both personal beings. There are many different qualities that make up a
personality.

1. Both God and man have intellect (Isaiah 1:18)


Colossians 3:10 talks about the knowledge we have because it is part of God’s
image. This means that we are smart and have a degree of intelligence so that
we can process information and can reach logical conclusions. For example, if
you touch something hot, the nerves in your fingers send a message to your
brain that you are touching something hot. Your brain processes that
information. Finally, it reaches the conclusion to move your hand quickly!
Isaiah 1:18 (read) identifies both God’s and man’s ability to reason together.

2. Both God and man have emotions (Exodus 14:4)


Let’s take anger for instance. God’s anger is mentioned in Exodus 4:14, while
Exodus 11:8 talks about man’s anger. How about a thing called jealousy? God
said in Deuteronomy 5:9 that He is a jealous God; and Paul was jealous for the
believers in the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 11:2).

Teacher’s Note: Ask the students how they react when someone does something to
deliberately make them mad? Now ask them what God might think when we
deliberately do something that we know displeases Him. Note the similarities.

Just like you might feel upset, God is upset and displeased when we do things
that He has told us not to do.

3. Both God and man have a will (Ephesians 1:11; Romans 7:18)
When it comes to the matter of will, God works according to His own will
(Ephesians 1:11); and Paul was willing to do what was right, but had a hard
time doing it (Romans 7:18). God works in believers’ lives according to His
will and His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Man can choose between living

Module 1 - Roots – Page 80


for God or for himself (Matthew 16:24-25). We are not robots. We have the
ability to make choices. That’s called exercising our free will.

4. Both God and man are social beings (Luke 2:52)


We don’t know too much about Jesus’ social life, but apparently He had one
for we read in Luke 2:52 that Jesus grew in favor with God and man. Man has
a social side as well. Genesis 2:18 teaches that it was not good for man to be
alone. Man was made to be a social creature. Sometimes we like to be left
alone, but usually we want to be with other people. Think about the last time
you were left alone or not included in what everyone else was doing. It hurts to
be purposely left out or left alone. That’s the way God made us, to socially
enjoy one another’s company.

5. Both God and man have the capacity to love (1 John 4:7-8)
God is love (1 John 4:7-8), and because of that He loves everyone (John 3:16).
God has given us both the ability and the responsibility to love as well (1 John
4:11). We are told to love our enemies (Luke 6:27), and only with God’s help
can we do this. Think about an older couple in your church who have been
married for a long time. They have learned how to love like God loves. God
loves in good times and bad. He loves unconditionally. He loves forever.
People who have been married for a long time have learned to love like that.
People who have been married for a long time even start to look like each
other. Both God and man have many of the same personality traits. In that
sense we are a lot like God. The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

In the original creation, these characteristics showed through Adam and Eve very
clearly. However, sin marred our ability to show godly characteristics.

• Sometimes our intellect is flawed and we come to wrong conclusions.


• Sometimes we think about evil things and let our emotions get out of hand and
rule us instead of us ruling them (Proverbs 25:28). We fail when it comes to
living by biblical principles.
• Sometimes we allow the sinful passions of our will to make wrong choices.
• Sometimes we don’t relate properly on a social level with people around us (1
Corinthians 3:3).
• Sometimes we don’t love the way God wants us to love.

The effects of sin do not permit us to display God’s characteristics and qualities as
well as God originally intended for us.

B. Man Has Spirituality Just Like God


Not only can we see God’s image in us through personality but His image is also
seen in us through spirituality. Unlike all the other creatures God created—birds,
fish, and animals—man is more than just a body. Man is a spiritual being as well,
just like God. There is nothing spooky about this. Jesus told us in John 4:23-24
that God the Father is a Spirit. God is immaterial; He does not have a body.

Obviously, people do have bodies, but they also have an immaterial part. Jesus,
Who is God in the flesh, demonstrated this fact. As He hung on the cross, He
committed His spirit into the hands of His Father (Luke 23:46). Stephen is another
good example of the material and immaterial parts of man. As his body was being
stoned to death, he asked Jesus to receive his spirit (Acts 7:59).

Module 1 - Roots – Page 81


The immaterial side of man is the spiritual part. When the body dies, the spirit
continues to live and will eventually be given an immortal body, a body that will
never again die. This reunited body and spirit will spend eternity in either one of
two places: Heaven or Hell. These are real places. Reaching Heaven is only
accessible through a personal faith in Jesus Christ. He is the only way (John 14:6).

Teacher’s Note: Take time here to make a clear Gospel presentation and make an
urgent appeal for your unsaved students to trust Christ.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. God made man in His own image. In
many ways we are like God. That’s special, but there are special privileges that
come with major responsibilities. The way we are made should affect the way we
behave.

C. Man Has Been Given Responsibilities by God


There are three major responsibilities that come with the privilege of being made
in God’s image.

1. Dominion over God’s Creation (Genesis 1:28)


The first responsibility that came with the privilege of being created in the
image of God was given to man in the Garden of Eden. He is to have dominion
over all aspects of creation (Genesis 1:28). If man were made equal to the rest
of the plants and animals, he would have had a hard time subduing creation,
but God prepared him for the work. God has all authority over everything, but
He gave authority to man to have dominion over creation. This doesn’t mean
that man can abuse creation, but it is there for his use and benefit.

2. Fellowship with God (Genesis 3:8)


Man’s second responsibility is to enjoy regular fellowship with God. Before
Adam and Eve committed the sin of disobedience to God they fellowshiped
with Him in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8). In order
for two things or two people to cooperate, they need to have something in
common. In math, fractions with different denominators cannot be added or
subtracted. The fractions ½ and ⅓ cannot be added together. They need to have
a common denominator. Once they have the number 6 as a common
denominator (3/6 and 2/6), they can be added together. Man needed to be made
in God’s image. Otherwise, fellowship with Him would have been impossible.

Today, all believers have the responsibility to fellowship with God (1 John
1:6-7). That fellowship happens by talking to God and letting Him speak to us.
We talk to Him through prayer, and He talks to us through His Word. God
designed us for fellowship with Him, and when we don’t spend time with Him
we are missing out on one of the greatest privileges we have. We are also
living against God’s design for us. It is vitally important for us to fellowship
with God every day through prayer and reading His Word.

3. Represent God on earth (Matthew 5:16)


Our third responsibility is one that we, as people created in His image, have
today. We are to represent God on earth. An image is a tangible or visible
representation. God wants us to be visible, tangible representations of Him to
the world (Matthew 5:16 and 1 Peter 2:9 have two students read). People can’t
see or touch God, but they can see us. God expects us to live in a way that
others can see God and His characteristics and qualities when they look at us.

Module 1 - Roots – Page 82


We are given this expectation in 1 Peter 1:15 where God tells us to be holy as
He is holy.

Brainstorm
What are some practical ways we can represent God to the world? (Live
obedient lives, witness, pass out tracts, show love and concern for others, etc.)

People will notice when we really are living in a way that reflects His
characteristics and qualities. This goes as far as the way we treat our own
body. Activities such as cutting, overeating, under eating, smoking, drinking,
using drugs, being involved in premarital sex, or any other abuse of our body
is not a good representation of God to the world. It is, in fact, a waste of the
characteristics and qualities that God has given us.

You have been made in God’s image. You have many of His characteristics
and qualities. The world should learn about God from you. When they do, they
will be able to say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and God will be
greatly glorified!

Conclusion
Object Lesson

Teacher’s Note: Ask for two volunteers. Give each student a nail or two to pound
into a 2x4. Give one student a hammer and the other a garden shovel to use to drive
in their nails. Be sure there is plenty of room between the students so no one gets
hurt. Have the two students compete to see who gets the job done first and who does
a better job. You will easily see that the tool that is used in the way it was designed
does a much better job than the tool that does a job it wasn’t designed to do.

Notice how driving the nail with the hammer worked much better than with the
shovel. It didn’t look too good; neither did the wood. Why? Because the shovel was
not being used for what it was designed. However, the nail that was pounded in with
the hammer is in much better shape… so is the wood. Why? Because the hammer
was doing what it was designed to do.

Being made in God’s image is a special thing. It’s nothing to take lightly. God
expects us to fulfill His purposes for that and do what we were designed to do. He
wants us to take care of and subdue His creation, have fellowship with Him every
day, and be a visible, tangible representation of Him to a world that desperately needs
Jesus Christ! When we do, the finished product will be much more attractive to all
those who see it.

Module 1 - Roots – Page 83


Module 1 - Roots – Page 84
God made man specially and intentionally in His own image (Genesis 1:27).
• Both God and man share the characteristics of personal beings (Genesis 1:26).
• God works in believers’ lives according to His will and His good pleasure
(Philippians 2:13).
• We are told to love our enemies (Luke 6:27), and only with God’s help can we
do this.
• God wants us to be visible, tangible representations of Him to the world
(Matthew 5:16).

Work hard to develop the characteristics that you have in common with God.
Determine this week that you will use your intellect to communicate with God,
control your emotions, focus your will on making godly choices, be socially at peace
with those around you, and love others the way God loves you. He gave these
characteristics to you for a specific purpose. He wants to enjoy personal fellowship
with you. Then He wants you to show the world what He is like by being a
representation of Him.

Lesson Options
Junior High Adaptation
Instead of the object lesson (hammer vs. shovel), inform the students that you will be
passing out a free coin to each student—it’s only a penny, so not to get too excited.
But before you hand it out, check to see how much they know and remember about
the penny.

• Whose image is on the face of the penny? (Abraham Lincoln)


• Which direction is he facing? (Right)
• What one word is over his shoulder? (Liberty)
• Name what else is on the face of the penny? (In God We Trust, a date, and
possibly the letter S or D)

Then hand out the coins and ask what it represents.


• Currency worth a penny is not much by itself, but with many others, it has
more purchasing power.
• Our government stands behind it and guarantees its value.
• Image of a past president, which represents the United States as a whole.

Relate that fact to the way we uniquely represent God to the world.

Senior High Adaptation


In place of the Man Has Personality Just Like God section list the various similarities
on separate slips of paper. Have five students randomly draw one and describe it to
the best of their ability. If a student is having difficulty providing any information,
brainstorm with the group for suggestions. Allow for some discussion. Fill in the
areas that were not covered from the material provided in the lesson.

Module 1 - Roots – Page 85


Small Group Adaptation
In place of the Man Has Personality Just Like God section have five volunteers read
the following statements and see if the students can guess which of the five
personality traits (Intellect, Emotion, Will, Social, Love) is being described by the
statements.

1. Before the fall of man, God and man walked together in the cool of the day.
Man may occasionally enjoy being alone, but usually wants companionship.
(Social)
2. God says to man, “Come now and let us reason together.”
Man has learned by experience not to put his finger into an electrical socket.
(Intellect)
3. God demonstrated His concern for sinful man by being willing to die for us.
Man shows his concern for family and friends by the way he speaks and how
he treats them. (Love)
4. God has a plan for the entire universe and it’s for His honor and glory.
Man often knows what is right and what is wrong, but doesn’t always choose
right. (Will)
5. God is a jealous God and will not share His glory with anyone.
Man sometimes reacts negatively with anger toward those who take advantage
of him. (Emotion)

Supplement the students’ answers with the Scripture support for each personality
trait.

Large Group Adaptation


Instead of the brainstorm and object lesson (hammer vs. shovel), have a construction
worker come and tell about the dangers of using tools for jobs they weren’t designed
to do. Relate that to the dangers of not living how God has designed you to live and
doing what God designed you to do. Limit it to five to seven minutes.

Reference Materials
Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 217-220.

Discipleship Groups

Discussion Starters
1. What do you enjoy best about fellowshiping with God?
2. What characteristics seem to be the most common and why?
3. How can you use these characteristics to show God to the world?

Try This Week…


Personal Care Facility Visit: Visit the facility and be a visible representation of God’s
love to the residents.

Module 1 - Roots – Page 86