Catechism Study – Question #5
Catechism Study – Question #5
How did God create man?
God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
“…and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
There is something different about man from the rest of creation. Of everything that God created, we are told in scripture that man was the only thing created in the image of God. Not only that, but man is also the only creation that is told to have dominion over the rest of creation.
What does is mean to be created in the image of God?
When we think of being made in the image of God we must think of three areas. These three areas are in knowledge, holiness, and righteousness.
When Adam was created, and he was without sin, he was able to understand God fully through creation. When Adam gave names to the animals in the garden, he had the knowledge required to give them these names. When he names his wife Eve (which means “life-giving”), he knew what that meant. Before sin was in the world, man had a true knowledge of God and creation. But we know this changed after sin came into the world.
When we talk about holiness, we are speaking about being “set apart”. When Adam was without sin in the garden, he found his highest delight in the Lord. Adam was in the perfect presence of God. In a sense, Adam was “set apart” of the things of the Lord because of the absence of sin.
Another word for righteousness is obedience. Because Adam knew what God required (knowledge) and found his delight in Him (holiness) he was able to be obedient to God in his life. After the fall, this righteousness was lost, and man has needed the righteousness of another ever since, who is Jesus Christ.
Result – Total Depravity
There is a term you should know called “Total Depravity”. It means that after the fall, man lost any “good” in him, and therefore he is now totally depraved. Not that he is as bad as he can be, but he cannot pursue any good within himself. He has lost what Adam had in the garden, “the image of God”.
Because God requires perfection in his creation, and we have lost that perfection, we have a problem. This is the problem of all mankind. God created us perfect, we sinned, therefore we stand before God guilty.
The only way we can ever stand before God and be considered “perfect” again, is if someone else that is perfect takes our place. As Christians, we know the only person that ever lived on this earth that was perfect was Jesus Christ, and we know from the bible that he offers us his perfect life through that gift of faith in Him.
By understanding how we were created and what we were created for, we can see just how far we have fallen from the standard that God requires. Too many times when we try to explain to others their need for a Savior, we don’t explain their condition. They don’t understand that they have lost any good in them, they stand before God naked and guilty, and need someone else to come stand in their place who is perfect.
Share the good news of Christ with people. Don’t just give them the solution. Give them the problem. Make sure they understand the problem. If we don’t understand our problem, we will never seek the One who came to this earth to solve it.
1. What does it mean to be created in “the image of God”?
2. What happened to lose that perfection?
3. What do we mean by “Total Depravity”?
4. How would you explain the problem all men face in this life? How would you explain the solution God provided?
5. Hard Question – If God created man “perfect” how come he was able to sin?