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In the Beginning, God Created Man
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The creation account in Genesis alternates between God’s transcendence and immanence; the purpose of which is to highlight God’s majesty over and intimacy with His creation. The creation of Adam and Eve on the sixth day marks the highlight of God’s creative work by providing them with a relationship to God that is unique in all of creation. Mankind was thus created in the image and likeness of God, given dominion over the animals and the earth, distinguished between male and female, and was blessed with creative abilities. The original audience learned from this account that their individual lives mattered to God; their purpose in life did not derive from their productivity; their past did not define their future; and their Creator was also their Redeemer. These truths are often hard to grasp in a fallen world, which gives us all the more reason to consider what life was like “in the beginning.”
01. From the beginning, we learn that humans are created to be below God, above the created order, and equal to one another.
02. From the beginning, we learn that our lives are a gift from God, we can live in relationship with God, and our purpose in life is to bring glory to God.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Read Genesis 1-2. What examples of God’s transcendence and immanence can you find? What is lost when we only see God as transcendent? What is lost when we only see God as immanent? How do both truths affirm the majesty of God and intimacy we can have with God?
2. Would the original audience have understood Genesis 1:26 to teach the doctrine of the Trinity? Why can we as Christians recognize it as evidence for the Trinity? How does the doctrine of the Trinity underscore our own need for relationships together as those who bear the image of God?
3. Why are the distinctions between male and female included in the account of creation? How do these distinctions actually affirm the value of both men and women before the Lord? How are these distinctions being challenged today? What is lost when we move away from God’s good creative order?
4. What does it mean for humans to subdue or to have dominion over the earth? How can we become good stewards of the earth without exploiting its resources in an irresponsible manner? What do we lose when we reverse the order of importance in creation, namely by caring more for the planet than for people?
5. Are you convinced that your life matters to God? What evidences from the Bible make God’s care for your life clear? How does knowing Christ as your Redeemer give meaning and purpose to your life?
For Further Reading: Thomas Boston, Human Nature in its Fourfold State (originally published in 1720; Banner of Truth Trust edition, 2015).