Sunday School Notes 9-20-2015

Made in God’s Image

Genesis 1:26-31

Opening Questions

  • What do you think it means that we were made in God’s image?
    • Do we look like God physically?
    • Why might this question be important?
      • It speaks to our identity as people.

Genesis 1:26-31 (HCSB)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” God also said, “Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This food will be for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth- everything having the breath of life in it. I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day.

Why do you think God refers to Himself in the plural? (“Us” and “Our”)

  • Throughout scripture we see God referred to as “the Lord”, as “God”, as “Yahweh”
  • We also see references to others: “The Angel of the Lord”, “Jesus Christ”, “the Word”, “Holy Spirit”, “Son of Man”
    • Thus, there is only one God, who exists in different persons.
    • In scripture, three different persons are apparent (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), but only one essence. We most often call this the Trinity.
  • It can be difficult for us to think about and is impossible for us to fully understand.
    • As we think about our own identity as people, we should understand that if we can’t understand God fully, we may not be able to understand ourselves fully either because we were created in God’s image.

God mentions that people will rule His creation as He talks about creating them in His image. Do you think this is important? Why?

  • Our rule over God’s creation seems to be the primary “image-bearing” quality that God had in mind when He created people.
  • The human identity is that we steward creation well, ruling over it rightly.
    • We do not worship creation, but neither do we trample it under our feet.
    • We take care of it.
    • This means that the best way we can worship God is by taking care of His creation and by using resources wisely.

What does this mean about the relationship God designed us to have with Him?

  • The relationship was a covenant.
    • God gave people the earth and people were to take care of it.
  • The relationship was familial.
    • If God is king of everything, and He created us to be rulers of His creation; then He literally created people with His own genetics (for lack of a better term).
    • People were created to be sons and daughters of the King of the universe.
  • This is still what it means to have a relationship with God.
    • We agree to act in God’s name on this earth.
    • We become sons and daughters of the only true King of the universe.
      • This means that we are not adopted sons and daughters. We are actual sons and daughters that have been returned to our rightful home.
    • This is only possible by trusting in Jesus Christ, who volunteered to be punished for our sin so that we could live in right relationship with God.

Questions for class discussion

  • Why is it important that God created male and female in His image?
    • Man is only part of God’s image, and female is only part of God’s image.
    • When placed together, the image of God is made more whole. This is why marriage (and sex) is so sacred to God.
  • Do you see yourself as a caretaker of God’s creation (all the animals and plants), or as a consumer?
    • What are the dangers of seeing ourselves as consumers?
      • We become more selfish, using the earth for ourselves rather than taking care of it for God.
    • How would you describe what it means to have a relationship with God?
      • It is to be a true son or daughter of God and to live life to please Him as our Father.
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