STATEMENT ON MAN
believe that man was created in the image of God. Adam sinned and
consequently experienced not only physical death but also spiritual
death, which is separation from God. All human beings are born with
a sinful, corrupted nature, and sin in thought, word, and deed.
Man's state of sin has so infected his will that he is unable to
choose God's provision of redemption in Messiah Yeshua without the
work of the Holy Spirit in his understanding. (Genesis 1:26,27, 2:16,17, 3:6, 6:5; 8:21; Exodus 33:19; Psalm
14:1-3; Isaiah 53:6, 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9, 31:33; Mark 7:20-23; John
2:24,25, 3:3-5, 6:44; Romans 3:23, 5:12-19, 9:1-18; Ephesians
Each of the four sentences in our
Statement will serve as a major
division in our study.
I. "We believe that man was
created in the image of God."
1. why Not "Humanity"?
The AMC has chosen to entitle the above
section of its beliefs statement, Man, a title with a plainly male
connotation. This goes against the grain of many,
particularly since there are perfectly acceptable synonyms, such as,
Humanity or The Human Race. This is a social issue; but how
does it stand in terms of biblical accuracy?
The issue revolves around the Hebrew word
adam, which, until recently, was almost universally translated as
man in Genesis 1:26, and Man or Adam in Genesis 5:2:
Genesis 1:26: And God
said, Let Us make adam in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have
dominion over the fish of the sea....
Genesis 5:2: He created
them male and female, and blessed them. And He called their name Adam
in the day when they were created.
In both scriptures, male and female corporately
are called adam. In these and numerous other Hebrew scriptures, adam
is used in reference to the entire human race. (Adam is also used
often to refer to individual people when
the designation of male or female is irrelevant to the thrust of the
example, in Numbers 19:11, we read, He who
touches the dead body of any man [adam] shall be unclean seven days.
Of course the statement does not just refer to the bodies of
dead men, but of dead women, also.) Without a doubt, then, as
far as English usage is concerned, adam may be translated humanity or the
human race as well as man in Genesis 1:26, and Humanity or
The Human Race as well as Man or Adam in 5:2. However, a theological problem
arises when people try
to avoid or eliminate the translation man altogether.
2. What's the Problem?
And ha-adam - the man - called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
In this verse, adam refers to the man only,
not the woman. Furthermore, in Genesis 4:25 -
And Adam knew his wife again - and other scriptures, adam was
recognized as the proper name of the first man in that the definite
article ha (the) does not precede adam.
To sum up, adam is used
1) to designate or name the entire human race;
2) to designate any individual in the human race;
3) to distinguish the male from the female;
4) as the first male's proper name.
The man and the woman were corporately called
adam, and Adam was retained as the man's proper name when the
woman's name was differentiated from the man's.
This is understandable on at least two counts:
1. The man was created first, and then the woman was created from a part
of the man. Genesis 2:21-22: 21. And Jehovah God
caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his
ribs, and closed up the flesh underneath. 22.
And Jehovah God made the rib (which He had taken
from the man) into a woman. And He brought her to the man.
2. Because the man was the source of the woman, the man, not the woman, is
viewed by God as the federal or representational head of the human race. This is seen in
at least two ways:
Even though it was Eve who was the first to sin,
1) judgment did not fall until after Adam sinned (Genesis 3:6-7); and
2) death came
upon the race via Adam's sin, not
For as in
Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive.
(1 Corinthians 15:22).
To sum up:
1. God created the first human to be a man, not a woman.
2. The man was the source of the woman.
a. adam is the word used to designated the
entire human race;
b. Adam was retained as the proper name of the male
when the names of the male and the female
c. The first man, Adam, is viewed as the theological head of the human race.
It is clear, then, that God wants the human race to be viewed as
proceeding from, theologically headed up by, and represented by, the male. This has nothing to do with male chauvinism or abuse or suppression
or lack of respect or appreciation or love of the female in any form, but
with the established order of God; and in this day and age in which the
enemy of our souls seeks to blur the distinctions between male and female,
and has virtually destroyed the concept of male headship in the family and
in much of the church in the West and other parts of the world, the
spiritual attack against the use of man in reference to the human
race must be resisted. Man is a perfectly legitimate way of referring to
the human race, and conveys a biblical truth that must be supported and
strengthened in the thinking of many.
B. "MAN WAS CREATED"
Adam and Eve were created by direct acts of God, not by any
evolutionary process. (For a refutation of the Evolutionary Fantasy, see
Section II E of the author's "Evidence" study at
www.biblestudyproject.org.) Two major differences between the
Evolutionary Fantasy and the creation account are:
1. Evolution requires uncountable
intermediary stages, but Genesis 2:7 says, And
Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
2. According to evolutionists, the evolution of man from dust would require
hundreds of millions of years; but according to Scripture, God created
Adam within the confines of one literal 24-hour day. Gen 1:27: And God created man in His image....
31. ... And the evening and the morning were the
The Hebrew for the sixth day is
yom ha shi-shi' (literally, day the
Dr. Fruchtenbaum writes,
by itself can refer to a long period of time, in fact, more than
twenty-four hours.... However, when the word
is used with a numeral, it can mean only twenty-four hours.... [T]he
numeral following the word
automatically limits the time period to twenty-four hours, a literal
One would need to
read evolutionary hypothesis into the text to interpret it as a
longer period of time. The additional phrase
evening and morning
merely re-emphasizes the fact that this is limited to twenty-four
hours. (Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Arnold G.
Radio Manuscript # 186, "The Seven Days of Creation," San
Antonio: Ariel Ministries Press. Pp. 14-15.)
Man was created 1. directly from the dust of the
ground, and 2. within the confines of one literal twenty-four
hour day, two facts that render evolution a falsehood. Furthermore, there
is no indication in Scripture that the creation account is to be
interpreted any way other than
To round out the picture of the creation of man,
God created the man to be a bipartite
being, having a body and a soul. Genesis 2:7: And
Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
C. "MAN WAS
CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD"
1. Image and Likeness
Genesis 1:26-27. 26. And God said,
Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.... 27.
And God created man in His image; in the image of
God He created him. He created them male and female.
God said, Let Us make man in Our image,
after Our likeness. The question arises as to what the
difference is between image and
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (God, Image
|In Genesis 1:26, Genesis
1:27, the truth is declared that God created man in His own “image”
(celem), after His “likeness” (demuth). The two ideas denote the
same thing - resemblance to God.
Strong's Concordance also gives resemblance
as a common definition of the two words.
The Hebrew words for image and likeness,
then, each have as their root meaning the idea of resemblance, and
mean virtually the same thing. Note that in Genesis 1:26, image and
likeness are used, and in the very next verse just image is used. Image
and likeness appear to be used interchangeably in Scripture, and
when they are paired together as in 1:26, it is simply for emphasis.
2. Was Man's Body
and Spirit Created in the Image of God?
We've seen that God created man a bipartite
being, with a material component called a body, and an immaterial
component designated in Scripture as soul or spirit. (There is much overlap
and interchange in the use of the two terms.) Now,
God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and does not have a material
part. It therefore stands to reason that it is in the realm of spirit, not
body, that man was made in the image of God.
To summarize, thus far,
1. Image and likeness each convey the idea of resemblance.
2. God created man's spirit, not man's body, in His image and likeness.
To put the two together, God created man's spirit to
resemble His own. It must be pointed out, however, that the resemblance
goes only so far. God exists from eternity past, is omnipresent,
omniscient and omnipotent, and man never has and never will resemble God
in these ways.
3. How, Then, Does Man's Spirit
Though the human spirit is separate and distinct from God's, it is in the
realm of spirit that man shares common ground with God. But animals have
spirits (Ecclesiastes 3:21), and angels are spirits; yet
Scripture never indicates that either of them was created in the image of
God. There are also other features that animals, angels and man have in
common with God, yet it is only man who is said to have been created in
the image of God.
What feature or features, then, does
man have in common with God that renders him alone created in God's image?
Let us do a study of key features of spirit and see how they distribute
across the four classes of beings that either are spirit or have a spirit.
We'll discuss them and then chart them out.
4. Distribution of
Key Features of Spirit across the Classes of Beings that are Spirit or
Have a Spirit
All beings with spirits possess life.
It's obvious that some of the more complex forms of animals exhibit
emotions. Dogs, for example, exhibit a wide variety of emotions. Angels,
men and God exhibit emotions as well.
Webster defines "instinct" as an innate, automatic impulse, in humans and
animals, to satisfy basic biological needs, leading to behavior that is
purposeful and directive. By this definition, animals and men possess
instinct, but not angels or God, who have no biological needs.
Animals may seem to possess a will, but they do not: They possess
instinct. Persons possess a will, which Webster defines as the faculty
or power of conscious, esp. of deliberate action. The conscious and
deliberative faculties of will differ radically from the automatic impulses
of instinct. Angels, men and God possess wills, but animals do not.
Whereas animals are said to have varying degrees of
intelligence, their intelligence does not rise to the level of intellect,
which is the capability of dealing with concepts in the abstract. Animals
do not possess intellect, but angels, men and God do.
Future Eternality. The spirits of animals are
never said to have future eternality, but the spirits of angels and men are;
and God who is Spirit, has future eternality.
choice. Inasmuch as animals function solely by instinct and not
will, and are not endowed with intellect,
they do not have the capacity to make choices based on moral convictions.
God, of course, has this capacity, and men and angels were created with
to Engage in Worship.
Animals do not have the capacity for worship. Angels and men have the
capacity to offer worship, and God has
the capacity to receive worship.
Communion or Fellowship in the Spirit
Animals do not have the capacity for fellowship in the Spirit
either with God or with each other; and although angels appreciate the
works of God (Job 38:7), and were created
capacity to worship Him and are
called "sons of God" as are men (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:6-7),
Scripture never intimates that they have ever entered into
communion or fellowship with God or with each other, or were intended to. Harmony
with God, yes; but not
fellowship with Him. Worship of God, yes; but not fellowship with Him. Not so with
man. John 17:3 speaks of fellowship between believers and God, and 1 John
1:7 of fellowship among the saints. In John
17:3, Jesus prayed that those whom God
had given Him would know intimate spiritual communion with the Father and
with Him: that they might know thee the only
true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3). The Greek word for know
here is the same word used in Matthew 1:25 of the intimate conjugal union
that Joseph entered into with Mary after she had borne Jesus. In 1 John
1:7, John says, But if we walk in the light, as
he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another....
Let's see visually how the above
attributes of spirit sort out among the four classes of beings that either have
spirits or are spirits:
INTELLIGENCE, BUT NOT TO THE LEVEL OF
CAPACITY FOR COMMUNION
Only one creature was created with
the capacity for communion or fellowship in the Spirit, and only one
creature was said to have been created in the image of God: man. Man's
capacity or potential for fellowship in the Spirit is a reflection of the
divine image in that God, who is Spirit, is capable of intimate
|It seems conclusive that the
distinguishing feature that renders man, alone among creatures,
created in the image of God is his capacity for intimate communion
or fellowship in the Spirit.
5. The Purpose of
the Image of God in Man
Not so coincidentally, as we have seen in John 17:3, the
actual knowing of
God in communion of the Spirit is the very essence of eternal life. That
bears repeating: The actual knowing of God
in communion of the Spirit is the very essence of eternal life. Therefore,
although Scripture does not succinctly declare it, it certainly does seem
to be the case that
|God created man in His image and likeness
so that we might
know Him for eternity in that holy and
called eternal life.
It is because of man's capacity or
potential to know
God and one another in eternal intimate
spiritual communion that God sent Messiah
to die for his sins (John 3:16); and it is as man enters into Christ at
salvation, who is the uncorrupted image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4;
Colossians 1:15), that his capacity for intimate communion with God and
other believers is
activated and realized,
having been renewed in
knowledge according to the image of Him who created him
ii. "Adam sinned and
consequently experienced not only physical death
but also spiritual death, which is separation from God."
A. "ADAM SINNED"
the sin of Adam
consisted of breaking a direct command of God. God forbade Adam to eat of
the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and he ate (Genesis
"and consequently experienced not only
but also spiritual
death, which is separation from God."
1. Physical Death
One consequence of Adam's sin was that he and
the entire human race (with the exception of Enoch and Elijah and those to
be raptured) were to experience physical death. God pronounced this curse
upon Adam in Genesis 3:19:
For dust thou art, and to dust you
shall return. That he would have lived
forever had he not sinned is brought out by the fact that God drove him
out of the Garden so that he would not partake of the Tree of Life
(Genesis 3:22-24), lest he... eat, and live
forever (v. 22). That Adam's sin is the root cause of all human
physical death is
brought out in Romans 5:12:
Therefore, even as through one man sin
entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men
inasmuch as all sinned,
and also in
1 Corinthians 15:22: For as in
Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive. It is
true that Eve was the first to sin (Genesis 3:6); but death passed to the
human race through Adam because he, the man, was the theological head of the
Another consequence of Adam's sin was spiritual
death, the separation of man's spirit from God in the context of time (as
opposed to eternity, when spiritual death takes on the aspect of eternity
after physical death, and is called eternal death).
What characterizes spiritual
death is the absolute absence of fellowship with God. God warned Adam that this would happen in the day
that he sinned: Genesis 2:16-17: 16.
And Jehovah God commanded
the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree in the garden,
17. but you shall not eat of the tree of
knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you shall
surely die. Adam did not die physically on the day that he
sinned, but he did experience
a terrifying breaking of communion with God: Genesis 3:6-8.
6. ... She also gave
to her husband with her, and he ate. 7.
And the eyes of both of them were opened. And they knew that they were
naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made girdles for themselves.
And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool
of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of
Jehovah God in the middle of the trees of the garden.
The fact that spiritual death came upon the entire
human race is seen by the fact that not only Adam, but Eve, as well, went
into hiding from God. It is also
brought out in Ephesians 2:1, in which Paul referred to the previously
unsaved Ephesians as having been dead
in trespasses and sins.
III. "All human beings are born
with a sinful, corrupted nature,
and sin in thought, word, and deed."
A. What Is sin?
Sin is not a physical or
spiritual substance or any other kind of substance. Sin is any spiritual condition,
thought, word or deed that is contrary to the moral perfection of God.
B. "ALL HUMAN BEINGS
ARE BORN WITH A SINFUL, CORRUPTED NATURE"
Some of the clearest statements in Scripture to
this effect are:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who
can know it?
In Romans 7:23, Paul speaks of
the law of sin being in my members.
In Ephesians 2:3, he spoke of
the lusts of the flesh, and of
fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the
- Galatians 5:19-21:
Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery,
fornication... hatreds... jealousies....
Jeremiah 17:9 identifies the sin nature in
the immaterial part of man. In regards
to Romans 7:23, many translations,
including the Analytical-Literal Translation, render
showing that the sin nature is locked into man's very body, as
well. In regards to Galatians 5:19, Albert Barnes comments, "It is
evident here that the word
σὰρξ sarx, 'flesh,' is used to denote corrupt
human nature, and not merely the body; since many of the vices here
enumerated are the passions of the mind or the soul, rather than of the
body." (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible). These few
scriptures indicate that man's sinful, corrupted nature is universal among
men, and is implanted in both body and soul. Inasmuch as man has a body and soul from the moment of conception,
it is from the moment of conception that
he possesses the sin nature. King David said, Behold, I was
brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me
Though the scriptures immediately
following have a different focus, there are elements in them that
also reinforce the points made herein.
C. " AND SIN IN
THOUGHT, WORD, AND DEED"
This statement is true of the believer as well
as the unbeliever as the sin nature is retained in the believer even until
death. In Romans 7, it is Paul the believer who speaks of
the law of sin being in my members (v.
23). The believer has been given power over the sin nature, but he
retains the sin nature, nevertheless.
scriptures in the preceding section focus on the sin nature itself. The
following scriptures are among the many that focus on the outworking of
the sin nature in man's thoughts, words and deeds.
1. All Humanity Sins
Psalm 14:2. Jehovah looked
down from Heaven on the sons of men, to see if there were any who
understood and sought God.
3. All have
gone aside, together they are filthy; there is none who does good, no, not
Therefore you are without excuse, O man, everyone who judges; for in
that in which you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge
do the same things.
...we have before charged both Jews and Greeks
being under sin.
...all have sinned....
2. All Jews Sin
Isaiah 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on Him the
iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 64:6: But we are all as the unclean thing,
and all our righteousnesses are as a
3. All Christians Sin
John said to believers,
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).
One Christian group that the author
of has declared that Christians are
free of outward sin, but Scripture declares differently. All people sin, whether Jew or Gentile,
whether Christian or non-Christian.
4. All Sin in Thought, Word and Deed
All of the preceding scriptures in this section (C) make this clear. If
you need to pick one, Psalm 14:2-3 will do very nicely, particularly verse 3:
there is none who does good, no, not
iv. "Man's state of sin has so
infected his will
that he is unable to choose
God's provision of redemption in Messiah Yeshua
without the work of the Holy Spirit in his understanding."
Romans 7:18-24, Paul places himself in the hypothetical position of one
who attempts to satisfy the righteous requirements of God's Law through the
power of his will apart from the Spirit of God:
|Romans 7:18. 18. For I know
that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. For to
will is present with me, but how
to perform that which is good
I do not find.
For I do not do the good that I desire; but the
evil which I do not will, that I do.
But if I do what I do not desire, it is no more I working it
out, but sin dwelling in me.
21. I find then a
law: when I will to do the right, evil is present with me.
22. For I delight
in the Law of God according to the inward man;
but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my
mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin being in my
O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of
In reference to the sin nature, he says,
in my flesh dwells no
good thing (v.
and that because of the sin nature he is unable to
perform any act that is pure and righteous:
For I do not do the good that I desire; but the evil
which I do not will, that I do (v. 19).
By extrapolation, because of the sin nature, no man is able to perform
the righteous act of choosing God's provision of redemption in Messiah Yeshua
through the unaided power of his own will.
In verse 24, Paul laments his pitiable condition:
O wretched man that I am! Who
shall deliver me from the body of this death?
He then answers His question in Romans 8:2:
But the Law of the Spirit of life in
Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that one may
rise in victory over the sin nature and choose God's provision of
redemption in Messiah. That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, (John
5. Truly, truly, I say to
you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God.
6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
And again in Titus 3:5-6:
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His
mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the
Holy Spirit, 6.
whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior....
Salvation is solely by means of the Spirit of God,
and not by any effort that we can exert. It is the Spirit of God that
fills our hearts with the faith to believe in Messiah and to choose God's
provision of redemption in Him:
For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it
is the gift of God:
not of works.... (Ephesians 2:8-9).
And choose we must, as is implied in the exhortation,
Gospel (Mark 1:15). But as
many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of
God, to those who believe on His name.... (John 1:12).
* * *
For a fuller treatment of the subject
and another perspective on the image of God, the author
recommends these "Messianic Bible Studies" by Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, which may be
085. The Image of God in Man
095. What the Bible Teaches Concerning Sin
103. The Ten Facets of Our Salvation
141. The Spiritual Life and Ethics
186. The Seven Days of Creation
* For a continuous exegesis of every doctrinal point
covered thus far,
* * *
© Norman Manzon, 2007.
Norman Manzon is a Bible teacher
and may be reached at
More of Norm's studies may be accessed at