When God said, "Let us make man," He added, "in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26). Man was created to be as much like God as a creature could be. God endowed man with intellect, emotions, and will; He gave him a body so that he could see, smell, taste, hear, and feel. Man’s physical life was to be under the control of his mental, emotional, and volitional powers. Then God gave him something that set him apart from the animal creation: He gave him a spirit.
Man’s body made him world-conscious and enabled him to live in a physical environment. His soul made him self-conscious - aware that he was a distinct individual with attributes, nature, personality, potential responsibilities, and accountability. His spirit made him God-conscious - aware that he existed to worship and serve his creator. Moreover the Holy Spirit indwelt his human spirit; he was a creature inhabited by God.
When God created the animals He gave each species its own particular behavior mechanism, rigidly controlled by what we call instinct. An animal does what it does because it is what it is. Dogs, eagles, salmon, bees, and all other creatures behave in certain ways because they are locked into those ways of behaving by instinctive inner drives.
God did not create man to be controlled by instinct; He created man to be inhabited by God. Indwelling the human spirit, the Holy Spirit supplied man’s code of behavior. In man the human spirit, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, energized the intellect, emotions, and will, and monitored and controlled the senses. Thus man lived and moved and had his being in God (Acts 17:28). Man behaved as God would behave. Man existed to demonstrate what God is like.
When Adam sinned, the Holy Spirit vacated the human spirit and man was left with a sin principle in control of his behavior. His body became subject to disease and death; his senses were marred by imperfection and were subject to lust; his intellect, emotions, and will were impaired and became easy prey to evil and wrong; his spirit became the plaything of sinister spirits and the victim of false religion. Man in sin was not what God had in mind when He said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Man in sin is a distortion of man in the image of God.
No wonder Jesus said to Nicodemus, ’Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). We are born of the flesh, born in sin, shapen in iniquity, spiritually dead. True, man in sin can be very clever. Evidences of his genius are everywhere. He can put men on the moon, but he cannot solve the problem of sinful behavior. Man in sin is capable of deep emotion; he can make great sacrifices, hold his lusts at bay, and impose incredible degrees of self-discipline; but he cannot cleanse himself of lust and sin and guilt. Man in sin can invent systems of religion, persuade millions to join a cause, and win countless converts to a creed, but he cannot win the approval of God. His sin still separates him from God. He needs to be born again.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, "Jesus told Nicodemus, "and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). When a person comes to Christ and accepts Him as Savior, the blood of Christ cleanses him from all sin. The Holy Spirit comes back into his human spirit and regenerates it. "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). In Christ man is again man as God intended man to be: man inhabited by God.
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Way of Life Literature
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Way of Life Literature
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