Summary: The biblical view of people recognizes the existence of both a physical and spiritual aspect of their being.
A. GOD CREATED THE FIRST PERSON-MAN
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).
1. The biblical view of people recognizes the existence of both a physical and spiritual aspect of their being.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:26-27).
2. The material part of a person is the body. The Bible teaches that people:
a. A created body (Gen. 2:7).
b. A physical body (1 Cor. 15:38-40).
c. A body of death (Rom. 7:24).
d. A body of sin (Rom. 5:19).
e. A body of humiliation (Phil. 3:21).
f. A body that needs discipline (1 Cor. 6:19).
3. Adam “dust of the earth,” “earth man,” “red man.”
a. Image of God, intellectual, emotional, and volitional ability in self-perception and self-direction.
b. Spirit, rauch, “breath of life.” “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen. 2:7).
c. Soul, nephesh, “living soul.” “And man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).
4. The Bible uses the term soul to identify the whole person (Song of Solomon 1:7) or the life of a person (Gen. 35:18).
5. The term spirit is used to describe the spiritual aspect of people (Job 32:8).
B. MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD.
1. God made people in His own image (Gen. 1:26). He reproduced certain aspects of Himself in people.
a. The image of God in people probably refers to their ability to (1) think and understand, (2) feel emotions and (3) act and make decisions.
b. The image of God has been marred by sin, but people still retain a limited use of these faculties.
C. THE HEART (PERSONALITY) OF PEOPLE
1. The Bible describes the heart as the center of a person’s moral awareness (the conscience).
2. The heart describes the human personality.
a. Intellectual activities of the heart.
(1) People think with their heart (Phil. 4:8).
(2) Planning is a function of the heart (Prov. 16:9).
(3) People can hide the Word of God in their heart through Scripture memory (Psa. 119:11).
(4) Perception is a function of the heart (Matt. 13:14).
(5) The ability to weigh evidence and make a rational decision is a function of the heart (Mark 2:8).
b. The emotional center of our personality.
c. The exercise of the will is the way we direct our life.
(1) People are converted with their heart (Rom. 6:17).
(2) Ongoing spiritual growth grows out of the heart (II Cor. 9:7).
(3) We relate to one another out of willingness from our heart (Eph. 6:5-6).
d. The heart is the seat of moral awareness.
D. WHAT WENT WRONG?
1. The biblical account of the introduction of sin into the human race. All God had made was “very good” (Gen. 1:31).
2. Satan spoke through the serpent, arom, “crafty” or “more subtle.”
3. The temptation:
a. Doubt. “…hath God said …?”
b. Deny. “Ye shall not surely die.”
c. Distort. “Neither shall ye touch it.”
Lust of the flesh. “…good for food.”
Lust of the eyes. “Pleasant to the eyes.”
Pride of life. “Desired to make one wise.”
4. The entire race fell into sin when Adam and Eve deliberately chose to disobey God and fulfill their own desires (1 Tim. 2:14). “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of the fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (Gen. 3:6).
E. THE NATURE OF SIN
1. Sin is that which is opposed to the character and will of God.
2. People sin both in act and attitude.
3. There are three basic kinds of sin:
a. Personal sin. “For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:22-23).
(1) A sin of commission (doing something wrong).
(2) A sin of omission (failing to do something right).
b. Our sin nature. “If we say that we have no sin (nature), we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
(1) We have a desire to sin because of our sin nature.
(2) The sin nature negatively impacts our personality.