Bible Study Guides – The Nature of Man

September 27, 2003 – October 3, 2003

Memory Verse

“So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27.

Suggested Reading: Patriarchs and Prophets, 44–47; Early Writings, 147–149.


“As children of the first Adam, we partake of the dying nature of Adam. But through the imparted life of Christ, man has been given opportunity to win back again the lost gift of life, and to stand in his original position before God, a partaker of the divine nature.” The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1897.

1 What inspired instruction has been given concerning the origin of man? In whose image was man formed? Genesis 2:7; 1:26, 27.

note: “In the creation of man was manifest the agency of a personal God. When God had made man in His image, the human form was perfect in all its arrangements, but it was without life. Then a personal, self-existing God breathed into that form the breath of life, and man became a living, breathing, intelligent being. All parts of the human organism were put in action. The heart, the arteries, the veins, the tongue, the hands, the feet, the senses, the perceptions of the mind—all began their work, and all were placed under law. Man became a living soul. Through Jesus Christ a personal God created man and endowed him with intelligence and power.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 264.

2 Where was man placed? Genesis 2:15.

note: “Although everything God had made was in the perfection of beauty, and there seemed nothing wanting upon the earth which God had created to make Adam and Eve happy, yet he manifested his great love to them by planting a garden especially for them. A portion of their time was to be occupied in the happy employment of dressing the garden, and a portion in receiving the visits of angels, listening to their instruction, and in happy meditation. Their labor was not wearisome, but pleasant and invigorating. This beautiful garden was to be their home, their special residence.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 34.

3 What command was given Adam and Eve? How were they warned against disobedience? Genesis 2:16, 17.

note: “The Lord placed our first parents in the Garden of Eden. He surrounded them with everything that could minister to their happiness, and He bade them acknowledge Him as the possessor of all things. In the garden He caused to grow every tree that was pleasant to the eye or good for food; but among them He made one reserve. Of all else, Adam and Eve might freely eat; but of this one tree God said, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it.’ Here was the test of their gratitude and loyalty to God.” Counsels on Stewardship, 65.

4 What was the result of disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit? Genesis 3:17–19.

note: “God cursed the ground because of their sin in eating of the tree of knowledge, and declared, ‘In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.’ [Genesis 3:17.] He had apportioned them the good, but withheld the evil. Now He declares that they shall eat of it, that is, they should be acquainted with evil all the days of their life.

“The race from that time forward was to be afflicted by Satan’s temptations. A life of perpetual toil and anxiety was appointed unto Adam, instead of the happy, cheerful labor he had hitherto enjoyed. They should be subject to disappointment, grief, and pain, and finally come to dissolution. They were made of the dust of the earth, and unto dust should they return.” The Story of Redemption, 40.

5 Who brought life and immortality within the reach of man? What did Christ abolish in order to accomplish this? 11 Timothy 1:10.

note: “Christ proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ [John 11:25.] He, the world’s Redeemer, . . . has brought life and immortality to light. The gates of eternal life are thrown open to all who believe on Jesus Christ. All believers who pass through a natural death, have, through eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, eternal life in them, which is the life of Jesus Christ. In dying, Jesus has made it impossible for those who believe on Him to die eternally. . . .” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926.

6 To whom only is ascribed inherent immortality? 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:14–16. Compare Job 4:17.

note: “No earthly ruler could show himself so jealous of his honor, so interested in his subjects, so kind and tender to those who put their trust in him, as does the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the Ruler high above all rule. He has strictly prohibited all sin, and has strictly enjoined practical obedience.” Review and Herald, June 19, 1900.

7 How is eternal life obtained? Romans 6:23; 5:19.

note: “The ransom has been paid, and it is possible for all to come to God, and through a life of obedience to attain unto everlasting life. . . . The Creator of all worlds proposes to love those who believe in His only-begotten Son as their personal Saviour, even as He loves His Son. Even here and now His gracious favor is bestowed upon us to this marvelous extent. He has given to men the gift of the Light and Majesty of heaven, and with Him He has bestowed all the treasures of heaven. Much as He has promised us for the life to come, He also bestows princely gifts upon us in this life, and as subjects of His grace, He would have us enjoy everything that will ennoble, expand, and elevate our characters. It is His design to fit us for the heavenly courts above.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 234.

8 How is this gift received? 1 John 5:11, 12; John 3:36.

note: “Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave,—not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal.” The Desire of Ages, 388.

9 When will immortality be bestowed upon the believer; how quickly will the change from mortality to immortality be made? 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.

note: “Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honor those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when ‘the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ 1 Corinthians 15:52. A little longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty.” The Desire of Ages, 632.

10 What will then have been brought to pass, and what shout of victory will be heard? 1 Corinthians 15:53–55.

note: “All come forth from their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. Adam, who stands among the risen throng, is of lofty height and majestic form, in stature but little below the Son of God. He presents a marked contrast to the people of later generations; in this one respect is shown the great degeneracy of the race. But all arise with the freshness and vigor of eternal youth. In the beginning, man was created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and feature. Sin defaced and almost obliterated the divine image; but Christ came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will ‘grow up’ (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ’s faithful ones will appear in ‘the beauty of the Lord our God,’ in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord. [Psalm 90:17.]” The Great Controversy, 644, 645.

11 How only can eternal life be obtained by sinful man? John 10:27–29; Acts 4:12. Compare Acts 10:43.

note: “The blessed Bible gives us a knowledge of the great plan of salvation, and shows us how every individual may have eternal life. Who is the author of the book?—Jesus Christ. He is the True Witness, and He says to His own, ‘I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.’ [John 10:28.] The Bible is to show us the way to Christ, and in Christ eternal life is revealed.” Review and Herald, September 11, 1894.

12 What blessing is promised to those who accept Christ as their Saviour? John 4:13, 14; 6:53, 54.

note: “Would you become assimilated to the divine image? . . . Would you drink of the water which Christ shall give you, which shall be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life? Would you bear fruit to the glory of God? Would you refresh others? Then with heart hungering for the bread of life, the Word of God, search the Scriptures, and live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Your soul’s sanctification and righteousness will result from faith in the Word of God, which leads to obedience of its commands. Let the Word of God be to you as the voice of God instructing you, and saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ Isaiah 30:21. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ John 17:17.” The Faith I Live By, 21.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.