Christian Character (3)
August 27 – September 2, 2023
“Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. … So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26, first part, 27
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62
“Man was to bear God’s image, both in outward resemblance and in character. … Man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 45
1 THE DIVINE IMAGE
1.a. What was the condition of man at creation? Genesis 1:27
Note: “All heaven took a deep and joyful interest in the creation of the world and of man. Human beings were a new and distinct order. They were made ‘in the image of God,’ and it was the Creator’s design that they should populate the earth.” The Review and Herald, February 11, 1902
“When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. ‘God created man in His own image’ (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image—the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator.” Education, 15
1.b. What kind of garment did Adam and Eve wear? Genesis 2:25
Note: “The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. All the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310, 311
2 PERFECT HEALTH
2.a. What did God say about man on the sixth day? Genesis 1:26–28, 31
Note: “Man came from the hand of God perfect in every faculty of mind and body; in perfect soundness, therefore in perfect health.” My Life Today, 126
2.b. What kind of food was provided for our first parents? Genesis 1:29
Note: “In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I have given you every herb yielding seed, … and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.’ Genesis 1:29, A.R.V. Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also ‘the herb of the field.’ Genesis 3:18
“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” The Ministry of Healing, 295, 296
2.c. How can we best describe the Eden lifestyle? Genesis 2:8–10, 15
Note: “In this garden [in Eden], were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. There were lovely vines, growing upright, yet presenting a most graceful appearance, with their branches drooping under their load of tempting fruit of the richest and most varied hues. It was the work of Adam and Eve to train the branches of the vine to form bowers, thus making for themselves a dwelling from living trees covered with foliage and fruit.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47
3 MARRIAGE—A DIVINE INSTITUTION
3.a. What else was provided for man’s happiness on the sixth day? Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 21–24
Note: “He [Jesus] referred them [the Pharisees] to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things ‘very good.’ Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity. Then, as the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall ‘leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one’ (Genesis 2:24).” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 63
3.b. What is God’s purpose in the marriage institution? Genesis 1:28; 2:18
Note: “He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. That which the Eternal Father Himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 63, 64
“God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose—the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman’s heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband’s character and give it completeness—fulfill God’s purpose for them.
“Christ came not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation.
“He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. In the festal hall where friends and kindred rejoiced together, Christ began His public ministry. Thus He sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution that He Himself had established. He ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above.
“The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes it. By it, human love is refined and purified, elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides.” The Adventist Home, 99
4 HUMAN NATURE PERVERTED
4.a. As a result of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience, what happened to their nature? Romans 5:12, 17, 19
Note: “After their sin Adam and Eve were no longer to dwell in Eden. They earnestly entreated that they might remain in the home of their innocence and joy. They confessed that they had forfeited all right to that happy abode, but pledged themselves for the future to yield strict obedience to God. But they were told that their nature had become depraved by sin; they had lessened their strength to resist evil and had opened the way for Satan to gain more ready access to them. In their innocence they had yielded to temptation; and now, in a state of conscious guilt, they would have less power to maintain their integrity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 61
4.b. What is the condition of humanity today? Psalm 51:5; Romans 7:14–20
Note: “A perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Cooperation with that power is man’s greatest need.” Education, 29
“The strongest evidence of man’s fall from a higher state is the fact that it costs so much to return. The way of return can be gained only by hard fighting, inch by inch, hour by hour. In one moment, by a hasty, unguarded act, we may place ourselves in the power of evil; but it requires more than a moment to break the fetters and attain to a holier life. The purpose may be formed, the work begun; but its accomplishment will require toil, time, perseverance, patience, and sacrifice. …
“The life of the apostle Paul was a constant conflict with self. He said, ‘I die daily.’ 1 Corinthians 15:31. His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did God’s will, however crucifying to his nature.” The Ministry of Healing, 452, 453
5 THE WAGES OF SIN
5.a. What is the final consequence of sin? Romans 6:21, 23
Note: “Adam, in transgressing the law of Jehovah, had opened the door for Satan, who had planted his banner in the midst of the first family. He was made to feel, indeed, that the wages of sin was death.” Confrontation, 23
“He who chooses a course of disobedience to God’s law is deciding his future destiny; he is sowing to the flesh, earning the wages of sin, even eternal destruction, the opposite of life eternal. Submission to God and obedience to His holy law bring the sure result. ‘This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ John 17:3.” The Faith I Live By, 71
5.b. Since man is free to choose either eternal life or eternal death, what advice does the Lord give us? Deuteronomy 30:15–19
Note: “We need to be active, working Christians, unselfish in heart and life, having an eye single to the glory of God. Oh, what wrecks we meet everywhere! what silent lips and fruitless lives! ‘This,’ said the angel, ‘is because of falling under temptation. Nothing mars the peace of the soul like sinful unbelief.’
“You should not give up in despair, thinking you must live and die in the bondage of doubt and unbelief. In the Lord, we have righteousness and strength. Lean upon Him; and through His power you may quench all the fiery darts of the adversary and come off more than conqueror. You may yet become sanctified through the truth; or you may, if you choose, walk in the darkness of unbelief, lose heaven, and lose all. By walking in the light and working out the will of God, you may overcome your selfish nature.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 213, 214
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What was the garment of Adam and Eve before the Fall?
2 Explain the original diet designed for humanity.
3 Summarize God’s plan for marriage according to Genesis 2:18–24.
4 What happened to man’s nature after the Fall?
5 What kind of death is the result of the wages of sin?
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