Volume. XXVIII, No. 32
Sunday, 09 February 2014


What is Man?


Man is the direct creation of God.In the Garden of Eden, God made man good. He made Man as both male and female. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:26-27; see also, Genesis 2:7, 21-23). Because Adam was made in the image of God, and we are his descendants, we are different than the animals. Adam had the breath of life breathed into him, whereas the animals did not (Genesis 2:7). Also, Adam was given dominion over the animals. Additionally, being made in the image of God means that we have value. All people have value because of this.

Being made in God's image means that we have a soul, that we can reason, know God, worship Him, and love Him. Animals cannot. We have moral values and abstract conceptual capability. The human is a wonderful creation of God. God is concerned with man. Man is the object of God's creative and redemptive work. God loves us (John 3:16), provides for us (Matthew 5:43-47), and has provided redemption for us through His Son (John 3:16). However, originally Adam and Eve were pure and sinless. But because they rebelled against God, they became sinners. As a result, their offspring inherited their sinful nature. Many Christians today do not accept the teaching that we have sinful natures, but it is true. We are by nature sinners worthy of damnation (Ephesians 2:3). Of course, we are not as sinful as we can be, but we are all touched by sin. Consider the following scriptures concerning human nature:

Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).

We are full of evil (Mark 7:21-23).

We love darkness rather than light (John 3:19).

We are unrighteous, do not understand, do not seek for God (Romans 3:10-12).

We are helpless and ungodly (Romans 5:6).

We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).

We are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3).

We cannot understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14).

But thanks to God and His redemption in Christ, we are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). Because of the indwelling Spirit of God we are able to understand spiritual things, seek for God, and are no longer ungodly. This is the benefit of God's redemptive work in us. So though we were dead in our sins, we are alive in Christ. Though we did not want God, now we do.

Dichotomy or Trichotomy

Are we made of two parts (body and soul) or three parts (body, soul, and spirit)? Theologians have debated the issue for centuries and there has never been a decisive orthodox declaration of which is true.

Dichotomy is a term which signifies a division into two parts: Body and Soul. The words "spirit" and "soul" are often used interchangeably; therefore, the dichotomous position holds that man is comprised of two parts. Note the following verses used to support this position:

"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." (Luke 1:46-47).

"With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early," (Isaiah 26:9).

For the term "Body and Soul" see Matthew 6:25; 10:28. For the term "Body and Spirit" see 1 Corinthians 5:3, 5.

Trichotomy is a term which signifies a division into 3 parts: Body, Soul, and Spirit. With the following verses, "spirit" and "soul" seem to be different.

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," (Hebrews 4:12).

Does it matter if you believe in dichotomy or trichotomy? No. However, a word of caution. There are churches that teach it is possible for Christians to be demon possessed.These groups hold the trichotomous position.They maintain that it is possible for one part of a person to be possessed but not the other. For example, they might claim that the spirit of a person can be possessed but the soul cannot. Others reverse it and state that the soul of a person can be possessed but not the spirit. This is problematic because there are no accounts in Scripture of Christians having demons cast out of them. Besides, how can a person indwelt by the Holy Spirit also be indwelt by a demon?

Nevertheless, this does not mean that the trichotomous position is wrong. There are many great scholars on both sides of the issue in spite of the error of Christian demon possession.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is a wondrous thing that God would create a universe, populate it with people, and then love us so much that He would die to save us and bring us to Himself. But that is the great God we serve and love.


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster Leader: Today: Bro Phil Surman. Next Lords Day: Bro Raphael Ng
*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm. Good Bibles (English & Mandarin) available.
*Sanctuary Flowers Roster: All slots are now taken. Thank you to all contributors.
*New Basic Bible Knowledge Class commences on 2 Mar. For details, please see Elder Michael Lee. *Please note: Bible Study every Wed from 12 Feb (except 26 Feb) for 10 weeks will be conducted by Rev Ed Paauwe.
*Special Basic Bible Knowledge Catch-up Class - for those who missed out on few topics in last session. Bro Tony Law will conduct the class.
*Due to the unavailability of a stall, our YAF will not be participating at O-Week this year.
Prayer Items

1. Health & Gods healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (Spore); Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev George van Buuren; Grandpa Ki (Spore); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (Sis Felicias father - Spore); Sisters Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Margaret Hooper, Grace Gans father (healing), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Ruth Ngoma, Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi & Sis Mavis Wongs mother (salvation & healing); Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wongs father); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.
2. Special Prayer: Mrs Maggie DMello (ICU - Mumbai); Sis Nita Chongs cousin (Mr Seck Aik Foo - salvation & healing) & Sis Iris Surmans brother (healing).
3. Gods comfort & strength - those families in grief.
4. iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim.
5. Cambodia Missions - Pr Zhang & Ministry(Sihanoukville); Rev Stephen Choi (Phnom Penh)
6. Battam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Filadelfia B-P Church, orphanage & kindergarten.
7. New Life BPC (London) - Gods encouragement & guidance; Rev Colin Wongs visa application to be approved.
8. Ministry in Hope BPC - Gods guidance for future - Preacher David & Sis Susan Weng.
9. Journey mercies: Bro Edwin DMello (Batam/Mumbai) & Timothy Gan (Adl); Sisters Xiao Hui Chye and Kimberley Gan (Adl); & others travelling.
10. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
11. Job - Bro Jonathan Liao (Syd); Sisters Yashu Qin (Adl) & Sharon Ying (Per); & others looking for stable jobs.
12. Health in pregnancy: Sisters Kerrie Lam, May Lau & Tabitha Tan.
13. Final weeks of pregnancy: Sis Monica Tan - safe delivery & health.
14. Recovery & strength: Sis Susan Weng; Development & health: Caleb Weng.
15. Gods guidance & wisdom for those in authority in this country. Comfort - those who lost homes in bush fires.
Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe (SA); Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (KL); Sisters Mariam Atijatuporn & Jayden, Xandrea Cai, Jillian Chia & Yashu Qin (Adl); others who have arrived safely at their destinations.
2. Church activities in past week.
3. Gods daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
4. Visitors & new worshippers.
5. Gods protection during the storm.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063