Truths I Should Believe About Man - Page 5

Adam as a Moral Being

The fowl of the air, the cattle, and the other beast of the field were neither rational nor moral beings. Original man was both. Paul advised his Ephesian believer, saying, "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph. 4:23, 24). The fact that man was created in God's likeness in righteousness and holiness means that man was endowed with the powers of discerning between right and wrong actions. To have these discerning powers one must have intellect, sensibility, will and conscience. The intellect empowers man to distinguish between what ts right and wrong; sensibility advises him to do one or the other: the will decides the issue; and the conscience approves or disapproves the decision.

Through Adam's intellect, God had conveyed the knowledge of right and wrong. It was right to eat of the fruit of most of the trees in the garden of Eden. it was wrong for him to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam's sensibility advised him what he should do regarding God's command about the tree. His will, however, decided against the command of God. Finally, Adam's conscience condemned him for his disobedience. We therefore conclude that Adam in his original status was created as a moral being.

Adam as a Free Being

From the beginning, Adam had the power to make his own decisions and exercise his will in free choices. Previously, God had created angels as free moral agents. Like man, they were created by God. Like man, they were intellectual beings. Like man, they had sensibility. Like man, they had sociability, personality, and responsibility. Like man, they had a will and freedom of choice. Unlike man, they were spiritual beings only, whereas Adam was both a spiritual and a physical being. Unlike man, they were sexless and non-reproductive, whereas Adam and Eve were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth.

Like the angels, Adam exercised his freedom of choice. He had freedom to choose between things that were right. His tragedy came when he exercised his freedom in choosing between the right and the wrong.

Adam as a Social Being

God concluded that it was not good for man to be alone and that it was bet:er for him to have a helper. Thus He caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. He took one of Adam's ribs and from it He made a woman and named her Eve. Previously, Adam's social life had been a relationship wtth God. They had enjoyed companionship and communion with each other. After Eve entered the scene, his social life consisted of a fellowship with God and a companionship with his wife. For this new companionship, Adam was most grateful and concluded that, "She is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man" (Gen. 2:23). For the original pair and all married couples thereafter, God decided that "a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2: 24). As Adam lived with Eve, the two had time to make detailed plans to fulfill the will of God, but Eve encountered the serpent and a sad state of affairs followed.

Adam as a Responsible Being

"God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. God blessed them and said, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea. and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth" (Gen. 1:28).

To sustain Adam and Eve with food, God gave them the seed of the plants and the fruit of all the trees but one. In the original state, human beings and animals were to be vegetarians.

Adam's responsibility was great in the earth. He had a God-given control over all of the animal kingdom, including the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea and all creeping things that move upon the earth.

Adam's responsibility was circumscribed by a moral code, for God commanded him, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; forbidden is the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:16, 17).

©1978 by R.O.Corvin