The text for this lesson is Genesis 1:26–2:25.
- God has made us in His image, provides all things for our good, and makes us rulers over the earth and everything in it.
- Law: God appoints me as a caretaker of His creation and expects me to take care of it for His glory and the good of others.
- Gospel: God provides me with all good things for this life and forgives me for Jesus’ sake when I put myself above Him and His creation or when I misuse or neglect my vocation to rule the earth properly.
- Of your many earthly gifts from God, which are the most important to you? How does the creation account demonstrate which of His creatures should be most important?
- One aspect of the image of God is righteousness; that is, being without sin. Just as God is without sin, so mankind was created sinless and righteous. When Adam and Eve sinned, however, they completely lost the righteousness that they originally had from being created in the image of God. Instead of original righteousness, what is each of us born with? How does God restore us to righteousness and His image? See Colossians 1:15–20 and 1 Corinthians 1:30.
- A second aspect of the image of God is dominion; that is, control and rule or lordship. Read Genesis 1:26 carefully. What is the connection between mankind being created in God’s image and God’s command for us to rule over the world? How does a good ruler or lord treat his subjects? How, then, should people rule over the world? How has the fall affected our understanding of dominion? How does our Lord Jesus Christ rule us? See Matthew 20:25–28.
- A third aspect of the image of God is that we have the breath of life from God. We confess in the Nicene Creed that the Holy Spirit is “the Lord and giver of life.” Read Genesis 2:7. How does the Spirit give us life? What does the word inspiration mean in Christian theology? Read John 6:63. Whose words are inspired? Read John 20:19–23. How does God breathe new life into people who are dead in sin?
- Another aspect of the image of God is community. Read Genesis 2:18. Why was it not good for Adam to be alone? Why did he need a suitable helper? How does God dispel loneliness and provide community through the institution of marriage? Read Ephesians 5:22–33. How does Christian marriage provide a picture of Christ’s love for His Church and of the Church’s love for Christ?
- As Christians, we believe that Genesis 1–2 describes God’s intentional and loving creation of mankind. How does what we believe about creation affect our view of the dignity of every living person? How does what we believe about Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice affect our view of one another? See John 3:16.
- Read Genesis 2:15. Was the need to work part of God’s perfect creation or the result of sin? Why is work sometimes such a difficult and joyless thing? Why would a life of idleness not be God-pleasing? How does our work serve God?