Humanity & Sin

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This lesson is an overview of the doctrines of humanity and sin, including a discussion of the origin of humanity, what it means to be created in the image of God, the nature and effects of sin, and original sin.


I. Humanity’s Origin: God the Creator of Human Beings

A. There is a Special Place for the Formation of Humanity

B. A Brief Theology of Humanity’s Creation by God

1. God is ultimate, while all of humanity is dependent upon God.

2. Humanity owes God obedience, loyalty, and worship.

3. Humanity, as created by God, was entirely (body and soul) good.

4. Humanity is invested with moral freedom and responsibility.

5. There is clearly an equality between the sexes and yet a differentiation in the creation of the man and the woman.

II. Humanity’s Constitution

A. Theories of the Structure of Human Nature

1. Monism

2. Dichotomy

3. Trichotomy

B. Transmission of the Soul

1. Creationism

2. Traducianism

III. The Image of God

A. Major Understandings of “Image of God”

1. Structural Understanding

2. Relational Understanding

3. Functional Understanding

B. The Image of God, the Fall, and its Renewal

1. Ancient Near Eastern Background

2. Image of God: Structural, Relational, and Functional

3. Effects of the Fall and our Restoration into the Image of Christ

IV. The Nature of Sin

A. The Essence of Sin

1. The Urge for Independence from God

2. Three Kinds of Urges for Independence (Gen. 3:6)

a. The Hedonist Urge

b. The Covetous Urge

c. The Prideful Urge

B. Total Depravity

1. Definition

2. Support (Rom. 8:5-8; Eph. 4:17-18; and Gal. 5:16-17, 24)

C. Total Inability

1. Definition

2. Support (John 15:5; Heb. 11:6; Rom. 8:5ff)

D. Acts of Personal Sin

1. Sins of Commission and Sins of Omission (Ex. 20:13-17; Jas. 4:17; Matt. 25:41-46)

2. Outward Actions and Inward Attitudes (Matt. 5; Deut. 28:47-48)

3. Conscious Rebellion and Ignorance (Num. 15:27-31; 1 Tim. 1:12-14)

4. Greater and Lesser Sins (Matt. 12:31-32; 23:23; 1 Cor. 6:17-18)

E. Systemic or Social Manifestations of Sin

1. Good Structures used for Evil (Amos 5:10-15)

2. Formation of Evil Structures to do Evil (Ps. 94:20-23; Isa. 10:1-4)

V. Original Sin

A. Definition

B. Theories of Original Sin

1. The Federal or Representative Theory

2. The Realist or Augustinian Theory

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