Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Anthropology and Harmartiology Doctrinal Statement
Humanity’s origin: I believe that God created humanity by an intentionally purposed act (Gen 1:26-28)to rule over the creation(Gen 1:26b-28;Ps 8:6-8). I believe God made humanity both male and female in the image of God (IOG)(Gen 1:26-28;2:18-25;5:1). Both male and female are intrinsically and equally endowed at creation, and share the IOG corporately and neither one individually is more or less the image. (Gen 1:27;2:18;5:1).
I believe the IOG is in all people (Gen 1:26-27), and that all humans have intrinsic worth (Gen 9:6; Jam 3:9). The IOG has a structural aspect where we can make rational and moral decisions as rulers on earth (Gen 2:20; Eph 1:11). The IOG has a functional aspect where God has ordained man to rule in His stead physically over creation (Gen 1:26; 2:5; Ps 8:5-6; Rom 20-22). The IOG has a relational aspect where we are to mirror or reflect the image of God as seen in the Trinity by being a unified or a relational community (Gen 1:26; Jon 17:21-22), especially in regards to Christians (Acts 2:43-47;Phil 2:2-4). Moreover, the IOG has a theological aspect where since the fall, every man’s IOG is marred (Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3;Rom 3:10-12), but through faith in Christ and His work the image is gradually renewed - first through justification, then gradually through sanctification (Jn 3:3; Rom 6:4; 2Cor 5:16-17; 1 Pet 1:23) until after we die when God will glorify us (Rom 8:29-30). The goal while still here on earth is to strive towards Christ’s likeness (Jn 2:6; Rom 8:29 1Cor 11:1; Gal 3:27; Eph 5:1-2; 1 Pet 2:21) and to have the mind of Christ (Rom 12:2; 1Cor 2:16 Phi 2:5.)
Humanity’s constitution: I believe that each person is divided into material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit) (Mt 10:28; 1Cor 5:3). Those who believe in Christ will be separated from their bodies for a short time at death (1 Thess. 4:13-17) until they receive their glorified bodies after Christ’s return (1Cor 15:44).
The origin of the soul: I believe the human soul is transmitted from one’s parents (Gen 1:28; 2:7;5:1-5;46:26; Heb 7:9-10) as God’s secondary agents of creation. Thus, each soul is inherently sinful because it was transmitted by Adam to all his posterity (Ps 51:5; Rom 3:9-3-23;5:12).
Humanity’s sin in the Garden of Eden: I believe sin began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, when they chose to disobey God and thus, cursed the entire creation (Gen 3). This sinful nature is also passed down to each person as they inherit the sinful nature or the guilt of Adam (Rom 5:12-21). This means that each person in the human race is innately sinful (Is 53:6; Rom 3:9-23).
The nature and effects of sin on the Humanity: I believe all humanity sinned when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and thus caused the rest of their posterity to be born with sin in them, marring the entire human race (Rom 5:12-21). Furthermore, due to each person’s sinful nature, it is impossible for anyone to desire God (Jn 6:44) or obtain righteousness through their own ability or power (Is 64:6; Rom 3:29). Salvation is a gift through faith in Christ Jesus, and one can only please God through faith (Heb 11:6). I believe that both the material and the immaterial are corrupted; the material: body (Rom 6:12-13) and the immaterial: mind (Eph 2:3), heart (Jer 17:9; Ecc 8: 11,9:3 Rom 1:21), conscience (1 Tim 4:2), will (2 Tim 2:25-26), and emotions (2 Tim 3:2-4).
I believe original sin caused corruption of all humanity (Rom 5:12), and spiritual death (Gen 2:17,3:9-10). It caused humanity to feel shame (Gen 3:7). It caused a curse on creation and caused physical death (Gen 3). I believe sin consists of actions and passive acts, for example, wrong thoughts (Mt 5:27-28;1 Jn 3:15), and wrong motives (Mt 6:1-6; Jas 4:3). The Biblical nature of sin consists of shortcomings or falling short (Lev 4:22-24; Rom 2:12), rebellion against God (Is 1:2), lawlessness (1 Jn 3:4), transgression (Dt 17:2), drifting or wandering astray (Lev 4:2-3; Mk 13:5; Heb 2:1) and so on. In general, sin is any falling short of God’s Glory. The result of the generic original sin is that humanity is born inherently sinful and each one will fall short because of it (Rom 3:10, 23). It is because of this sin that those who are not justified through a personal faith in Christ are all children destined for God’s wrath (Eph 2:3), because they are already judged (John 3:18).