Our Original Identity

Intro

INTRODUCTION
So, where do we come from?  The story of Biblical creation versus evolution is a topic we are all familiar with.  Take a step back and refresh your view on how we were made.

Story

Remember our friend, Gerry Bertier and that pivotal scene from Remember the Titans?

Coach Boone asks the question, “Who’s your daddy?” If you need a refresher, watch it again here:
Gerry (pronounced Gary) approached Coach Boone with one daddy, but he boarded the bus with another. You see he was reflecting the image of his first father – an image that sadly was marred by prejudice and racism. Coach Boone could have asked, “Where did you come from, Gerry?”
 
As a military brat, you may dread that question. But, in reality, humanity has long been in search of the answer. Where have we come from really? If we are to know who we are (identity) then we must answer the question of our origin (where we came from). So hold onto your hats, folks, because we’re about to discover exactly what the Bible has to say about Adam’s first daddy!
 
Bible intro

A little preface is in order. People of faith have historically believed that God created everything seen and unseen. Perhaps you have friends or teachers that may disagree with this view. Shoot, you might even see things differently. But if we are to be open-minded, then we cannot dismiss the theory of creation, otherwise known as Intelligent Design, or ID for short, from the onset. If you would like to do some additional reading on this subject of origins, you might want to check out two links in the additional resources called 411. In this study, we will take a look at the opening chapter of the Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Oddly enough the first line of God’s Book answers our most sought after question. But we will focus our attention on the most unique creatures of all creation: man and woman and who they were designed to represent (i.e. image). Take a look with us as we dive in to learn more about Adam’s first Daddy.

Personal Questions
1. After reading Genesis 1, go back and observe what God says at the end of the first five days (Hint: v. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, and 25). Then observe what he says at the end of the sixth day (Hint: v. 31). What do you notice?
2. What is different about the first man and woman (later known as Adam and Eve; see Genesis 3:20)? Whose image do they reflect? Does anything else in creation get this special designation? In what ways are Adam and Eve to reflect (or image) God to creation?
3. Take a moment to ponder your observations above. Then read the supporting Scriptures. What do these passages say about God’s attitude and feelings toward you? How do those truths affect your how you see yourself (identity)?
4. Think about those qualities that make a good father. How did God depict himself to be as Adam’s first daddy?
Prayer

Lord, I know in my heart of hearts that this world could not have come about by a random, purposeless explosion. But the thought of you terrifies me. Can you help me to see myself the way you describe me in Psalm 8? Thank you! Amen.

411

Evolution– The simplest definition means change over time. Two forms of evolution need to be distinguished: micro and macroevolution. Microevolution is animals and plants adapting to their environment. Macroevolution, on the other hand, is amoeba to human mutation over billions of years. That microevolution takes place is not questioned. The more important debate concerns macroevolution. For this study, we are contrasting atheistic, Darwinian evolution with the Christian creation perspective. 

 

“God saw” – This is actually an important phrase. When God sees something in Scripture it means he is evaluating it according to his standard of righteousness and goodness. In other words, God looks upon something and examines it and announces his conclusion. For what it’s worth, God’s judgments are final. 

 

Randall Niles has a several short but interesting video clips. This is one of those.

 

 This website gives a good overview of the issues sounding the two competing theories on our origins.

Stories

 

In high school I remember standing in front of the mirror for long periods of time looking at my reflection. “What will I become? What will I look like 15 years from now?” I tried to look at myself as if for the first time. I wondered what it would be like to see myself from outside my own body. “What would I look like from God’s perspective? How does he see me?”

The world seems so fixated on what we look like on the outside; who’s cute, sexy or hot, or who has the right clothes on, or the hair – OMG – the hair, or big lips, skinny hips, large pores, long lashes, droopy eyes, flat nose…..the list is endless! And I never measured up. I remember seeing a scene in the movie Mean Girls where the high school girls were all complaining about intricate aspects of their looks, and innocent Cady declares that she has bad breath some times! And I read recently that models today are 15% thinner than the gorgeous models from only 10 years ago. Who can possibly keep up with or compete with that? But it’s not just a girl thing, because untold numbers of young guys are taking steroids so they can look like pro wrestlers and UFC fighters!

Then I came across this verse in 1 Samuel 16:6 and 7, and it sorta kicked my head. It says, 6”When they arrived, Samuel saw Jesse's son Eliab and said to himself, “This man standing here in the LORD's presence is surely the one he has chosen. ” 7But the LORD said to him, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.”

It has really helped me understand that my identity is not in how I look or the physical attributes or frailties I was given, but it is rather the character of my heart that defines me in God’s eyes above all else. That’s where I have decided to put my attention – at strengthening and beautifying my heart through developing godly character and faith and compassion! What about you? What deserves your greatest attention?

Original Identity 1

Original Identity 2

Original Identity 3

Original Identity 4

Original Identity 5

Scripture

Psalm 139:13-16 – another psalm that illustrates the care and precision God takes in creating each individual.

Video

“Reflection” – a music video by Christina Aguilera from Mulan that illustrates this issue of identity

Life Questions
1. Write down five ways that you tend to reflect, or image, your parents. They could be either seen or unseen, positive or negative characteristics. If you’re daring, go ahead and share your thoughts with them! For extra credit, do this exercise on a friend and how they reflect their parents.
2. Create a chain of command structure for Genesis 1—2:4a. The broadest categories you will want to organize are creation in general (to include the beasts of the field), God, and Adam and Eve. Who has dominion over what? What does God delegate to humankind?
3. Recruit two of your friends to walk around base for 45 minutes picking up trash. How does this simple act qualify as reflecting the image of God to creation?
4. Given the high view God has of humankind, make it a point this month to do at least one act of random kindness for 30 consecutive days. Keep a journal entry of your good deeds and see what you learn from it.
Reflect

 

  1. What does it mean to be created in God’s image? In the beginning, how was creation, more specifically, how were Adam and Eve’s children, to know God? See if you can summarize your thoughts in a picture or illustration.
  2. Who is someone you know who seems to reflect God’s image well? What qualities about that person do you admire?
Lol