Category Archives: What the Bible Actually Says

WTBAS is showing Bible text and commenting, but not going beyond what it says.

What the Bible Actually Says

This post describes an approach to writing a topic from the Bible that accurately articulates what the Bible actually says (WTBAS).

Motivation

Communication between humans and groups of humans is notoriously difficult.  There is always a chance that when one person tells another something that an error will be introduced.  When you consider that humans have their own desires and inclinations that can motivate incorrect thoughts and actions, it is no wonder that there are errors in communication.

People today mislead others about what the Bible says.  Authors present their own views in place of what the Bible says.  They write out their views and interpretations and suppress the Bible to secondary importance by just using references to it.  You read what they say, not what the Bible says.  An example of this is:

Man says: The New Testament states that there is only one God (Matt. 23:9; Mark 10:18; 12:29; John 5:44; 17:3; Romans 3:30; 1 Cor. 8:4; Gal. 3:20; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2:5; James 2:19; 4:12; Jude 25).  It goes on to make clear statements about the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and, therefore, introduces the concept of the Trinity, although it does not actually use the word “Trinity”.

In this example, the author has conveniently left out the following information that conflicts with his view:

Bible says: (the one true God is the Father)

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Romans 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.  5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The Bible does not support the idea of a three-in-one we don’t know what it is!  The Bible says the one true God is the Father.  There are additional facts in these verses that are also ignored by authors.  For now, just please note that a different mechanism than authors currently use is needed to help ensure that the Bible is correctly presented by them.

I refer to the approach used in this example as the self-centered approach.  In the self-centered approach people focus on themselves and what they think rather than what the Bible actually says.  This is accomplished by suppressing Bible information into just references to what it says.  It is apparent that those using the self-centered approach consider that what they say is more important than what the Bible says.  Using this approach, they relegate the Bible to secondary importance and present their view in the place of the Bible’s.  This allows the generation of false information which misleads those who read the text that is created.

Approach

I suggest an approach that I call What the Bible Actually Says (WTBAS).  I have already used this approach in the example above about how authors present their view and not what the Bible actually says.  The approach is simple.  It uses the Bible itself to establish what the Bible says.  In the above example I used several verses and underlined the relevant words that provide WTBAS on the topic of their being one God – the Father where the author had conveniently ignored what the Bible said about this to establish his view of the Trinity.

The following ruleset defines the procedure for creating a WTBAS topic paper:

  1. Copy and paste scripture(s) to establish a fact from the Bible.
  2. Underline specific words in the scripture(s) to highlight the fact being established.
  3. Precede the underlined scripture(s) by your fact statement that captures the fact.
  4. Ensure the fact statement accurately represents the underlined scriptures.
  5. Provide brief comments to clarify the fact in the underlined scripture(s). Save more lengthy comments for a separate commentary section from the WTBAS section.
  6. Generate fact statements to flesh out a topic using steps 1 to 5.
  7. Create a topic header for the underlying list of fact statements.
  8. Ensure topic header accurately represents the underlying list of fact statements.
  9. Create a hierarchy of topics by creating topic headers for underlying lists of topics using steps 7 and 8.

Following this rule set produces a hierarchy of WTBAS topics like:

  • Topic Header
    • Topic Header
      • Fact Statement/Sentence (i.e., Fact Header)
        • Underlined scripture

This ruleset, or an approximation, is used in the WTBAS topic posts on this website.  Using this rule set you can create your own WTBAS topic papers and use these to compare against what others are telling you so that you may determine the truth of the Bible for yourself.

Once the topic paper has been created, it can then be summarized to facilitate using WTBAS about the topic.  The summary can be used for comparison to what is taught be others.  But care needs to be exercised so that the summary is WTBAS and can be related back to the scriptures from which it came.

The process is:

  1. Copy the topic hierarchy to a new location.
  2. Remove all scriptures and comments.
  3. Condense each fact header and its fact statements into a paragraph.
  4. Leave other topic headers as they are, but adjust the header highlighting as appropriate.

See the topic summaries on this website for examples of the result.

Example

The following is a look at WTBAS example about the topic of man being in the image of God:

God created man in his own image

So [a & b] God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Gen 1:27)

Man’s body was created from the earth

And the Lord [a] God formed man of the dust of the ground, and [b] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen 2:7)

Man’s spirit came from God

Then shall [a] the dust return to the earth as it was: and [b] the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Eccl 12:7)

Adam is the image of God as Seth is in the image of Adam

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: (Gen 5:3)

Even after the Fall, man is in the image of God

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. (1Cor 11:7)

Notice the markers a and b.  The markers point out what the word image is referencing.  The markers show that man’s image in God includes both his body and spirit (see both a & b markers).  They also point out that man’s spirit was not created, but, rather, came from God and will return to Him at death (see marker b).

The headers (in bold) summarize the Bible teaching.  The Bible teaching is underlined in the respective scriptures.  Commentary can be provided to point out relationships between elements of scripture.  The result is that the reader can verify every step along the way whether or not it is WTBAS.

The Progression of Man

This document traces the progression of man through the plan of salvation as presented in the King James Version of the Bible.  The focus is only on Jesus Christ and his disciples who overcome this world.  The following is a list of the major steps of the process:

Preexistence

Christ existed prior to being born into this world:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 The same was in the beginning with God.  …  14 And the Word [Christ] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Like Christ, it appears that man existed prior to coming into this world:

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Physical Birth/Creation

God created man in his own image:

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Man’s being in the image of God is like a human son being in the image of his human father:

Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.  3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

It is the man, who is in God’s image (even after the Fall of Adam):

1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

God put man’s spirit into the body he created from the dust of the earth:

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Just like men Christ took on a physical body:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 The same was in the beginning with God.  … 14 And the Word [Christ] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Spiritual Death

Adam sinned and brought about his spiritual death:

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of 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.

Genesis 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Just as Adam sinned, all men sin and spiritually die:

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Spiritual Rebirth

A sinner must be reborn or born again:

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  (see also 1Peter 1:22-23)

Salvation comes by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ manifested in good works.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (see also James 2:14-26)

Spiritual rebirth requires repentance:

Matt 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judæa, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The repentant individual receives baptism by water:

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Following baptism by water is baptism by the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Sanctification

Salvation is a process through which the Holy Spirit sanctifies the individual:

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (see also 1Peter 1:1-2)

Entering into eternal life requires keeping the commandments, a trial of faith, and endurance to the end:

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Phillippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  (see also 1Peter 1:7)

1Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.  (see also 1Peter 1:6-9)

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  (see also Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13)

The Church’s role is to help perfect the individual:

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  …  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

We shall be like Christ.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Physical Death

The first man, Adam, died.

Genesis 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Just like Adam all men will die.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (see also 1Corithians 15:20-22)

Christ died.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Resurrection

Christ was resurrected.

1 Corinthians15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Just like Chist every person will be resurrected.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

The resurrected body will be a spiritual body.

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

1 Corinthians 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?  36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.  39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.  40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.  42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.  48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.  49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.  50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Disciples of Christ have been called to the obtaining of the glory of Christ.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Judgment

Men will be judged according to their works.

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  (see also Matt 16:24-27)

Christ will render eternal life unto those who have sought for glory, honour and immortality according to their deeds.

Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Exaltation

We are the children of God and shall inherit all things.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Those who overcome shall sit with Christ in his throne and rule over nations.

Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.  28 And I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Faith and Works

Introduction

Some say that you cannot work your way into Heaven.  This is true to a point, but it is important to know that you will not realize eternal life without works.  The following reviews relevant scriptures on this topic.

By Grace, Through Faith, Unto Good Works

We are saved by the grace of God through faith unto good works.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Faith Is Shown Through Works

Faith is demonstrated via good works.  Without works there is no faith.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Keep the Commandments

Obtaining eternal life requires the keeping of the commandments.

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Chosen/Elect through Sanctification

Disciples are chosen to salvation through a process of sanctification of the Spirit.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This process requires the obedience of the disciple.

1 Peter 1:1 To the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Work Out Your Own Salvation

The process of sanctification of the Spirit is the working out of our salvation.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Judged by Works

Christ will reward us according to our works.

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

We will ultimately become like Christ or not and will be judged by what we have worked to become.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Conclusion

Works are an indispensable element of the process of sanctification through which we become like Christ and learn to live the the kind of life that he lives, eternal life.

Eternal Life

It’s about Life

First, the term being defined is “life” not “eternal life”.  For example, when asked about “eternal life” Christ responded about “life”:

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Everyone will receive eternal life in the sense that all will be resurrected and live forever, but only those that have done good will be resurrected to “life”:

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

“Eternal life” is also called “everlasting life”, which implies that “eternal” is the same as “everlasting” and indicates that both terms refer to a (long …) stretch of time.  For example:

Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Eternal Life Is to Know Christ

Eternal life is the kind of life lived by God and Christ:

John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

We have eternal life when we know Christ intimately and thereby are living the kind of life that He lives:

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Eternal Life Is to Become Like Christ

We are to learn to become eternal lives like Christ:

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Eternal Life Is Fully Realized in the Next World

Eternal life will be fully realized in the world to come:

Mark 10:28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.  29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.  31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.  (see also Luke 18:28-30)

Realizing Eternal Life Requires Endurance

The learning/growth process must be completed to be an eternal life:

Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  (see also Matthew 24:13)

It is possible that some who have realized the work of the Spirit in their lives may turn away and be lost.

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

God Created Man in His Own Image

Introduction

The Bible asserts that “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:26-27). What this means seems clear, but the Christian world has varying ideas about it. This document provides an analysis and a conclusion about what the Bible actually says on this assertion.

Analysis

Body Was Created; Spirit Given by God

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The only thing that was created is man’s body from the dust of the ground.  Therefore, man’s body is at least part of what was created in God’s image.  This body was given the “breath of life” from God.  What was this breath of life that is mentioned?

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

The body of man returns to the earth when he dies. While his spirit returns to God who gave it. So, the “breath of life” is man’s spirit.

Example of Being in the Image

An example of being in the image of another is provided in the same book of Genesis as the initial assertion:

Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. 3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

It is noteworthy that the Bible goes this extra mile to define what is meant by being in the image of God. In this case Adam had a son in his own likeness and image just as God created Adam in his own image.

One is left to wonder how Seth came to be possessed of his spirit. It seems clear that God did not give him his “breath of life” like he did with Adam, but there is not information on this or otherwise on how Seth came to have a spirit. So, it is left as a question.

Even After the Fall Man Is In God’s Image

Even after the fall man is still in the image of God.  The Apostle Paul taught:

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Man Identified; Woman Not Identified

Note in the above verse 1 Cor 11:7 woman is not said to be in the image of God.  Instead she is said to be the glory of the man.  The following verse in Genesis specifically says that man, was create in the image  of God.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

It appears from verse 27 above that it is man that was created in the image of God, but it is not clear about the woman.

While woman is not specifically mentioned as having been created in the image of God, this does not necessarily mean that she is not.  However, it does open the door for speculation.  Men and women are very similar, but they are different.  Certainly, they have different roles in life.  Paul above points specifically to this.  Perhaps this is the differentiating factor.  In any case, this is an open question.

Conclusion

The conclusion from the Bible is that man, both body and spirit, is in the image of God. His body was created from the dust of the earth and his spirit came from God. When man dies, his body returns to the earth and his spirit returns to God.

Note that when the spirit returns to God, it is not at that point in the image of God, since it is not in a body. However, man will receive a resurrected body at some point. Then he will be like Christ, who also has a resurrected body and is like God the Father.