nature of men and women—how they came to be, what happened to change
them from having been created "very good" (Gen. 1:31), their
restoration, and their ultimate destiny—is becoming increasingly
important as we near the second coming of Christ. Much confusion exists
about this important subject, and it is the purpose of this quarter's
guide to focus on what the Scripture teaches.
Humankind did not spring out of nature by some
natural evolutionary process, for according to Genesis, the creation of
human beings is attributed directly to God. Men and women were created
and formed by Him (Gen. 1:27; 2:7, 8). Also, while the Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit (Elohim, plural for God) were involved
in the creation process (Gen. 1:2, 26), Jesus was more directly
involved. "All things were made through Him (John 1:3, NKJV).
Even though there exists a close relationship between
humans and nature, in contrast, humans were created in the image of God
(Gen. 1:27), distinct and unique, with the capacity to "think God's
thoughts after Him" (Education, p. 17). People were
of more value to Jesus than the birds and the beasts (Matt. 10:3 1;
12:12). He saw them as sons and daughters of God first by creation
(Luke 3:3 8) and then by redemption (John 1: 12; 3:16).
Satan deceived our first parents by using the serpent
to lie about God (Gen. 3:1-5). He continues to lie about our loving God
and uses any means he can to lead us to doubt His love. But Jesus came
to save the world, not to condemn it. Furthermore, Satan lied to our
first parents about their destiny. He told them that they would not die
(Gen. 3:4). This was the beginning of the belief in the immortality of
the soul and opened the door to such evils as spiritualism.
As we near the coming of Christ, Satan will intensify
his efforts to deceive (Rev. 12:12) and to deceive even the very elect
(Matt. 24:24). Jesus' warning, "See, I have told you beforehand" (Matt.
24:25, NKJV), must be taken seriously. It is the context of the great
controversy that makes this quarter's topic so important.
"Man and woman were made in the image of God with
individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do.... When our
first parents disobeyed God ... the image of God in them was marred and
they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen
nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and
tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself
and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their
Maker."—"Fundamental Beliefs, 7." Quoted in Seventh-day
Adventists Believe . . . A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental
Doctrines, edited under the direction of the Ministerial
Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
(Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988), p.
the Principal Contributor to This Quarter's Lessons
J. Blanco graduated with a B.A. from Union College; with an M.A. and
M.Div. from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary; with an
M.Th. from Princeton Theological Seminary; and with a Th.D. from the
University of South Africa. During his career, he has served as
pastoral assistant, pastor, and evangelistic coordinator, working in
the Potomac, New Jersey, Georgia-Cumberland, and Southeastern
He chaired the theology departments at Solusi
College, the graduate program at Philippine Union College, and taught
theology at Columbia Union College, where he also served as academic
dean. He also served as an associate editor of the Review and
Herald. At the time of this writing he served as holder of
the Ellen G. White Memorial Chair in Religion and as dean of the School
of Religion at Southern Adventist University. He has written articles
for Adventist Review, Ministry,
and The Journal of the Adventist Theological Society.
His best-known work is The Clear Word (An Expanded Paraphrase
of the Bible to Nurture Faith and Growth).
During World War 11, Dr. Blanco spent three years in
a German labor camp, returning home to the U.S. weighing only 80
pounds. During the Korean War he served in the United States Air Force.
Dr. Blanco enjoys almost any kind of exercise, especially hiking and
waterskiing. He is an avid reader. His hobbies include specialized
stamp collecting from times of answered prayer or other significant
experiences in his life and rock collecting from places geographically
connected with the Bible or with Adventist mission work. Dr. and Mrs.
Blanco have two children and two grandchildren.
Giardina Sabbath School Study Helps
Jerry Giardina of Houston, Texas, prepares a series
of helps to accompany the Sabbath School lesson. He includes all
related scripture and most EGW quotations. These are provided in three
wordprocessing versions Wordperfect;
our MAC friends; and HTML
Last updated on April 2, 1999
12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904.
Principal Contributor: Jack J. Blanco.
Editor: Philip G. Samaan.
Associate Editor: Lyndelle Brower Chiomenti.
Editorial Assistant: Soraya Homayouni Parish.
Art and Design: Lars Justinen.
Pacific Press Coordinator: Glen Robinson.
© 1999 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. All Rights
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