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The Nature of Man

Principal Contributor
Discussion Groups


The 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. 78.

Contents:  (no frames)

No. Study


April 3 Created in the Image of God


April 10 Our Physical Nature


April 17 Our Social Nature


April 24 Spirit, Soul, Body


May 1 The Origin of Sin


May 8 The Fall    KJV


May 15 The Restoration of Human Nature   KJV


May 22 Condition in Death   KJV


May 29 Invented by the Devil   KJV


June 5 Human Vulnerability   KJV


June 12 Encounter   KJV


June 19 Scripture Twisting   KJV


June 26 The Last Fight for Human Freedom   KJV

Meet the Principal Contributor to This Quarter's Lessons

Dr. Jack 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 California conferences.

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; Microsoft Word;  RFT for our MAC friends; and HTML (Web Pages).

Last updated on April 2, 1999

Editorial Office: 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.

Copyright 1999 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. All Rights Reserved.

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