(2) it is inclination and feeling? (Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:97). On
<490424> Ephesians 4:24 and <510310>Colossians 3:10 the classical passages with regard to man?s original state, see also the Commentaries of DeWette, Ruckert, Ellicott, and compare <010503>Genesis 5:3 ? ?And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image,? i.e., in his own sinful likeness, which is evidently contrasted with the ?likeness of God? (verse 1) in which he himself had been created (An. Par. Bible). <470404>2 Corinthians 4:4 ? ?Christ, who is the image of God? ? where the phrase ?image of God? is not simply the natural , but also the moral image. Since Christ is the image of God primarily in his holiness, man?s creation in the image of God must have involved a holiness like Christ?s so far as such holiness could belong to a being yet untried, that is, so far as respects man?s tastes and dispositions prior to moral action.
?Couldst thou in vision see Thyself the man God meant, Thou nevermore couldst be The man thou art ? content.? Newly created man had right moral tendencies, as well as freedom from actual fault. Otherwise the communion with God described in Genesis would not have been possible. Goethe: ?Unless the eye were sun-like, how could it see the sun?? Because a holy disposition accompanied man?s innocence, he was capable of obedience and was guilty when he sinned. The loss of this moral likeness to God was the chief calamity of the Fall. Man is now ?the glory and the scandal of the universe.? He has defaced the image of God in his nature, even though that image, in its natural aspect, is ineffaceable (E. H. Johnson).
The dignity of human nature consists not so much in what man is, as in what God meant him to be and in what God means him yet to become, when the lost image of God is restored by the union of man?s soul with Christ. Because of his future possibilities, the meanest of mankind is sacred. The great sin of the second table of the Decalogue is the sin of despising our fellow man. To cherish contempt for others can have its root only in idolatry of self and rebellion against God. Abraham Lincoln said well that ?God must have liked common people ? else he would not have made so many of them.? Regard for the image of God in man leads also to kind and reverent treatment even of these lower animals in which so many human characteristics are foreshadowed. Bradford, Heredity and Christian Problems, 166 ? ?The current philosophy says: The fittest will survive; let the rest die. The religion of Christ says: That maxim as applied to men is just, only as regards their characteristics, of which indeed only the fittest should survive. It does not and cannot apply to the men themselves since all men, being children of God, are supremely fit. The very fact that a human being is sick, weak, poor, outcast and a
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