01 Man, The Stewards of the Gospel

UNIT #: 
I
Lesson Theme: 
Fearfully and wonderfully made to serve the Lord and spread the good news
Aim: 

Recognize the uniqueness in God's creation of man and respond with a servant heart.

Bible Passage: 

Genesis 1:26-30

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

27 So God created humankind in his image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

The story of creation gives us a glimpse of our Creator at work. God is actively involved in every aspect of the universe from the stars in the sky to the crawling creatures on the ground. His ultimate masterpiece was mankind. In v. 26 of the passage God clearly states that He is setting apart humankind with His own image and with the specific purpose to have dominion over the earth.

The uniqueness in our design should be emphasized

Suggested Icebreaker: Ask the students to write down similarities and differences between humans and animals. Ask students to share or collect the answers and read them aloud. What should be obvious is that externally we may have  similarities (eyes, limbs, mouths etc...) however internally our ability to think, reason, and feel emotion separates us from all living things. This uniqueness is God's image for us, it is not simply external.

Open Discussion: God's purpose for Adam and Eve was to rule over the Earth, to be fruitful in their dominion and tend to needs of the Earth. Ask the students what would they do if they were given control of the whole earth? Expect answers typical of the age group. The attitude of do whatever you want, get whatever you want.

How would they make sure that it is fruitful or a blessing to everyone? Will they have rules? Will they punish people? Make it clear to the students that the purpose Adam and Eve were tasked may seem desirable but it was a great responsibility. Adam and Eve failed in their responsibility and it was taken away from them.

For us our responsibility is to be fruitful as well. However our fruitfulness is expressed through spreading the dominion of the second Adam, Jesus Christ, not our own dominion. We are called to tend to the spiritual needs of others and ourselves. When we fail it is the forgiveness of Christ through the cross that restores us and motivates us to continue to be fruitful. 

Main Ideas: 

Mankind: The image of God

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth....." And in 6 days God created the universe and all that you see and on the 7th day He rested. How many times have your heard the creation story? Have you ever wondered how amazing the world is around you? From the sun in the day to the stars and moon at night the universe as we know it is a spectacular sight. From the beginning God's creation was perfect in design with no mistakes. How about you? Do you see yourself as a spectacular flawless creation of God? 
In v. 26 & 27 you see God's decision to make humankind in his own image and likeness. What makes humans different? Adam and Eve were given the ability to think, understand, and feel emotion. These are traits no other creature in the world can experience as you do. Imagine that you couldn't understand that 2 + 2 = 4 or that the color of the sky is blue. Imagine that you couldn't understand what is right and what is wrong. You would be just like the animals that live life with no purpose, no direction, no meaning, just surviving. That is an empty life. But praise God that you are made unique in His sight. Set apart for His purpose.

God's purpose for mankind

In v. 28 God gives purpose to Adam and Eve on the Earth. They are to take control over the earth and have dominion over it. From the birds in the air to the fish in the sea to the creatures on land, all of it was given to man to control. Wouldn't it be great to have control over the earth? Adam and Eve accepted

 

 

Interesting Fact: When God says "Let us make make mankind in our image......" Who is us? In our church we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Uncreated, self-existent, eternal, adorable, and one in essence (sound familiar?). When God created the heavens and the earth all three persons of the Trinity were involved. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not created beings, all 3 existed in the beginning. Nothing came before them.

Activities: 

Bible Taboo:

Materials Needed: Index Cards, pen or pencil, marker, stopwatch

Preparation

Write each set of words on an index card (see attached PDF). Write the list on one side of the index card leaving the other side blank. Make sure to write the bolded and underlined words on the top of the list with marker distinguishing the word from the rest of the group

After making all the cards. Arrange them together in one direction having the side with words facing the front and the blank side facing the back.

During Class

Ask two students in the class to come up. With one student place the stack of index cards in their palm with the words facing down so that they or the class cannot see the words.

The objective is for the student with the stack of cards in their palm to make the class guess as many of the top bolded words in 60 seconds using descriptions. The student will flip each card one at a time and he/she cannot go to the next card until finished with the current card in hand. . The catch is that the student cannot use the bolded word or the listed words underneath in their description. Actions, hand gestures, sound effects, "sounds like" words (rhyming) are not allowed.

The student cannot use words that contain the bolded word as well. For instance if the bolded word is "word" the student cannot use "password" in their description. 

The second student is responsible to make sure the first student follows the rules. For example if the first student uses one of the words in the list in their description they will tell the first student to "Stop," explain their reason to the first student and move to the next card.

 

 

If time permits split the class in to 2 groups and keep score. The two students coming up should be from different teams.

 

Feel free to make more list of words beforehand to extend the activity.     

Lesson Review: 

1. In Gen. 1:26 it says "Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea.......

Who is us?   

 

 

 

 

Values for Life: 

Scientists today are trying so hard to make robots and computers that can imitate a human and in many areas they have been successful. However such a task is impossible to be completely successful. We are given abilities that only our Creator God can give us.

Lets be joyful and thankful in our Creator's work. Let's use our unique abilities to serve the Earth and all its creatures, including people, to express how thankful we are of our Creator.

 

Life Response/My Decision: 

- I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.

 

-My life is a precious gift from God. Its purpose is to worship and glorify Him on this Earth with the talents and strengths He has given me. I will not waste it.

Memory Verse: 

Genesis 1:27

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

27 So God created humankind in his image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Closing Prayer: 

Lord thank you for making me who I am today. Thank you for making me special in your image and likeness. When I feel far away from you remind of your purpose and help me to reflect your love to those around me through my thoughts, words, and actions. Thank you for the example of perfect love through your Son, Jesus Christ.

 

In Jesus' name I pray .....Amen

status: 
scope and sequence