We can disregard what the Jews think of man, for both Jews and Christians share a great deal of the Scriptures that tell us of man. What the Jews choose to think of it is their business, at least for the moment.
It took us a long time to get here, but finally we are ready to ask, “What the church thinks of man.”
We learned previously that the Church believes that the Bible is true in every detail… that is, wherever we may open the Bible, whatever we may read, we can utterly rely on its truth. Therefore, we can rely on the Scripture to find out what man is.
The first chapter of Genesis tells us that God made man after his own image. The early Church Fathers were quite agreed that the image of God consisted primarily in man’s rational and moral characteristics. According to Pelagius, the image of God consisted of being endowed with reason so that he could know God; with free will so that he could choose and do good; and with the necessary power to rule the lower creation.
The church also says that man is sinful. Man is sinful because Adam and Eve sinned, and he has inherited their sinful nature. This corruption is passed through ordinary regeneration, and is cleansed only through the sacrifice of Jesus.
The church also believes that man is a Covenanter with God. God made two covenants with man, the first the covenant of works, and the last the covenant of grace, whereby God offers sinners life and salvation, requiring of them only faith in Jesus Christ.