Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
1) God’s Image
What is the image of God? Whatever it is, it’s something mankind has that sets us apart from the rest of creation – the apex of all creatures. This question is important because it is a reality that Adam and Eve forgot when they were tempted in Genesis 3.
Satan’s lie was that they “will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). If you’re thinking, “But they already are like God,” you’re on the right track. What does it mean for them to be in God’s image?
This is what theologians call the imago dei – God’s image.
It means that they image him. God rules and so do they, God creates and so will they, God cultivates and so did they. Aside from what they were created to do, look at how they were created.
- They have a soul – the full spectrum of emotions
- The ability to communicate more intelligently than other creatures
- Most importantly, the ability to relate to God as his very own children.
2) Mankind Rules
I’ve read over this phrase so many times, usually at the beginning of the year when I am determined to muscle through the new Bible reading plan. This year it jumped off the page.
God created mankind to rule!Tweet
Rule what though? In context, it sounds like God is telling them to be supreme zoo keepers, but this also implies the establishing of civilization.
People are supposed to start families, businesses, towns, cities, and countries. We should create art and build culture. Unlike what you may have thought, God actually loves big cities! Rather than hiding from the world, we need to influence the world.
3) God Created Mankind
This point brings us back to the basics. We already covered this last time: God created mankind. We are not a product of chance, not an after-thought, not a result of feuding deities – no! God loves us and created us for his enjoyment!
Now, I would be doing a disservice to the Bible and to you if I didn’t address gender. What I said last time was that God has rights over his creation since he is the Creator. So he has the right to define how life works.
A reality that we must accept is that “God created mankind in his own image… male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
Yes, there are only two genders and they aren’t on a spectrum. I know this is offensive, so welcome to 2021 – we can’t get past the first chapter in the Bible without getting offended. But that’s ok. God is always right and we are often wrong, needing a change of perspective. When we first read the Bible, we don’t see things the way God sees them.
This is why the Christian life is marked every step of the way by repentance. Rather than embracing and celebrating the aspects of ourselves that are opposed to how God created us, we need to repent and accept reality.
The three points I want to leave you with is:
- God created us in his image
- He created us to rule
- God has deliberately designed life to work the way he has architected it.
God is not like transcendentalists say – that he spun the world into orbit and then left. He isn’t like many of our fathers, cold and impersonal, distant and apathetic. He is loving and intentional.
That’s why the image of God should be a cherished doctrine to you personally.Tweet
Just like you can look in the mirror and see some of your mom and dad in you, God has put some of his “likeness” in you. To clarify, we are not God, but we are like him. This theme carries on in the New Testament when Paul talks about being like Jesus (Philippians 3:10).
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