Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gen 1:26-27 God Created Man in HIs Own Image

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;male and female he created them.

In these few verses, we are told that God created humans in His own image: viz., with the same divine freedom and authority to rule and the divine characteristics found in the male and female persons.

God gave man, firstly, the freedom of choice like Himself. Without freedom, man cannot be ruler over his environment. The animal kingdom has limited freedom and is controlled almost entirely by instincts. For example, all animals could relate to their physical environment without having to be taught. They instinctly do the things they need to survive the environment, from the moment of birth. In contrast, a human baby is entirely helpless and will die without a care-giver. Furthmore, he needs to be taught how to survive in his physical environment. That is the price he has to pay for freedom of choice. He can make the wrong choice and suffers the consequences of that choice. But it is also this freedom of choice that enables him to have dominion over every other creature and be able to exploit the environment--for good.

Secondly, God gave man authority over the animal and plant kingdom. Like God who has authority over all creation, man has the delegated authority to rule over the earth. He uses his authority to bring about order in creation. He could organize communities, build cities and create new things out of existing materials. That is the power of authority. Animals are locked into what they can and must do--they cannot create new things. But man has not only freedom to choose but also the authority to create new things never seen before. That is the glory of the human person!

Thirdly, God made humans male and female with characteristics that reflect some part of His divine nature. In other words, while the Scripture uses the male pronoun for God, it also used the metaphor of mother to illustrate His femine characteristics of love and tenderness over Israel. So, God is neither male nor female but His character encompases all the characteristics found in the male and female persons---plus other divine attributes not given to man, like holiness, eternity, majesty, etc. So, God implanted in all humans a part of His divine nature, viz., a desire for love, justice, and beauty.

To believe in evolution is to affirm that we are created in image of animals. It does not foster a great self-image to be told that our great great grandparents were nothing but apes swinging from trees to trees. But Scripture tells us that humans are unlike animals--we are made in the image of a loving and all-powerful God who personally designed us for a destiny to share His purpose. That gives every human person value and meaning for existence.

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