Summary: There is no higher view of man in the world than the biblical view. David in Psa. 8 says that man was made just a little lower than God Himself. Here God declares without any vagueness that He made man in His own image.
On July 14, 1789 the people of Paris stormed the Bastille and began to tear
down this hated symbol of tyranny. So many had been brutally tortured an
imprisoned there. No one seemed to know what happened to the stones until
Joseph Gies in doing research for his book Bridges And Men discovered that
the director of France's 18th century bridge and highway authority used the
stones from the Bastille to build a bridge across the Seine River. The very
same material used to build a prison to deprive people of freedom was used to
build a bridge to enlarge man's freedom.
This illustrates that good or evil is not in the material, but it is in the
manner in which it is used. The same knife that is used by a surgeon to save
life, can be used by the murderer to take life. The same pen can be used to
write the Gospel or a hate letter. The same tongue can be used to bless or to
curse. Unlike many religions and philosophies of the world, Christianity
believes that matter is good. When God finished the creation of the universe
He said it was very good. Matter is no accident. It is God's creation. God
used matter to communicate a message about His being and His love. All of
the material creation declares the glory and wisdom of God.
The very concept of beauty is meaningless without matter. Beauty is an
abstract concept, but matter is concrete, and if the abstract idea of beauty is to
have any meaning, it must be embodied in a concrete example. The beautiful
idea of any artist is impossible to see until he puts it onto canvas, or into some
material form. Matter is also God's means of communicating to man the
abstract message of love. God became flesh in Jesus Christ in order to
communicate in a concrete way the love He has for man. We use the matter of
bread and juice to convey the greatest spiritual truth in the universe, for they
represent the body and blood of Jesus. When we baptize we use physical
water to convey the message of being buried with Christ and resurrected to
new life. We use material means to express spiritual truth.
Every spiritual message in God's revelation is communicated through
matter. The Bible is written on matter. It uses paper, leather and ink, but
these material things convey the spiritual message of God command. God
spent the greatest part of the creative weak making matter, and all the things
that are without life. Even when He made life it was combined with matter.
When He comes to the climax of His creation He forms man from the dust of
ground. Man is made of matter. He is composed of the same elements as the
rest of creation. The atoms that God created were like the stones of the
Bastille. They could be used to make a mountain, a maple, a moose, or a man.
We want to look at the 3 phases we see here in the making of man.
I. GOD'S CONSULTATION ABOUT MAN. v. 26
God pauses before He creates man. All of the rest of creation He has
called into existence with no mention of reflection, but before man is created
He holds consultation with someone. The great debate through the centuries
has been over the question of whom it was with that He had this consultation.
Jewish scholars have felt He consulted with the angels, but the great Jewish
scholar Cassuto has rejected this, for there is no evidence that God created
with the help of angels. He feels, as many Christians do, that the plural is the
plural of majesty. A king often referred to himself in the plural. This has not
satisfied many who prefer to see this as a clear reference to the Trinity. This
might be a hint, but in itself there is nothing triune about plurality.
The best way to see it is that it does not teach that God is a Trinity, for a
plural can be two or four as well as three. On the other hand we see that the
New Testament does reveal God in 3 persons. We can look back and see that
in this text God was keeping open the possibility of reading the Trinity back
into the Old Testament. The New Testament makes it clear that Christ was
the Creator, and this plural in the Old Testament makes it possible to see how
that can be so. From the New Testament perspective this is a reference to God
the Father consulting with God the Son about the making of man.
The Trinity of God is not the main truth we want to see here, however,
for the unity of man is even more basic to a proper understanding of biblical