Summary: God made man as a special being
THE CREATION OF MAN who was created in God’s IMAGE Gen. 1:26-27 2:7
Gen 1 centers upon Gods work of creating the whole universe. Gen 2 focuses on the place man has in the earth. In Gen 1:1 the order is heavens and the earth but in Gen 2:4 the order is the earth and the heavens. In the 1st chapter the activity embraces the entire world, in the 2nd chapter the activity centers on Gods making the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden. Did you know the title for the Almighty, Jehovah God, occurs twenty times in Genesis chapters two and three, but in all the rest of Moses writings it is found in a single place?
That man is a special creation of God is underlined in four unique ways.
1. THE Creation of man WAS unique in that it was DIVINE act, only God could do this.
And God said, Let us make man (Gen.1:26). The word create has been used carefully in this chapter, just in verses 1 and also verse 21, but now in the creation of human beings the word appears three times in one verse (v.27). In all the earlier acts of creation before this God simply gave the command. And God said, Let there be and there was. But when it came to the creation of man God and said, Let us make man. It was not that he gave a command to the earth, Let the earth bring forth man as it had been with everything else He had created. Gods approach to man’s creation was with great consideration. Something amazing is going to be made. God was thoughtful with what he was about to create when comparing a human being to all the other creatures in heaven and earth which he had made. Man from his origin was to be the same as with the other creatures. There was the uniqueness of God speaking when he said, Let us make man.
2. The Creation of MAN WAS unique IN image for he was created different from all else god created.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” Gen. 1:26. This phrase is unequaled in the rest of God’s creative acts. Everything else God formed was made after their kind. “And God said let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind. And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” On 5 occasions we read the phrase according to their kinds; it means in accordance with Gods design for these creatures, and then we come to the creation of man. What a change! What a major differentiation from all the other forms of life, man not made according to his kind. God has different plans for the man he is to make, but it is not some likeness God has considered, the pattern is God himself! Man’s identity consists of Gods own image; it is that which belongs to God basically. This creature is going to be made like ME! God determines. Man is made in the very image of mighty God. What a gift! What dignity! When David the psalmist thinks of that he is constrained to cry, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” Psa. 8:4&5. Now what does it mean that man is made in the image of God? Is the man in the street today made in the image of God? We see in many that the image has been disfigured and ruined. Man lost his original righteousness through the fall of Adam. What do we see in man that we can say he is different and special?
1st, knowledge. We know that man has a mind and a conscience. A great deal has been lost. He has messed up his intellect. We have all found to be mistaken as to matters of fact, origin, purpose, destiny. We have become mislead in our reasoning, but we are still a rational being. We are able to investigate and deliberate and follow what the law is. We may become an expert scientist, a brilliant reporter, worthy of credit in our field.
We know the basics of the moral law. WE knows the wrongfulness such things as lying, robbing, swearing and being greedy. A man in the Bible named Felix was not blank when Paul reasoned with him of righteousness, self-control and judgment to come. Felix trembled because his conscience told him Paul was right. His tragedy was how do I stop doing what was wrong and do what was right. This world was made by an omnipotent and glorious God. We understand that truth from the things around us which have the handiwork of God all over us. We know the being, the power, the goodness and the wrath of God. That is part of our human nature. We try to suppress and distort this knowledge. The unbelief of men and women who have long sat under a biblical ministry is not due to their ignorance of the Christian message but to their disobedience. So the fact that we are made in the image of God means that we have knowledge.