Summary: What does it mean to be created in the Image of God, and the institution of the cultural mandate to fill and subdue the earth.
The Meaning of Man
Job 7:17 "What is man that You magnify him, And that You are concerned about him,
Psalms 8:4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
Psalms 144:3 O LORD, what is man, that You want to know him? Or the son of man, that You think of him?
What is man that we should be mindful of ourselves?
Who are you, and where did you come from?
What is your value to yourself? To others?
What is your purpose in this world?
Where do you get your answers from?
It has been said that the unexamined life isn’t worth living.
May I challenge all of you this morning to reflect on your value as a human being. May you fully become aware of who you are, so that you may fulfill your real purpose. May you leave here today with a full understanding and a deep desire to fulfill that purpose, and know beyond a shadow of doubt that your God given life is most certainly worth living.
The value of human life is slowly but surely being diminished. In today’s society, a number of factor’s contribute to this problem.
1. The elimination of public worship which forces people to look to their fellow man for purpose, hope, and answers to the tough questions of life.
2. The superiority of technology, which has given mankind false hopes for the future, blurring the lines of reality, and redefining what it means to have a productive life.
3. The growth of government bureaucracies, enabling human authorities to remove individual freedom’s for the so-called good of the many.
4. The impact of today’s mass media and advertising industry, which has successfully confused the boundaries between necessity and luxury.
All of these influences, as well as others, have contributed to the declining value of the individual human life. New developments in the evolutionary based life-sciences such as biology, psychology, and sociology have increased the ability of the few to be able to manipulate the masses through the public media and education system. Artificial insemination, test-tube babies, abortion, the chemical control of behavior, euthanasia, and genetic engineering have taken the answers to the questions of human value and dignity to an all-time low.
One contemporary Christian philosopher (Bill Dembski) warns us that according to the modern sciences the, “motions and modifications of matter are sufficient to account for all of human life… Contemporary [scientists] think of humans only in terms of neurological systems and computational devices.”
The elimination of God as a serious consideration as to our origin has affected our world to the point of despair as to our destiny – our individual future as well as the future of mankind.
Nothing times nobody doesn’t equal everything. Matter cannot be turned into meaning unless matter, and therefore mankind was created with some type of intentional purpose by an outside intelligent being. How can the building have any real purpose on it’s own unless it looks to the architect for it’s meaning and value?
But today, the building, after having stared through the microscope and gazed through the telescope, has proudly declared that it has no architect.
How foolish can mankind get? Will you join the multitudes today? Or will you realize this morning that the only road you can take that will give you any real hope for the future is the path that will take you through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
The obvious implication of, “In the beginning, God,” is that all of created reality is completely dependent upon God. Our existence is totally dependent on the purpose and desire of our Creator.
As created beings we must not go to extreme of the architects son – that is nonsense. We must go to the Creator. What did He say?
Read Gen. 1:26-28
Notice that His Word tells us that we were not created like the other creatures, we have been created after His likeness and in His image. What does it mean to be created in the image of God? What does it mean to be LIKE God?
Likeness means that we have been created similar to God – in His likeness.
Image means a reflection, something that represents the original.
Notice that this means that we are similar to God, in that we represent who He is on earth. Notice also, that this image is to be reflected in a three-fold relationship – with God Himself, with each other, and with the other living and non-living part of creation that we call “nature.” That is, the animals, the plants, and the rocks and minerals. These three relationships mean that: