The Image of God
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
Man (“mankind”) is the grand finale … the pinnacle of all of God’s creation. At the end of the preceding days of creation God saw that it was good. At the end of the 6th day—when man was created—He viewed His creation as very good.
A careful reading of Genesis 1:1-25 brings us to this conclusion: the entirety of God’s creation was preparation for this dramatic event. God would make beings that would share His own image. This was not accidental or random; not the result of any sort of evolutionary process. It was intentional and direct. God made man in His own image.
Romans 8:29 reveals the grand purpose of God the Father in doing this: He wanted to expand His family, to create beings that would be like His Eternal Son.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
The image of God in man means that mankind has dominion. Human beings are to rule (superintend) God’s world, the earth.
The image of God in man is both male and female. Men and women form a composite picture of certain characteristics of the Divine nature, even in our present fallen condition.
The image of God in man is wonderful. King David later wrote “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalms 139:14).
Intrinsically, all human beings have great value because every person is created in God’s image. When we think about who we are, we start with this important truth. We are God’s, and we come from Him.
For Further Review
1. Think about Genesis 1:16 and Romans 8:29 and how these passages define God’s purposes in creating human beings. Describe the effect that these purposes should have in the way you live your life.
2. Can you make the statement about yourself that King David made … “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”? How does this statement affect your ability to accept yourself as God’s creation?
3. Spend time in contemplation of Genesis 1:26-27. Allow God to fill your heart with worship and praise for Him.
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