“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. Genesis 1:26-17.
The historical biblical account of the creation of man states that God made man ‘in His own image and after His likeness”. What does this mean? And why is it important? Of course, John4:24 tells us that God is a Spirit, therefore, if God made us in His image, then we must be like God. God is a Spirit. Therefore, we are spirits. Gen. 1:26 could not be talking about our being made physically in God’s image. If we looked like God physically, then God would be a monstrosity. He would have a white face, a black body, red arms, brown legs, and yellow feet, because those are the five major classification of mankind on earth. That would be ridiculous. God is a Spirit, so when Genesis says that we were made in God’s image, it means we are created as spirits.
The occasion of man’s creation was the sixth day of Creation Week, after God had prepared the earth as a habitation, and after He had created the fish, the birds, and the other animals. These were all created by divine fiat, which means that God commanded (or willed) each event to happen and it was done. In the case of the creation of man, there is a difference. The inspired record reads: ‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them’ (Genesis 1:26 27). In this intriguing verse God appears to be talking to someone. ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….’, this is the language of one apparently deliberating… and he enters into consultation.’ It was a Council meeting’. But if this is so, with whom is God consulting? And why? Does the Bible give us any hint? Since the Lord needs no other counsellor, any such consultation must have taken place within the Godhead—between God the Father and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 1:2 tells us that when God made the worlds , He did so by His Son. God could easily have commanded the creation of man by His own Word, as He had done in the case of the animals (Genesis 1:20,24) and the plants (Genesis 1:11), but He chose not to. Man is not a close cousin of the animals, nor a distant relative of primitive plant life, nor a product of slime. Rather, he is someone wonderful, the most excellent of all God’s works, and a special expression of the divine nature, created by God’s own personal activity after His very kind. God introduces him with solemnity, dignity, and the honour of an intimate deliberation on the part of the Godhead.
Although man was formed from the dust of the ground, God personally ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul’ (Genesis 2:7). Man’s life is thus not the result of spontaneous reorganization of molecules within his body, nor is it derived by evolution from any animal or ‘lower hominid’ (as science evolutionists teach), but is a direct gift from God. The breath of God that was impacted into man was the very Spirit of God. Man could have been ordinary without this breath. The breath of God that was impacted into man was the indication that man was made man in God’s image, after our His likeness, since God is a Spirit and so His image will also be a Spirit.
When God created breathe into man His Spirit, man became God’s own image. Then, God purposed that mankind (both man and woman) would resemble Him in certain ways, and share certain of the divine prerogatives. Although God is spirit (John 4:24) and does not have a body like a man, when He appeared visibly to men according to the Old Testament record, He did so in the form of a human body (e.g. Genesis 18:1-2; 32:24, 28,30). There is something about the human body therefore, which is uniquely appropriate to God’s manifestation of Himself, and(since God knows all His works from the beginning of the world—Acts 15:18), He must have designed man’s body with this in mind. Accordingly He designed it, not like the animals, but with an erect posture, with an upward gazing countenance, capable of facial expressions corresponding with emotional feelings, and with a brain and tongue capable of articulate, symbolic speech. Furthermore, the human body was the form in which God the Son would be incarnated or ‘made in the likeness of men’ (Philippians 2:7). Thus God made man in that bodily form which He Himself would one day assume—the form in which He wished to reveal Himself.
To be created in God’s image, (imago Dei) means we are the image or shadow of God. It means we have the same form as God, it means we can emulate God and express Him. As profound as this truth is, there’s more. ‘Made after His likeness’ means we are made to function like Him. Thus, not only do we emulate Him or have the same form as He is, we can function like Him. You can talk and act like God, you can be creative like God because you are His offspring, you can effect tremendous changes positively in every circumstances of your life. Man is more than the sum of his physical parts. Our spiritual nature, though unseen, is real than our physical nature. You have His ‘gene’ and you possess His ‘DNA’. You are God’s image here on earth. You are a replica and representative of God. Jesus (while on earth as a man), said if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. The same must go with you also. As He is in heaven so are you here on earth.
FURTHER STUDY: Acts 17:28, James 3:9, Genesis 9:6.
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