Thursday, January 19, 2023

Who Am I? (Genesis 1)

"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Gen. 1:27).

In the search for truth, two questions most often asked are “Why do I exist?” and “Who am I?” The former directs you to consider God, the latter to an understanding of yourself in light of who God is. Worldly philosophy offers a plethora of answers to the question “Who am I?” Some say man is but a biological machine. The secular humanists of our day consider man to be the most supreme being. His origin is a pit of slime, but his dignity somehow exceeds that of the angels. Some philosophies say that man is a pure, innocent spirit trapped in an evil and malignant body; thus his only purpose is to free himself from the confines of this fleshly trapping and be absorbed into the transcendent realm as part of God.

Such philosophy misses the truth about man because the understanding of God is in error. Our doctrine of God determines our doctrine of man. God is an all-powerful, omniscient, eternal being who created everything out of nothing. Therefore, we are created, finite and subject to His government. God is holy and righteous. He has established laws to govern His creation. He has written His law into the essence of our beings. He has rebelled and all humanity reeks of sin and guilt.

Contrary to the fancies of many philosophies, man is not autonomous. We function under God’s rule and His direction. We are not islands unto ourselves, devising our own rules and playing our own game. When we deviate from God’s way of doing things, we have committed treason against our Creator. As a result, we will suffer the consequences, and others will suffer from our rebellions as well.

Lastly, mankind is not a machine or an evolved being from a pit of slime. He is a noble creature, fashioned in the image of God. We are rational, emotional, and religious beings with a body and a soul. The body God has given us is not evil; however, because of sin our bodies and souls are not pure. What was once innocent has been tainted with sin, but the image of God has not been totally erased. Because all men are created in the image of God, we are to treat one another with dignity and respect, not as simple biological curiosities that have no value and no meaning.

Read Genesis 1–2. How would you respond to someone who believes in evolution? What would your response be to someone who believes in creation/evolution—that God started the chain of evolution? What value does being made in the image of God place on human beings? How should this affect the way you treat others?