Friday, March 15, 2024

Made in God’s Image (Genesis 1:20-31)

"So God created man in His own image" (Gen. 1:27).

Although man is sinful, stripped of his original righteousness, he is still God’s creation, made in His image. “The likeness has been spoiled, but not obliterated completely,” Colin Chapman writes, “However much the writers of the Bible may stress man’s fallen state, they never lose sight of the fact that he is the crown of God’s creative work in the universe.”

Man is a creature made in the image of God. He is not the same as God or one with God as some religions would have us believe. Man is finite, dependent, derived, accountable, and subordinate to God. Yet he is different from the rest of creation because he is made in the image of God. Proponents of evolution, utilitarianism, humanism, and materialism assert that mankind is not made in the image of God, that he is simply a composite of biological machinery, no different in essence or value from the animals. This thinking is prevalent today, and it attacks the dignity of humanity and God Himself.

Contrary to being one with creation as some maintain, creation is our responsibility and our servant. We are to care for the animals, but they are also to serve us as beasts of burden, and they are to be used as food. Modern secular evolutionary theories say that man is made in the image of the animals; man is the animal that thinks, or makes tools, or adapts to new situations. But the Bible says that man is made in the image of God and rules the earth as God’s steward.

To be made in the image of God means that we reflect God’s character. We are rational, emotional, moral, willful, and social creatures. We have been set apart from the rest of creation and given dominion over the earth. God is the ultimate authority, ruling over all things. In like manner, man is in authority over the earth. This aspect of the image of God in man is under attack by today’s environmentalists who elevate the needs of the animals above those of humans. Instead of seeing man as supreme in creation, they consider him an infestation. At the root of all philosophies that deny the supreme value of humanity is a bitter hatred against God Himself. Christians must guard against the many influences in our day that uphold human philosophies instead of the teaching of Scripture.

If you were talking to an environmentalist how would you present the biblical view of stewardship, proper conservation, and care for the animals? First you need to compare their views to Scripture. Read Genesis 1 again and Genesis 9:1–7. How do their views compare with Scripture?