In the Likeness of God

Creation of Man

In Genesis 1:27 Moses states that “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (NASU). This unique quality of being in the very “likeness” or “image” of God is reserved for man alone, implying that there is more to existence than the mere animation of life.

The following list describes some of the ways that man uniquely resembles God because of this “likeness”:

  • Spiritual nature: Jesus describes His Father as a God “in spirit” (John 4:24); through Christ man can have his own spirit preserved complete” (1 Thes. 5:23).

  • Moral nature: Moses declared God’s nature including compassion and being “slow to anger” (Exo. 34:6) which is proved through His love; Solomon discovered that God did indeed create man “upright” (Eccl. 7:29, cf. Gen. 1:31), even if man choose another path.

  • Eternal existence: Moses declared in one of his psalms that God is “everlasting to everlasting” (Psa. 90:2), the very nature of Deity; the fate of man, either in punishment or life is both eternal (Mat. 25:46).

  • Ability to reason: The wisdom of God is unchallenged due to the incredible intricacy of His creation, He is the “only wise God” (Rom. 16:27); man is able to devise and reason many things, either for good or evil (Pro. 14:22).

  • Rule over the earth: God is Creator and therefore owner of all, including the world and “all it contains” (Psa. 50:12); man was entrusted to rule over this world God which is the very “works of [God’s] hands” (Psa. 8:6, cf. Heb. 2:8).

  • Freedom of choice: God “does whatever He pleases” (Psa. 115:3) and is not constrained by man’s desire but only His perfect moral nature; man is granted free will to choose or not to choose “the fear of the LORD” (Pro. 1:29) with all the associated consequences.

  • Relationship capacity: God considered the children of Israel His very own (Exo. 19:4-6) and looks up the church the same way; through Jesus Christ Christians enjoy the gift of “fellowship one with another” (1 John 1:7) and with God.

Man is Special

God created man to be something special, imbuing man with all of these qualities unique to His very “image” and “likeness”. The most important thing in our lives is what we will choose to do with such a gift and how we will remember the One who gave it to us.

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