Sunday, July 26, 2020

Made In The Image And Likeness Of God

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

        God made man to be a reflection of His glory. He made us to be morally upright. He gave us reason and the ability to make our own choices. God created us to have communion with Him. Man was created with knowledge of his Creator. Animals have no such awareness and do not seek to worship a higher power.

        Mankind is the greatest of His creations. He has been given by God a conscience. With that comes the ability to make moral deliberations. Animals are not self-conscious like man. What follows from being made in the image and likeness of God is the responsibility to serve Him. Adam's fall was devastating due to him being designed to mirror the divine glory.

        The terms "image" and "likeness" are virtually synonymous. Both relate to the concept of resemblance. The idea of human life having indelible value finds its basis in having been fashioned in the image and likeness of God. It is this factor which distinguishes us from the animal kingdom. Men and women are different, but are equally created in His image. Adam Clarke once noted:

        "Gregory Nyssen has very properly observed that the superiority of man to all other parts of creation is seen in this, that all other creatures are represented as the effect of God's word, but man is represented as the work of God, according to plan and consideration: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. See his Works, vol. i., p. 52, c. 3."

        God made man to represent Him on earth and to take care of creation. The earth was meant to be the domain of man (Psalm 115:16). This is comparable in certain respects to the ancient Near Eastern idea of statues of kings or deity representing their presence. The object of emphasis was not so much physical appearance as more so one's special rights or privileges. It is in that sense we are made in the image of God.

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