Day Six of Creation – Part 2
Man Created in the Image & Likeness of God
26 Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Clearly, God’s creation of man is the main issue in Genesis 1. Everything culminates in this event, and Scripture devotes more space to describing Adam’s (man’s) creation than to any other aspect of creation.
The creation of Adam occurred on the same day all other land creatures were fashioned. All of this occurred in one 24-hour period—one rotation of the earth. What a mighty God we serve!
God did not need five billion years to prepare for man, as theistic evolutionists seem to think. In fact, He did not even need the six days that he took. The reason he took six days was to stress the orderly and logical relationships between the different components of the creation and, to provide a divine pattern for man’s six-day-work-week.
Adam, as we see from the text, was specially and personally created by God. There is no way to do justice to the text and maintain the notion that Adam evolved from some already-existing form of animal life. God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…so God created man in His own image.
When God said “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness,” he wasn’t speaking to the angels, because man was not going to be made in the likeness of angels but in the likeness of God. Thus, God could only have been speaking to Himself; one member of the uni-plural Godhead was addressing the other two members of the Godhead.
Theologically it is appropriate to speak of God in both the singular and the plural—God is one in essence and yet more than one in person (Father, Son, and Spirit).
On this 6th day, an eternal plan between the Godhead was now officially announced, recorded, and carried out. The highest, most complex of all creatures was to be made by God and then given dominion over all the rest—all the creatures of the sea, air, and land.
The Hebrew word for “image,” tselem, the Hebrew word for “likeness” demuwth, comes from a root that speaks of something cut from an object and made to resemble that object.
The fact that “image” and “likeness” are applied to humans at creation indicates that they are God’s representatives on earth and have a character and a nature that resembles His. It suggests that God was, in essence, the pattern for the personhood of man.
For man to be made and created in the image of God entailed those aspects of human nature that are not shared with any other creature—attributes such as a moral consciousness, the ability to think abstractly, and understanding of beauty and emotion, and, above all, the capacity for worshiping and loving God.
This eternal and divine dimension of man’s being must be the essence of what is involved in the likeness of God and sets him apart from all the other living creatures God created.
When we speak of man being created in the image or likeness of God we speak of him taking on what is called in systematic theology the “communicable” attributes of God (those attributes that man shares with God) as opposed to the “incommunicable” attributes (those attributes man does not share with God).
Those attributes that man shares with God (to a much lesser degree) are holiness, faithfulness, goodness, patience, kindness, love, jealousy, justice, knowledge, wisdom, mercy, wrath, and will.
Those attributes that man does not share with God are self-existence, unchangeableness, sovereignty, supremacy, infinity, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience and the triune personhood of God.
To be made and created in the image and likeness of God established a personal relationship between God and man that does not exist with any other aspect of creation.
Though God Himself has no physical body, He designed and formed man’s body to enable it to function physically in ways in which He Himself could function even without a body.
God knew, of course, that in the fullness of time even He would become a man. In that day, He would prepare a human body for His Son, and it would be “made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7), just as man had been made in the likeness of God.
It does not seem too much to infer that God made man in the image of that body which He would Himself one day assume. In this sense, at least, it is true that, physically as well as spiritually, man was both made and created in the image and likeness of God the Son.
It was not merely Adam who bore the image and likeness of God, but the woman did, too—as well as all their offspring. The text says, male and female He created them.
By virtue of having been created in the image and likeness of God, mankind received the status of ruler of the earth under the sovereignty of God. They are given a privileged status over creation.
The text says let them (mankind) have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
Sad to say, when man fell he abdicated some of his God-given authority over God’s creation. When he yielded to Satan, he forfeited the absolute dominion God had given him over the earth.
It is interesting that Jesus repeatedly referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world”
John 12:31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
John 14:30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
John 16:7-11 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.