Man as God’s image

rocky_mountain_tours.jpgGenesis 1:26: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The decision to make man in God’s image was not made lightly, it was not an afterthought. The creation of man according to God’s image was for the purposes of 1) fellowship, 2) shared creativity, and 3) shared dominion.

God takes his relationship with man very serious; he comes from his place in heaven to the Garden of Eden, paying a visit to them (Genesis 3). (That shows that God is not just an idea but a personality.) He manifested himself in Jesus, and through Him, each one of us can come into fellowship with God the father; since Jesus is the way to Him.

Though sin caused a separation between God and man, he has a solution, and that solution was Jesus. God did not find that solution by trial and error; it was based on the plan which he set up from the foundation of the world, the ignoble death of his Son on the cross (Revelation 13:8). The cross bridges the gap that sin caused between man and God.

Fellowship

Man was made in God’s image to have the highest level of relationship with Him, because they shared the same essence (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7). The fellowship imperative of God in creating man was why Jesus (God the Son) put on the garb of mortality to condescend to the state of sinful man (1Timothy 3:16, John 1:14. He chose to be limited by earthly constraints of being human (apart from the sin nature) so that he can be our full representative before God and sacrifice for our sins. He became like us so that we can become like him.

There was really no solution to the problem of sin (the cause of the “dis-fellowship” between God and man) apart from the shedding of blood. The bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22).

When the devil shed the blood of Jesus, he did not know that there will be remission of sin, as a result of that. He caused his own defeat. Since it was sin that gave him the right to rule over men, his rule was terminated with his own hands when he caused the shedding of the blood of Jesus. Now his business is to cause as many people as possible to be blinded from believing in Jesus (1Corinthians 4:4), so that the reality of the shed blood will not be manifested in their lives.

But there is another angle to this. Remember that one of the first laws that God gave was against murder, saying: whoever sheds a man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed (Genesis 9:6).

The question is: who shed the blood of Jesus? Was it the Pharisees, the Jews, Pilate, Herod, the Roman Empire, the Chief Priest, or Judas?

Though all these people were partly involved in that chain of events, the devil was the ultimate murderer (John 8:44), working behind the scene.

He was the one who puts the idea of betraying Jesus in the heart of Judas (John 13:2, 21-30), setting up the inevitable chain of events that led to his crucifixion. So the devil is the initiator, the bulk stops at his desk. Also, Paul wrote that principalities and powers were responsible for the death of Jesus on the cross, and they are ultimately responsible to the devil, they are under his control.

Paul wrote that if they had known the result of the crucifixion of Jesus, that it would deal a fatal blow to them, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1Corinthians 2:8, Ephesians 6:12).

The devil “shed” the blood of Jesus and his “blood” was also shed by Jesus based on that law that by whom a man’s (Jesus) blood is shed, by man (Jesus) his blood shall be shed.

The devil does not have any blood in the physical sense. But blood can represent life (Genesis 9:4) and life is what makes it possible for us to function on earth. What made the devil function on this earth and continue his devilish franchise is the power of death.

And the bible says that through death, Jesus “destroyed” the one who has the power of death the devil (Hebrews 2:14, Philippians 3:10).

In his resurrection from the dead, Jesus expressed dominion over death; the devil no longer has an influence on Jesus, since he is now beyond death. And those of us who believe in him, who are now part of his body, share in that dominion.

The devil runs on the power of death on the earth, and with Jesus victory over death, the devil is rendered impotent- “killed”, his power was removed, in the life of the believer his dominion has been cut off (Colossians 1:13-14).

Creativity

God is creativity. John wrote that in the beginning was the Word, who was God and without him there was nothing made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-5). God’s creativity is manifested in the Word, referred to as God the Word (1John 5:7).

God’s creativity is without limit. And he invested that ability in the man he created in his image. But this possibility was largely lost because of sin. But in Christ there is a rediscovery of dynamics of creativity, which involved faith and speaking forth based on it.

Jesus said that we should have the faith of God, and based on that, whatever we say will happen (Mark 11:22-24). Watching him and the lessons he gave to his disciples, you will not mistake the fact that making declarations by faith is the key to releasing God’s power for creativity (making things happen that never was).

Before the fall in the Garden of Eden, Adam had a chance to exercise his in-build creativity (Genesis 2:19-20). He named all the animals (in the air and on the ground) made by God, not just as an expression of dominion but also impartation of identity and function, because a name impacts identity and function. It takes a good measure of creativity to give different names to the almost unlimited number of God’s creatures. Imagine the mental capacity expressed, and verbal dexterity needed by him! That was divine wisdom in display.

Dominion

Man as God’s image bears his dominion. That was the determined will of God, that man will have dominion on the earth. God did not make the earth without his preferred representative in charge.

Man was equipped to fellowship with God by His Spirit (his breath) which He puts into him; through the word of his mouth, he can by faith express creativity. But for dominion, he needed to continue to obey God. Man cannot continue to have the right to be obeyed on the earth, if he does not continue in obedience to God his creator.

To be in dominion means to be in control. But if God is not controlling you, and he is not controlling through you, your “control” is not real.

God made it that the will of man is what he made as his tool of dominion. God designed man that where his will goes, nothing should stand in its way; But there is problem when the will of man contradicts a higher will; the will of the creator. The result is judgment, which in the case of Adam and Eve was the judgment of death, when they eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3).

The writer of the book of Hebrews, quoting the book of psalms says that the plan of God was to put everything under the feet of man (Hebrews 2:6-18), but he added that that is not the experiential reality of man now, and the reason is because of the sin of Adam and Eve.

Paul said that it is Jesus, who epitomizes obedience to God that is given dominion (Philippians 2:1-7), (the book of Hebrews says that he is crowned with glory and honour [Hebrews 2:6-18]) so that at the name of Jesus every knee bows, and every tongue confesses the Lordship, the dominion of Jesus. And he is the head of everything for the church (Ephesians 1:22-23). That means we have shared dominion with him.

Conclusion

In Christ, there is restoration to dominion, fellowship and creativity which were the reasons God made man in the first instance, once we become one with Christ as his body (Romans 12:5, 1Corinthians 12:27), when we are saved through faith in him.

 

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