Most Christians will say that the reason human beings are different from every other animal on planet Earth is that we are created in God’s image. But what does that mean?
This episode addresses that question. Fortunately the answer is pretty straight forward and easy to understand.
In this episode:
- What it means to be created in God’s image
- Three part beings
- Complete Authority
- God Breathed
- Spirit Soul and Body
assignment Full Transcript(Scroll for more)
Do you know what makes us humans different from all the other animals on this planet? Most Christians believe that humans are different. But they have a hard time explaining the difference to nonbelievers.
Typically they’ll say the difference is that mankind is created in God’s image. Unfortunately they don’t really understand what that means. So not only does it come off sounding a little silly to non believers, but it also means believers have a harder time understanding who they are in Christ as a result. The good news here is that the difference is both very real and relatively simple to understand.
So let’s look at that today.
Back to the Beginning
If we’re going to talk about how we were created we should probably go back to the beginning, to the creation story in the beginning of the Bible in Genesis.
Towards the end of Genesis chapter one, on the sixth and last day of creation God makes mankind as his crowning achievement. Let’s pick up the story in verse 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.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The first thing I want to point out there is that God refers to himself in the plural in that passage: let US make, OUR image, OUR likeness. You see God is a three part being, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit just like we are three part beings with a body, soul, and spirit.
So that’s one way we’re made in God’s image. We’re going to talk about that a whole lot more in future episodes.
The next way we were made in God’s image is that God delegated his authority to rule over the earth and everything in it to mankind. Human beings were created to have dominion, rule, and have complete authority over our world around us, not to be dominated by it.
God intended for us to shape our world. It’s not something we were ever supposed to worship or let dictate the course of our lives. In fact having humanity rule over nature is so important to God that he says it twice in that passage.
And notice the one thing that isn’t on that list of things we were intended to rule over: other people.
But we don’t see the most important way we were created in God’s image until a few verses later in Chapter 2, verse 7 where it says this:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
God breathed his very life into us. This is what really separates us from every other creature on this planet.
Spirit Soul and Body
All creatures have physical bodies. That’s plain enough to see. Then there are some, what I call “soulful” animals. These are animals that express some emotion. Some are trainable, able to solve problems, have something of an independent will.
But what separates us humans from all the other animals is that we also have a spirit in addition to our souls. God put a little piece of himself into each of us. We all contain a spark of the divine as human beings.
Now unfortunately that all got twisted and messed up almost immediately at the fall in Chapter 3 of Genesis.
Even so, the fact is we were created as three part beings — body, soul, and spirit. It’s our spirit that sets us apart as uniquely created in God’s image. And that’s something we’re going to explore here in the coming episodes.
Until then, enjoy!