In the Image of God

God spoke and the heavens and the earth were created.
Genesis 1 – God speaks “Let there be…”
Light; Heaven; land and seas; sun, moon and stars; sea creatures and birds of the air; animals that walk on the land and creeping things.
Universe “one spoken sentence”

God didn’t create all of these things for Himself.
He lovingly, carefully and perfectly created everything in preparation for his final, crowning creation –Man.
Isaiah 45:18 God made the earth “to be inhabited”.
All that man needed was ready and waiting.

When I think of God’s creation, I am amazed.
God provided all the things we need to live.
-The earth was placed in the perfect position – the sun was placed the perfect distance from the earth. Not too hot or too cold for life.
-The atmospheres is just the right mixture of gases for life and breathe.
-The trees and green plants release oxygen for us to breath
Photosynthesis: CO2 +H2O +sugar =O2
Man breathes in the O2 and breaths out CO2, which is used by the trees.
-The trees provide food for man to eat to sustain life

Animals need 3 things to survive and continue to exist
1) A way to get food – spider’s web, bioluminescence in anglerfish in Finding Nemo
2) A way to protect itself – camouflage, bad taste, quills
3) A way to find a mate – color, scent, strutting/movement
All animals have these things—except the sheep: no protection, needs a shepherd
The Bible likens us to a sheep

A bird diligently builds a nest. When everything is ready, the female deposits her treasure/ her eggs into the nest. God prepared a place for his treasure: man.

Man – “Let us make man…”Genesis 1:26
Trinity – Three in one, named in Matt 28:19
God is beyond what our mind can understand. Think of gravity or the wind. We have a hard time understanding it but we can see what it does. We don’t understand everything about God but we can see what He does and learn about Him from His Word.
“God formed man from the dust of the earth…”Genesis 2:7
Man’s creation was something more personal. God didn’t just speak… He formed man. But man was made from the ground just like the animals. Evolutionists will tell you man came from animals because he is made up of the same chemicals. Here is our explanation. Evolutionists say life came from the non-living elements of the earth because we have the same chemicals. Here is your explanation.

“…And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
Our body is just a shell. It is made from dust and will return to dust. The Bible describes it as a tent, a building or house, a tabernacle or temple. Don’t get me wrong. Our body is amazing, and one day we will be given a glorified body (1 Corinthians 15:53-57). But what is unique…what sets us apart from the animals is what lives inside our tabernacle…our living soul. That living soul, that breath of God, is what makes us an everlasting being. Our soul is going to live forever:
In Heaven, a place of joy in the presence of God
OR In Hell, a place of everlasting fire and torment.
Our soul is created in the image of God.

Our soul has 3 parts: mind, emotion, and will.
WITH OUR MIND – We have the ability to think. An animal acts on instinct instead of rational thoughts.
Because God has a mind, He made a people with a mind that has the ability to know Him.
God wanted to talk to man and have man talk to Him.
He wanted to communicate with us not just by spoken word but also by written word.
We can think and reason.
We can listen and understand and do what God says.
WITH OUR MIND, we can KNOW GOD.

WITH OUR EMOTIONS— We have feelings – joy, sadness, love and anger.
Emotions can sometimes thought of as negative, but emotions are very necessary and helpful. God has emotions. John 3:16 God loved the world. Proverbs 6:16-19 tells 7 things God hates. The Bible also speaks of God’s delight, His wrath, and His sadness. Because God has emotions/feelings, He made man with emotions. God loved man and He wanted man to be able to love Him.
WITH OUR EMOTIONS, we can LOVE GOD.

WITH OUR WILL—We have the ability to make decisions. God has a will. He is able to decide that He will do something or that He will not do something.
God made man so that he could make decisions too.
God could have made a man who had no choice…like the sun or the moon. They do the same thing every day, every month, every year. But God didn’t want that.
WITH OUR WILL, we can CHOOSE TO OBEY GOD.

With our mind, emotion and will, we can have a relationship with our God – a fellowship. With our mind, emotion and will, we can do God’s work in the way God wants it to be done. That would make God and man happy.

Because we are made in God’s image, we have value. Before you accomplish anything in your life, you have value, simply because you are made in God’s image.

The boat question – you have probably all heard this question in some variation. You are on a life boat. There is a doctor, a baby, a housewife, name any profession our society values. There is only enough provision to keep the group minus one alive. Who gets thrown out of the life boat? Situational ethics. The question is trying to get you to judge one person as more valuable than another. That’s not hard to do because we tend to do that anyway in everyday life. We tend to PRE-Judge based on external factors – color, country, physical beauty, clothes, homes, cars, jobs. God said man looks on the outward appearance, but He looks at the heart. (1Samuel 16:7) I heard this question discussed on a talk show a year or so ago. The decision came down to a dog or a baby. The woman answered, ” It depends if it is MY dog.” Seriously? UN-believable!!!!

The Spartans – If small, sickly or deformed, a newborn was thrown from the cliff. Every person was born to serve the good of the society, devoted wholly to country. At the age of 7, a boy was taken from his family, brought up by the state and hardened for war. The worth of a man was based on how much he contributed to the strength of the group as a whole.

The Athenians – The individual was exalted, as were self-expression, personal pleasure and pursuit of the good life. Infanticide was common, not because a child was weak or sickly but any child that threatened “the good life”. Parents had 10 days to decide if they would officially accept the child. If the child was not accepted, he or she was placed in a large earthenware vessel at the temples of their gods and left to the elements. If the child was accepted, he or she was indulged. Literature, music and physical beauty were important in Athens. The Athenians feared overpopulation and depletion of resources. Only 8% of the families had 2 sons and few had daughters. Eventually the death rate exceeded the birth rate.

Nazi Germany – early to mid 1940’s – special agency for the termination of children

Oklahoma City – “selective treatment’ program at Children’s Hospital – 1977-1982
Quality of Life = Natural Endowment x (Home + Society)

Peter Singer – biomedical ethicist – published an article in Pediatrics in 1983. Said a severely handicapped person is less capable than a pig or a dog and should not be given special value just because the person is of the human species.

Oliver DeVinck – 1947-1979 severely handicapped. His brother Christopher wrote an article that was published in the Wall Street Journal in 1985 speaking of the value of the weak and helpless. (You will find an excerpt from the article on this blog. It is entitled “Oliver”)

The Americans – We see infanticide today in the U.S. But we don’t give the baby 10 days. Our standard is you can kill the baby at any time before it takes its first breath. We get rid of babies for reasons common to Sparta and Athens. The child may not be healthy – Down’s Syndrome or spina bifida. The child may be inconvenient and get in our way of having the good life.

Races – Charles Darwin popularized the idea of inferior races. God speaks of families and nations and tongues. God speaks of believers and unbelievers. Eve is “the mother of all living” Genesis 3:20. God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” Acts 17:26.

If we look to the Bible, we see that man has value apart from anything he achieves simply because he is made in the IMAGE OF GOD.

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