Genesis 1:26-28 – “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness! Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the flying creatures of the sky, over the livestock, over the whole earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the land.” 27 God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. [c] 28 God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the land, and conquer it. Rule over the fish of the sea, the flying creatures of the sky, and over every animal that crawls on the land.”
I want to make a statement at the outset and proceed from there in our consideration of man the human creature. Man was created good and upright, made in the image of God. However, man by voluntary transgression and rebellion fell and thereby brought not only physical death to the race but also spiritual death and separation from God.
In considering the Rise and Fall of Man we must go back to the beginning and consider the origin and nature of man. The Bible clearly teaches the doctrine of special creation meaning that God made every creature after its kind. But God made a distinction between man (humans) and the lower creatures.
- Man Was Created in the Image and Likeness of God.
He was given intelligence, conscience, and will, which enabled him to perform two-fold in holding dominion over all living things on the earth and exercising free choice.
- Man Was Given Intelligence That Lifted Him Far Above the Animal Creation.
He has the power to choose between good and evil, which includes the possibility of disobedience. His intelligence made him fully responsible for all his acts. (Luke 12:47-48).
THE NATURE OF MAN.
- Man is a Tri-unity.
Genesis 2:7 – Tells us that man is composed of two substances, a material body, and an immortal soul. The word Living Soul indicates both soul and spirit. The soul gives life to the body.
Hebrews 4:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – Tell us that man is composed of three substances – (Body, Soul, and Spirit). The spirit and soul represent man’s non-material life and the body represents the material aspect of man. The soul of man distinguishes him from all other forms of life on the planet.
MAN WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.
That means he was created God-like. It does not mean that he is God, but he is like God in his original character and personality. The standard of Scripture is that man is to be like God. Leviticus 19:2 commands us to be holy as God is holy. Matthew 5:48 instructs us that God’s desire is for us to be perfect as God is perfect.
That is a problem of epic proportions! Not that the translation is incorrect but the reality that mortal man achieving sinless perfection is beyond comprehension. In Leviticus 19:2, the word translated holy could be translated as ‘devoted’ and that involves complete surrender and obedience. We are to be completely devoted to God, totally surrendered, and fully obedient in all things and at all times. It is not sinless perfection but complete surrender that God is looking for. This is the idea of Ephesians 5:1 – “Be therefore followers of God, as dear children.”
By or through creation we are the children of God, but that image has been marred by sin and therefore we must be ‘born-again.’ We were created with a moral compass, reason, capacity for immorality, and given dominion over the earth.
SIN IS AN UNDENIABLE FACT.
Man has created theories to either deny, misconceive, or minimize sin. Atheism denies God, therefore, denies sin or its penalty. Determinism says free will is a delusion, not a reality. Some theoretical concepts of Christianity and Religion deny the reality of sin and insist that a Loving Father could never punish His children with eternal punishment.
THE ORIGIN OF SIN.
In the Garden of Eden, the devil raised doubt in Eve’s mind about what God said and the character of God. The Fall of Man opened the floodgate for sin, sorrow, sickness, and death to come upon the human family. (Genesis 3:14-19; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21).
THE DEPRAVITY OF MAN.
Man’s moral, mental, and spiritual natures were perverted and distorted in the Fall. Instead of loving holiness and purity man became bent toward evil immorality and pleasure. To only remedy is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
The Bible reveals that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are and yet without sin thereby providing for us through His blood the perfect sinless sacrifice for the sin of man.
We were created in the image and likeness of God, pure and holy but became bent, twisted, and depraved through the Rebellion of Adam and Eve. We are restored to the rightful condition through the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. 1 John 1:9 gives us the answer – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Ephesians 2:8 gives us beautiful hope, “For by grace you have been saved. And this is not from yourselves – it is the gift of God.”
I apologize for the length of this devotional but if you have not received Jesus as your Savior, I urge you to do so. If you have, then I urge you to realize and declare that you are not the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and submit to God and resist the devil. Begin to live the Victorious Life that Jesus came to bring.
God bless you as you enjoy this day He has made!