• | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 24:38
  • Passages covered: Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 9:6, Genesis 5:3, Luke 3:23-24,38.

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Genesis 1 Series, Part 23, Verses 26-28

Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #23 of Genesis, chapter 1 and we are going to read Genesis 1:26-28:

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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

I will stop reading there. In our last study we were looking at verse 26 where it said, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” We discussed the triune nature of God because this verse states that God is more than one Person. It uses the plural pronouns “us” and “our,” which refer to more than one Persons, but we know the Bible insists that God is one God and, yet, He reveals Himself as three distinct Persons. That is just the way it is. That is how the Bible reveals the Being of God. God is beyond us and above us and we cannot comprehend His Being, which is three distinct Persons and, yet, one God. I do not know how to understand it or explain it. There is no understanding from our perspective of being a limited, finite creature. Each of us is one person. We are not two or three people and, yet, some people look at mankind and they say, “I am one person and everyone I know is one person, so God must be one God and one person, too.” But that is not the proper way of reasoning. We cannot look at the limitations of the creature and then apply those same limitations to the Almighty Creator.

For example, if I look at myself and I say, “I have a beginning and I have an ending and everyone else I know has a beginning and they will die one day if the Lord tarries,” so then I could try to apply mankind’s limitation as a creature to God: “Since I have a beginning and every other person has a beginning, so God must have a beginning.” However, we are looking at the wrong thing; we do not look at the created finite being of mankind and our limitations and then apply those limitations to God. It does not apply to Him because He is infinite and eternal. He is without beginning. We can only learn about God’s eternal nature as He reveals it in the Bible. Likewise, we cannot look to ourselves and say, “I am one and you are one and everybody else is one person, so God is one person.” We look to the Bible and the Bible reveals God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as three Persons and one God.

This is what we must accept. The child of God is in submission to what the Bible says. Whatever the Bible says is true and that is our position. The Bible’s position is that God is a Triune God. The “Trinity” is a theological word that expresses that there are three Persons in the Godhead, but one God.

Going back to our verse, it said in Genesis 1:26:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…

Man is made in the image of the triune God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit because the Bible says it is “our image” and “our likeness.” I will comment on that a little bit later, but first I want to point out that the Hebrew word translated as “man” is the same word translated as “adam.” The word “adam” means man and he is made in the image of God. This is very different from any other creature God made. When God made the sea creatures He did not say that they would be made in His image. When God made the cattle and beasts of the earth, He did not add that they would be made in His image, but He reserved this for the crowning creature which was mankind. Mankind is made in the image of God.

The word “image” is not found very often, but one place it is found is in Genesis 9:6:

Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

This is a very important thing to keep in mind. God indicates that there is the death penalty for the one that would take someone else’s life unjustly, like outside of war or like a judge sentencing someone to death. If someone wrongly takes a person’s life their own blood is to be shed and the reason God gives is this: “for in the image of God made he man.” This means it is a very horrible thing. It is not like killing a dog or a horse or a cat or an elephant or any other creature. None of the other creatures were made in God’s image and, therefore, there is a special punishment that God prescribes for an individual that takes another man’s life. If a person kills another individual that is made in the image of God it is a terrible and awful thing. In our modern world, murder is rampant and it is everywhere. We even have industries, like the abortion industry, that make huge profits from murder. We have hundreds of people that are murdered in large cities every year. Hundreds of thousands of people in the nations of the world are murdered and it is so common that we do not think much about the fact that man murders his fellow man. However, in every case it is the taking of the life of a person that is made in the image and likeness of God and this makes it a most terrible crime that is committed against God. A person like Cain rose up and killed his brother Abel and it is not a light thing at all to commit murder.

If we go to Genesis, chapter 5 we will find that the word “image” is also used. It says in Genesis 5:3:

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Of course, Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel, but Cain slew Abel and Cain was driven out by the Lord. Then when Adam was 130 years old he had another son named Seth and God says that he “begat a son in his own likeness, after his image.” We are all very much aware of how children are similar to their parents. You may have a son and you can see a physical resemblance to the father and there may also be a similarity in their mindset or how they think and speak. There is very often great similarity between the father and his son. There is a likeness and that is because God said the son is after the image of the father.

Likewise, Adam was made in the image and likeness of God and took on similarities to God. Mankind would give evidence of being in the image of God and man would reflect God’s being in attitude and mind at the first when man was still “good.” Of course, with the fall into sin much of that likeness was ruined and man began to develop a likeness after his “spiritual father,” the devil. He began to be a liar like his father the devil, but in the beginning man was created good and very much a reflection of the image of God.

When God saved people, as He did all throughout history with His salvation program, He restored the “image” in the relationship between the saved person and Him and that person received the indwelling Spirit of God that would show forth the fruit of the Spirit and, once again, there would be similarities demonstrated by the people of God. They had been recreated in the image of God who created them.

It is interesting that man was made in God’s image, just as a son is after the likeness and image of his father. In Luke, chapter 3 we read about the genealogy that relates to the Lord Jesus Christ. It says in Luke 3:23-24:

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,

It continues on for the rest of the chapter as it lists descendants, from son to father all the way back in time. Then it says in Luke 3:38:

Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

We know that Seth was made in the image and likeness of his father Adam and Adam was made in the image and likeness of his father, God. God is listed as the father, the one who begat Adam in creating him. God performed the role of father to the first man Adam and, therefore, every person can trace their lineage to God. People like to say, “We all come from Adam,” or they say, “We all come from Noah.” And that is true. If we go back far enough in history, we will all find ourselves in the loins of Adam and Adam’s father was God. Therefore, our father was God. Each one of us were made in the image and likeness of our father, God who created us after His own being. Now that is an incredible thing to think about. The great and Almighty God is that infinite and incredible Being who has always been and will always be and who possesses all power and might. He knows all things and He is omnipresent. He is glorious in His very Being and existence. He is “the GREAT I AM.”

God is also the Creator who has very likely been creating from eternity past and has also very likely created other creations similar to this one and, yet, apart from this creation. This creation is contained within this universe and from our perspective our universe goes on endlessly and it is enormous, but God is that great. He just spoke and created these things over the course of six days and on the sixth day His crowning achievement was created: mankind. Adam was formed in the image and likeness of God and there is no evidence or record that God had ever in past creations created any other creature like mankind whom He formed from the dust of the ground and called his name “Adam.” He made man after His own image. It is mind-boggling that God would make a creature after Himself.

Just think of a potter making his pottery. He can make very lovely and beautiful pottery and he can decorate it wonderfully. It is very beautiful work that shows forth the craftsmanship of the potter, but it is just pottery or vessels that he can make. But it is quite another thing for the Creator to create a “vessel” that has “life” and existence and spirit like His own self. The Potter forms a vessel in His own image and breathes the breath of life into it in order that the “clay” begins to walk and talk and show forth the attributes of the Potter that created it. This special creation would, of course, have the Potter’s complete attention. The Potter would be concerned about that vessel more than anything He had made before because He has never made a creature quite like this one. The creature is glorious because it reflects the image of the Creator that made him. In this case, it is God Himself. Remember, God says in the Psalms: “Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” He says that because man is made in the image and likeness of God and, therefore, man possesses a dignity and honor. It is a glory. It is a tremendous thing for man to be made in such a high estate and higher than angels. Angels are not made in the image and likeness of God, even though they are intelligent beings. Only mankind is made in God’s image. It is why God has shown such care and love for mankind. It is why the Lord took upon Himself the sins of certain of these elect men and women and died for them from the foundation of the world in order to redeem and adopt them into His own family. Since man was created in the image and likeness of God, it is not farfetched to understand why God has adopted (certain) men back into the family of God where they can call God their “Father” once again.