And God said, let us make man in our own 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 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. Genesis 1:26-27
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
The uniqueness of the creation of man lies in the fact that there was a divine Heavenly counsel that stands out from that of the creation of all of the other creatures, in the the Triune Godhead came together and said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” (Genesis 1:26). As one reads the creation account in Genesis, you will not see a Divine Heavenly Counsel coming together and making that same declaration.
God’s creation of man is distinct from that of the lower creatures, that is, all of the animal creatures. These were made after their kind (Genesis 1:21, 24-25). Man was not created like the animals. With respect to man, God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Theologian Louis Berkhof states, “In order to bring out the fact that in the narrative of creation the creation the creation of man stands out as something distinctive.
Another factor of God’s creation of man, He clearly distinguishes two different components of human nature. Genesis 2:7 states, “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 soul.” This shows a clear distinction made between the creation of man’s body and the creation of man’s soul. The Scripture plainly declares that God formed man “out of he dust of the ground;” in His fashioning the body, God used that which He already created. However, in the creation of the soul, God did something uniquely different in that He did not use any pre-existing material; the soul of man was a new production of God; for “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” It is plainly shown that man has a two-fold nature (Heb. 12:9; Luke 8:55; Matthew 10:28).
Lastly, Man was created in the image of God, that is, that the human alone is the only creature who knows and is consciously related to God. Also, the image of God in which man was created comprises that which is true knowledge, righteousness and holiness. Scripture expresses that God made man “very good (Genesis 1:31), and “upright” (Ecclesiastes 7:29. Dr. Louis Berkhof states,
The three elements of “true knowledge, righteousness and holiness, constitute the original righteousness, which was lost by sin, but is regained in Christ, it may be called the moral image of God in the more restricted sense of the word. Man’s creation in this moral image implies that the original condition of man was one of positive holiness, and not a state of innocence or moral neutrality.
The image of God in man includes the elements that belong to man as man, such as, intellectual power, natural affections and moral freedom. As being created in the image of God, man has a rational and moral nature which was not lost by sin, and which he could not lose without ceasing to be man. This part of the image of Go has indeed been impacted by sin, but still remains in man, even after the fall of man in the garden.
As with all of God’s creation, God displays His infinite wisdom in all that He brought forth, but He shows His special care in His crowning work in the creation of man. How mighty and majestic is the creator of Heaven and Earth and all that is therein.