Why God made man in His image

The Triune God began a close involvement with man when He created him in His image, 

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness….'”  Genesis 1:26

It is emphasised, 

‘So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him…’  Genesis 1:27

The message God gives with the creation of man is: 

  • Man is important to Me. 
  • There is a reason I created man in My image. 

Trouble came when Satan deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  They were expelled from the presence of God because of their disobedience.   

Because God created man in His own image, He did not leave him at the mercy of the devil.  The Triune God would take responsibility for man.  At all costs.  God pointed to that when He,

‘The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.’  Genesis 3:21

God ‘clothed’ them.  That basically means they were ‘clothed’ with His forgiveness.  Before they sinned they were naked and did not need clothes.  

With this act God demonstrated how essential forgiveness is.  The guilt is exchanged with the innocent animal who died in their place.  It pointed to Jesus’ death on the Cross. 

But, God has an enemy, Satan.  Would he influence man to resist God’s way of forgiveness?  To be continued. 

Creation and salvation are closely linked.

Many churches and individual Christians shy away from Genesis 1.  They either claim it is not an important issue, because it is a divisive element in the Church, or they believe that it is not possible that God could be the Creator (or whatever).

# What happens when one denies God as the Creator?

  • The foundation of faith for forgiveness is wiped out.  The most important aspect of the Christian faith is forgiveness for one’s sins by Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  But, the right to forgive is linked to creation.

#  The Forgiveness creation link.

  • Jesus demonstrated this connection between Creator and Saviour when they brought the paralysed man to Him.  He said to him, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’  The teachers of the law thought by themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that?  He’s blaspheming!  Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ (Note: only God can forgive sins.)
  • Jesus immediately knew what they were thinking, and said, “Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk?’  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, …He said to the paralytic, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’”  What Jesus did was to prove that as Creator (the paralysed man was healed), He can be the Saviour (forgive sins).  The logical question is where did He get the right to forgive sins?

# God and Jesus have the right to

  • Define what sin is;
  • Announce the penalty for sin, namely death;
  • Present a remedy, namely the exchange of an innocent animal’s blood for the guilty;
  • To find in Jesus’ death on the Cross a permanent Sacrifice, the Lamb of God.

#  Why do they have the right to define sin and forgive?  

  • God created the heavens and the earth.  Therefore He is the Possessor of heaven and earth.
  • God as rightful Owner of this creation has the right to decree what offends Him.  It is just like the leader of a country who decrees the laws for the citizens.
  • God also has the right to declare what the punishment is when people break His laws.  (Remember Jesus is also the Creator according to John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2, Colossians 1:16.)

#  God, the Owner, decreed forgiveness.

  • His own Son, Jesus, paid the penalty of sin on the Cross.  Jesus gives new birth and eternal life through His resurrection.  He opens the way to heaven through His ascension.
  • God is able to save humanity out from under the yoke of the evil one, because He as Creator and Owner can decree salvation for those who want it.

Conclusion 

One cannot spread the message of forgiveness of sins by Jesus, but deny creation by God.  That is one of the reasons many reject the Christian message.  They realise that without God the Creator, there can be no God the Forgiver.  No Jesus the Creator, no Jesus the Redeemer.

References

1. Mark 2:4-12

Suicide and Salvation

SuiSuicideOne of the grim realities of life is suicide.

  • According to statistics, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally, for all ages.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, nearly one million people die yearly from suicide.
  • According to Centres for Disease Control, an average of one person dies by suicide every 15 minutes. 1

Sometimes it is a person that you didn’t expect it of, like the actor, Robin Williams. Sometimes it is a committed believer. He or she was part of God’s family, saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Many families have been devastated when a parent or child committed suicide. What triggered them to such despair that they decided to end it all in a moment of deep anguish?

When we want to comfort the bereaved relatives, should we be like Job’s friends? Should we follow the example of  his miserable supporters and explain ‘wisely,’ that a person who murdered him or herself won’t be in heaven?

Do we have to be so cruel as to condemn without insight? Do we have the right to add to the agony of the family? Of course not. That would compound their grief and might cause alienation. As far as we are concerned, we doubt if God gave us the right to judge or make pronouncements about the eternal destination of a person who committed suicide.

We don’t have insight into a person’s spirit. Can we understand the despair of people in certain situations, like the loss of a spouse or some terrible tragedy? It is doubtful. Only God is omniscient. We are not. Eventually only God knows all the details. Fortunately He is fair. He knows what happened, and He is the Righteous Judge.

However, we believe there are guidelines concerning eternal destinations:

  • What was the person’s relationship with Jesus before death?  This is important, since God established a rule: we decide our position in eternity here, in the now. If a person is a lover of God here, we can expect that he will be with God eternally and still love Him. If a person is saved and lives a holy life here, we can expect that he should be with God in eternity.
  • What about a person that seemed to have no relationship with God? We might come to a fixed conclusion, but then again, what might have happened at the final hour? Look at the thief on the cross. 2 At the very last he realised who Jesus is, and that insight brought him eternal happiness in the presence of God.

Conclusion

Deciding the eternal destination of someone who committed suicide is, as far as we are concerned, not within the scope of humans. That belongs to our Lord God Almighty, who knows man’s heart. At the final judgement we will probably know. Until then, it is advisable to keep our opinions safely to ourselves and not compound the grief of people who lost a relative or friend who decided to end it all.

References

  1. Erin Gilmer, Health as a Human Right, May 23, 2011.
  2. Luke 23:39-43.
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