Created in the Image of God
What do other gods all have in common?
They are all made in the image of man or some other created thing with the characteristics of the ones that seek to worship the idol.
What is different between God and the false gods? God has made man in His own image and we are told how we ought to worship God, not the other way around.
26 Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
1. We Are Created Not Evolved (v.26-27)
1. We Are Created Not Evolved (v.26-27)
The Bible tells us that God created us, we did not evolve from something else that God had made.
Look at verses 26-27,
26 Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Notice that God did not take something He had already made. He did something different when He made man.
God had made the sun, the moon, and the stars. He had formed galaxies and other things in the heavens that we would not discover for thousands of years.
He made the land and the earth and a habitation for all of the animals that He would make next, and then He made them.
God did all of this by speaking these things into creation out of nothing.
Now, when it came to creating man, God could have done the exact same thing, but He doesn’t. He reaches down into the clay and forms Adam out of the ground.
Man was made different than all of the rest of creation and God gave him a position that is a little lower than the angels. He put him above all of creation.
We need to remember that not only was Adam created special and different than creation, but so was Eve. We looked last week at the fact that Eve was made from the rib of man.
Now you may think that God only did this with Adam and Eve, but the truth is every one of us are special made by God.
Mankind did not evolve by accident from some other life form, but God specially made each one of us and continues to do so. In Psalm 139, the Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God knits us together in our mother’s womb.
Those of you who were in Sunday School last week may recall that Jesus healed a blind man. Now Jesus had a lot of different ways that He could heal people. Sometimes all He did was to speak the words.
But this blind man, Jesus healed by making mud with His spit. Gross right? Why would Jesus do this? If He could have used any other method that He wanted to, but instead chose to do it this way, there must be a reason for it.
Have you ever seen a play where a little child is hiding behind the curtain and they peak out and you get to see a glimpse of what is coming next?
Well, Jesus lifts the curtain for us on who He really is when He does this. He made mud to heal the man’s eyes to reveal to us that He is the one that used mud to make the first man, Adam.
Jesus is none other than the creator God.
So what does that mean for us? How does this apply to Genesis.
Well, first we have to realize we are not accidents. We are not the results of millions of years and random chance. You are somebody special that God put on this earth with a purpose. He wanted you to know Him and praise Him. He wants to have a relationship with you so much that He sent Jesus to save you from your sin that messed things up.
But the second thing we need to realize is that though we may have flaws in us because of sin and the fall, we can change.
Many people like to argue that they cannot help who they are. They claim that they were simply made that way.
Think about what that means in terms of justice if we allow that explanation for our behavior to suffice.
Is the thief allowed to steal because he was born a thief?
Is the murder allowed a pass for killing someone because he was born with an anger problem?
Is the pedophile allowed to prey on young children because he has a lust problem?
You see the breakdown, don’t you? None of these behaviors are tolerated, at least not for now, nor do people allow the excuse to be made that we were simply born a certain way.
One of our jobs as parents is to make sure that we train our children up in the ways of the Lord to follow His commands and to respect authority. Even if the parents are not believers, there is still a general practice of teaching your children to respect authority because if you don’t, they will never make it in this world.
There are God-ordained authority figures in our lives that we MUST follow.
But there are also rules that do not change. Just because you may be born with a certain personality type or a certain temptation to sin, does not mean that you should just let the chips fall where they may.
You can be born again and be given a new nature. We all must be born again if we are going to see Heaven one day.
The second truth that this passage teaches us about ourselves is:
2. We are Made Male and Female (vv.27)
2. We are Made Male and Female (vv.27)
God made only two genders. There is male and female. Period.
You may not like this and you may not be satisfied with who you are as a person, but I would simply refer you to point number 1. You are not an accident!
You may find that you like certain activities that you would define as masculine or feminine, but that has nothing to do with whether you are male or female.
You may find that you have certain feelings that cause you to be attracted to a certain gender, either that you want to be that gender yourself or you are attracted to the same gender.
In many of these cases we find that there is a reason the person may feel that way. Sometimes it is societal. Today we are seeing many people that are finding acceptance if they identify as LGBTQ+. They are praised and celebrated and so there is an attraction to this lifestyle.
Parents, if you are always on your phone and never affirming your children, if you are never emotionally present with your children, don’t be surprised if they struggle with these issues.
But if you are that person, remember that just because you may feel a proclivity towards a certain behavior or sin, that does not define who you are. God does.
Now I want to address what happens if you come across some tricky situations. This is something that I never have heard anyone in church address, but supposes someone is born with both sex organs and it is difficult to tell.
Do you get gender transforming surgery? What do you pick?
Just because there may not be an apparent answer does not mean that there isn’t an answer. We cannot escape biological gender, but we can see that God has given us an imprint on our DNA that affirms that there are only two genders.
Males have been given an X and Y chromosome and females have been given an X and X chromosome.
Even with someone in theis extremely....let me repeat.....extremely rare situation that they have been born with two sex organs, there is an answer to this question.
Before I answer it, you should know that people that are born with this mutation are usually sterile. This does not diminish their worth or value in God’s eyes, but for those who would argue that this is some evolutionary adaptation, they fail to realize that this type of mutation is a negative mutation that takes away, not adds to the person’s ability to reproduce. It goes against survival of the fittest that the evolutionists like to claim.
So back to this child that is born this way, the parent would take a DNA test to confirm the real gender and proceed from there to have the procedure to help the child. These things are noticed from birth and this is the only time that a parent, or anyone else for that matter, should seek to change their gender.
This goes for the trans-gendered as well. These are people who believe that gender is fluid and relative to how you feel.
Consequently this is a problem for the LGBTQ+ community. The feminist and the L and G and B folks cannot really stay in the same group as the trans people because the trans people don’t believe in concrete genders. They believe gender is all about how you feel about yourself.
However, how you feel about things is not relevant. You may say that it is your body and you can do what you want with it.
Is that true?
You belong to the Lord. He is your Maker and has all authority and rights over you. You may not recognize him and you may not like it, but I want to take you on a journey to help you understand why this is such a big issue.
We are going to look at the Imago Dei in a moment, or the Image of God, but first I want to show you the origins of gender confusion.
From the very first sin in Genesis 3, Satan has always tried to redefine what God has said. He always says, “Has God really said?”
Now, Satan always attacks what God makes. He tries to mix the godly line of Seth in Genesis 6 by mixing them with the ungodly line of Cain. Let’s go there for just a moment.
1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
This is a tough passage to interpret. Some scholars believe that this is actually angels that are intermarrying with people and distorting the human race. That is a possibility, but it is most likely that these are the descendants of the godly line of Seth from whom the Messiah would come. There was no distinction being made between them and the rest of the world.
Notice how the world began to behave.
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
What does this have to do with Gender? It is an attempt by Satan to attack and distort what God was bringing about.
Now, if the interpretation of angels and people is correct, then this is even more true.
But let’s look at a few other examples. Satan hates the created gender that God has made. He hates you and me.
Do you remember when Elijah confronted the 450 prophets of Baal? Do you remember what they did?
26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them.
Did you notice that they cut themselves? This is common in the occult. Satan hates the way we look. He wants to marr the image of God.
Here’s another example.
Look at Mark 9:17-18
17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
Notice the attacks that the demon did to the boy. It threw him into the fire and tried to harm it.
Folks, let me take a moment to explain to you that what is going on with the transgendered movement is nothing less than this. It is an ideology that comes from Satan to attack the image of God.
I know that some may say I’m being harsh or even hateful. I would expect nothing less because the god of this world has blinded people from the truth.
Notice that I never once said that we are not to love these people and care for them. In fact caring for them is helping them to see the truth.
Satan would have people believe that there is something better for them than to be who God made them to be.
If God made you male, embrace that. If God made you female, embrace that. Each gender is special and important. One is not better than the other, but they both have different functions. These functions should be celebrated and cherished, not marred and destroyed.
3. We are Made in the Image of God (Gen. 1:27)
3. We are Made in the Image of God (Gen. 1:27)
God made us in His own image.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
This is what is known as the “Imago Dei,” or the image of God.
What does it mean to be made in the image of God?
It means that we are rational beings. We are not like animals, again, in that we can reason; we can create; we can think.
I’m not saying that there is not intelligence in animals, but I have to inform you that animals do not have a moral consciousness. You know this already.
We are not like animals, because we can reason. We can have discussions like this and we can try to discover the meaning of life.
Cows just eat grass. Chickens peck the ground. You get the picture?
Also we are given authority like God. In the ancient world, kings would erect statues of themselves to signify their rule and authority over that territory. It was a way of claiming the land and marking their kingdom.
God has done something similar in putting man on this earth. We are made in his likeness and we are put here as living images that mark His territory. This earth really belongs to Him.
God has given us a share of His authority. We rule over creation. We manage it and are to be stewards of it.
That means that we care for it and we manage it for God. We should care about the environment and animals and things like that. But we should also remember that creation was made for us. This world is our home for now. We were given a job to care for it and we should do that but understand that we do not serve creation.
Once again we see where Satan twists what God has made good and turns it into something evil.
I need to take you now over to Romans 1.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Do you see it. We are given over by God to our depraved mind. We do not practice what we instinctively know.
First we took what we were supposed to rule over and what was supposed to serve us and we made it a god. Man made images of creatures that God had made to serve man and people worshiped the creation rather than the Creator.
In the same way, they broke the boundaries of sex that God had set up and began to have sexual relations outside of marriage and also to forsake even natural sexual relations for unnatural ones like homosexuality.
Notice that in the course of this text, there is nothing at all even hinted to about monogamous relationships, or loving relationships.
Homosexual advocates will argue that God only intended to call out abusive relationships, but this is never even referenced. It is never brought up in any of the passages speaking about homosexuality.
God calls out the act itself because it violates His boundaries.
We may not understand why God put these laws in place, but He did. It is our job to submit to His commands and trust that He knows better than we do what we need to do.
We also need to see that people in Romans 1 not only gave gave approval to these thins, but they also celebrated those who did these things.
Do you see what is happening in our culture? We cannot sit back and just ignore these things. We have to love people enough to help them see the truth. This means we give them unconditional love, but not unconditional acceptance and approval of what they do.
Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.” We must learn to do the same thing.
But what about in our own lives? Do you have some sin in your life that you won’t give up?
It’s easy for us to “Amen” and talk about somebody else’s sins, but what about our own?
We must die to ourselves and live for Christ. We must go to the cross and trust in Jesus to redeem us and transform us into His image.
Every person needs this. No matter who you are, you need to become who you were meant to be in Christ.