King David asked an important question of God. “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you attend to him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; You have put all things under his feet…” (Psalm 8:4-6 MEV).
Indeed, why would God give such honor and respect to mankind?
What is it about human beings that the Almighty gives such attention to them?
It is easy, really, and astounding.
A council of the Trinity was held in eternity past in which it was decided they would create a new species; a being that would exceed any living creature in existence.
This new creation would have the appearance and be a model of God, Himself.
All other creatures and living beings would see God in them, as this new creation would also be a triune being of spirit, soul, and a body.
It would also have volition and a creative mind expressing the character of God with love and goodness; justice and righteousness; truth and holiness.
They would be given a body and God would dwell in them and fill their being with His Spirit and His glory.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had great anticipation and love for this new creature they were about the make. They would call him “Adam,” that is, “man.”
The Godhead would also create a companion for Adam; one that would be his other self and walk beside him.
They would make this new creation male and female and give them the capacity to pro-create. Together, they would be the stewards of God’s creation and have authority and rule over all other forms of life.
God had formed Adam from the soil of planet earth and breathed into Him a soul and spirit, giving him the breath of life.
Almighty then took a rib from Adam and formed the companion. Adam named her Eve, the mother of all human beings who would be born.
The beauty and wonder of this new creation was stunning.
All of Heaven must have stood in awe and amazement, as the Psalmist declared, “I will praise You, for You made me with fear and wonder; marvelous are Your works, and You know me completely” (Psalm 139:14 MEV).
This new species was not Homo sapiens, the evolutionary offspring of the great ape. They are human beings, the special creation of Almighty God; made with reverence (fearfully) and awe (amazement and glory).
Mankind is distinguished from all other forms of life.
They are superior in creation, and exalted with inherent worth and value because they are made in the very image of the Creator, Himself.
Almighty God has delegated to them a measure of His own authority and power to rule and to have dominion over all that is created.
Indeed, they are the stewards of all that God has created and they are to extend His Kingdom authority over all of planet earth.
There is an enemy of the human race.
One who is totally jealous and envious of the exalted status mankind holds. This enemy considers his self to be a god and is ambitious to sit on the throne of Heaven to be worshiped in place of Almighty God.
This enemy of the human race seeks to steal the worth and value of mankind.
He strives to kill the spirit and the soul of human beings. He makes every effort to destroy the image and likeness of God in each man and woman.
His given name is Lucifer.
He is also known as the Devil, Satan, the tempter, and the dragon.
He led a rebellion of angels against the Almighty.
He and a third of the angels were banished from Heaven and the atmosphere of planet earth became their domain. He established himself as “the ruler of the darkness of this world.”
God warned Adam and Eve of this treacherous adversary.
He assured them that yielding to his allurement would bring certain death.
There is only one thing that can impair the image and likeness of God in a human being, surrender to the enticement of the tempter.
James explained the grave danger of the tempters work. “Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God,’ for God cannot e tempted with evil; neither does He tempt anyone. But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished it brings forth death” (James 1:13-15 MEV).
James warned in the next verse, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (NKJV).
It would appear many have forgotten this grave warning; just as the original couple forgot the warning of God in the heat of the serpent’s beguiling words.
Surrender to his enticement defaced the image and likeness of God in their life.
The glory of God departed and the presence of the Almighty in the garden, that once brought security, affirmation, assurance and adoration, now caused the couple to seek a place to hide.
Every human being has inherent worth and must be given honor and respect regardless of their skin tone, national origin, or social standing.
They are created in the image and the likeness of Almighty God. It is only sinful behavior that disfigures that glorious image and likeness.
- Every lie that is told and dishonest transaction puts a bruise on His image in a person.
- Each immoral act distorts His character in them.
- Evil behavior so disfigures Heavenly Father’s image in a man or woman, that many will deny His very existence.
That is why Almighty God gave mankind the Ten Commandments.
Each command addresses a behavior that reflects the very nature and character of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). John wrote in his first epistle, “By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word truly has the love of God perfected in him. By this we know we are in Him. Whoever says he remains in Him out to walk as He walked” (1John 2:3-6 MEV).
When a born again child of God, walking in the power and dynamic of the Holy Spirit, keeps the commandments of God, the image of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is reflected in their life.
Everyone around them may see the image of the Creator and know truly there is a God.
The worst distortion of God’s image comes when those who are supposed to know Him, love Him, and serve Him, justifies sinful behavior and calls acceptable those things that God calls an abomination.
“These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
- A proud look,
- A lying tongue,
- Hands that shed innocent blood,
- A heart that devises wicked plans,
- Feet that are swift in running to evil,
- A false witness who speaks lies,
- And one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19 MEV)
God also said, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22 NKJV). “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” (Leviticus 20:13 NKJV).
God does not stop loving the person who sins or commits an abominable act. It breaks His heart.
- Sinful behavior will tarnish His image and may even distort His likeness in their life.
- Their conduct and lifestyle restrains them from living and walking in the exalted place for which He has created them. It is not that their worth and value as a human has been diminished.
- Sinful behavior has tarnished and marred the image of their Heavenly Father.
- The behavior God calls an abomination not only tarnishes the image but distorts the image and reflects a likeness that is contradictory to the Divine Creator.
That is why every human being must be born again.
New birth brings “the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” enabling a person to become a new creation (Titus 3:5).
The old things that tarnished and distorted the image of God are removed.
Everything is made new, reflecting the likeness and image of Heavenly Father (2Corinthians 5:17-18). “By which He has given to us exceedingly great and previous promises, so that through these things you might become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2Peter 1:4 MEV).
Read Part One: Seeing God in a Human Face