Created in the Image of God
One of the greatest questions of human existence is the question of man's own origin. The answer that we give to this question has great moral and spiritual implications as far as our understanding of the nature of man and his calling in the world is concerned. We believe that the Bible clearly gives the answer to this great question. The Bible does not merely tell us in a vague way the fact that God created man. It tells us how God created man and also what sort of creature God made man to be.
The evolutionist rejects the Bible's testimony concerning the origin of man. The theory of evolution is an ungodly theory. It wills to come up with a theory of the origin of man without God. According to this theory man was born from a long process of evolution which has continued over millions of years. Man is the product of the struggle of the forces of nature as they run their blind course through natural selection and survival of the fittest. Man evolved in this long process just after the ape in the evolutionary chain. Essentially there is no difference between man and animals. He is only a physical being. He is the product of his environment. He is not created by God and not dependent on God. He is therefore free to live as he pleases. He really does not have a moral nature. The evolutionist may speak of the moral nature of man, but according to him this is nothing more than a certain social consciousness that has arisen in man which is also the product of man's evolution. The rules of man's behavior change with time and circumstances. Man, because he is really only an animal, has no higher reason for existence than his own survival, his own pleasure, and his own glory. He lives on this earth for a brief span of years and then he dies as the beast and is no more. This is the ungodly and immoral nature of the philosophy of evolution. This philosophy has had devastating consequences for the thinking of modern man. It has contributed much in hastening man's rapid development in corruption and ungodliness.
The so-called theistic evolutionist imagines that this ungodly theory can somehow be harmonized with Christian truth. According to the proponents of theistic evolution God created all things, and therefore also man, by the process of evolution. God is merely the superintendent, so to speak, of the process that has gone on for millions of years. Other than that, evolution has developed pretty much as we are told by the unbelieving scientist. It is alleged by the theistic evolutionists that this theory is rather innocent. It only seeks to explain the origin of man. It does not have necessary spiritual and moral implications for who man is and what his calling is. One can be a “good Christian” and believe such a theory. The question of the origin of man is an isolated question that does not affect our understanding of the other doctrines of the Christian faith. Nothing however could be further from the truth. The philosophy of evolution touches virtually every area of Christian truth. Its moral and spiritual implications are inescapable. Not only is this philosophy blasphemy against God, it is also grossly evil in its estimation of the glorious nature of man as he came forth from the hand of his creator.
The Bible begins at a point absolutely opposite that of the evolutionist. It begins with the revelation of the absolutely sovereign, almighty, wise, holy, and glorious God. According to the Bible, God created man by a sovereign, distinct, and wonderful act of His creation. Before He created man He paused to take counsel with Himself. The Triune God said before He made man, “Let us make man in our own image and likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26). This pause of God before creating man is highly significant, emphasizing that man is a distinct and glorious creature of God. Great detail is given in Scripture concerning the creation of man. This detail tells us how God created man, and it describes the nature with which man was created. Scripture tells us that man was created distinct from all the other earthly creatures of God.
God made man as a creature of His own hand, wholly dependent upon God for his very existence and life. It always remains true that in God man lives and moves and has his being. Whether man himself acknowledges this or not, he is in fact so utterly dependent on God that without God He can do nothing. This has profound spiritual and moral implications for man. Man is a dependent creature of God who is also obligated to God for all things.
The Scriptural record tells us that God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And man became a living soul. God created man to be a personal, living soul. This is not something that could have evolved from animals, but it could only have come by a direct, creative act of God. Man was created a personal, moral, rational creature. In this respect he is different from all other earthly creatures. He stands personally and consciously related to God his creator. He is created with a moral and spiritual aspect of his nature. God, the absolute, holy, and righteous God who is the standard of all goodness and truth, created in man a consciousness of His absolutely perfect and holy law and a sense of his obligation before God. This truth has no place in the whole ungodly scheme of evolution.
The great excellency of man as created by God is that God created man in His own image and likeness. It is impossible that this could have been the product of the evolutionary process. Man did not inherit this from a primeval ancestor. This was not later given to man after he had proceeded some distance up the evolutionary spiral above his ancestor the ape. It was not something which man himself achieved. It was man's by virtue of his being created by God. It was possessed by the first man in the beginning. This distinguishes man from all other creatures. Whatever may be said concerning the exact definition of the image of God in man, it is clear from Scripture that the implication of this truth of man's creation is that God made man good and perfect even as God Himself is.
God created in man a creaturely representation of Himself. God made man able to know God his creator. This knowledge was created in man in the beginning. It was not something learned or acquired. It was not something that could be possessed by a creature a little higher than a monkey. The theory of evolution has no explanation for this amazing and wonderful knowledge of man. According to this theory the knowledge of God in man is only something imaginary and purely subjective. This knowledge comes from a consciousness of helplessness over against the forces of nature. As man evolves in his intellectual development he is no longer in need of God, and he understands by his own great wisdom that there is no God. According to the Bible, however, such a man is a fool. He is the product not of evolution but of “devolution,” deeper and deeper descent into darkness, spiritual ignorance, and foolishness. Modern man has not increased but only decreased in the knowledge of God.
God created man in true righteousness and holiness. This we are told is the content of the image of God in man according to Ephesians 4. He was created absolutely perfect and without sin. That was man's original, true glory and greatness before God. The theory of evolution teaches that man arose out of the brute beast. How could such a creature have ascended to moral spiritual perfection? God made a perfect world with a perfect man who was able to love God perfectly from the heart and able to keep all of his commandments perfectly. He knew the holy law of God and delighted in submitting himself to that law.
God created man a covenant creature who could know and have fellowship with God his creator. God placed Adam and Eve in the perfect and beautiful garden of Eden which was called the earthly Paradise. Those who hold to the theory of evolution have no place for this history of the wonderful work of God. According to them, there could never have been such a time and place. It is only a figment of man's imagination, a fairy tale, an idealism that could never have been fulfilled in the past and will not likely be fulfilled in the future. According to the Bible, the purpose of man as created by God is to serve and glorify God, his Creator, and to enjoy Him forever. Covenant fellowship was man's greatest joy and satisfaction. God gave this to man as a gift of His grace and created him in the beginning in such a way that he was adapted to enjoy it.
At the time of creation God established the moral order of man's life according to His own holy law. It is striking how often Scripture takes us back to the creation order to teach us moral and spiritual truths. The basis for the forbidding of murder is in the fact that God created man in His own image (Genesis 9) According to the inspired apostle James, in chapter 3 of his epistle, we are not to curse our fellow man with our mouths because God created man after His own similitude. The proper order of the relationship between man and woman in the home and the church was a created order. The denial of this has led to the great influence of the evil and worldly philosophy of feminism in the church.
A wonderful part of the creation account in Scripture is the record of the creation of woman and the creation of marriage. Those who compromise with the philosophy of evolutionism necessarily regard this part of Genesis 2 also as nothing but saga or myth. Great spiritual and moral truths were established by God in creation for marriage and the home. There can be no truly Christian home that is not founded upon these truths. Marriage did not evolve as man developed and rose above being little more than an animal dwelling in caves. The truth of creation teaches us that marriage is a holy ordinance of God, and that God's people will be blessed only when they live in accordance with God's creation ordinance. If the church adopts the ungodly theory of evolution, she can expect all sorts of corruption and misery to follow in her homes and families.
The historical record found in Scripture of the order of a perfect creation created by a perfect and holy God followed by the fall of man into sin through his own willful disobedience and under the instigation of the devil clearly teaches us that man and not God is responsible for sin and wickedness. This truth is denied by the theory of evolution. The biblical truth has great spiritual implications. The child of God who humbly accepts this truth by the grace and Spirit of God in his heart understands his own sinfulness. He understands that God who created him is alone able to save him. He cries out to God and depends on the mercy of God.
God's first creation was intended by God Himself to be a picture of heavenly Paradise. God promised a salvation for His elect through the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord renews His chosen ones by His Holy Spirit so that they are created again after the glorious image of Christ Jesus. By recreation God forms in His people in a new and even more glorious way His own image that He once at the beginning of the world had created in man. Those who deny what the Bible tells us about the first creation of man will also necessarily deny the blessed truth of salvation according to which man is made a new creature in Christ Jesus.