15 January 2017

A Sunday School Lesson--"Let Us Make Man:" The Sixth Day

God finishes creation with, at least in Christian eyes, his greatest work:

"And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, 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. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:26-31

God creates man in his image and likeness. This means that man in some sense represents God and is like God. The words "image" and "likeness" denotes something similar. Image also means idol, an image that represents the deity (or idea)  behind it. Because we are in God's image, we are his greatest work.

Unfortunately, later biblical passages add a perverted twist to this assessment. In contrast to the view of Immanuel Kant that human beings should be treated as ends rather than means, God created mankind as means rather than ends.

Isaiah tells the chosen covenant people that God created them for his own glory.

"Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him."Isaiah 43:7

Paul echoed this theme in his letter to the Christians of Ephesus:

"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." Ephes. 1:11-12

But what about those people who are not "called by my name," and who have not "trusted in Christ?"

Well, God created them for his glory, too.

"What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory," Romans 9:22-23

God created the believers to make known the riches of his glory in order to exalt his mercy.

God created the unbelievers to could show his wrath and make his power known in order to exalt his justice. 

And that's the "good news" of the gospel.

Another great video from the Bible Skeptic channel on YouTube.

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