Ans: God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
Gen. 1:26. 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.
Gen. 2:7. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Gen. 5:1–2. 1This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
See also: Gen. 1:1, 26–28; 2:18–25; 3:19; Psa. 8:6–8; Eccl. 7:29; 12:7; Acts 17:23–29; Rom. 2:14–15; 5:12; Eph. 4:22–24; Col. 3:9–10; Jas. 3:8–9.
The Scriptures declare that God created the universe and everything in it, including man (Gen. 1:1; Acts 17:24; Rom. 1:19–20). The Scriptures are very careful to maintain this Creator–creature relation and distinction throughout from Genesis to Revelation. See Question 30.
Divine creation was a definitive act, i.e., God not only created everything out of nothing [ex nihilo]. He defined everything in this creation—gave it his meaning. Every fact in the universe is therefore a created fact with its own distinct God–given meaning and significance. There are no arbitrary or “brute” facts that exist or have meaning apart from God. For a person to truly know God, reality and truth, he must give the same meaning to everything that God has given to it—he must “think God’s thoughts after him”— interpret everything in terms of God’s Law–Word. This has been called a “revelational epistemology,” i.e., holding Divine revelation [Scripture] as our source of truth and knowledge. [Epistemology, from the Gk. epistamai is the science of knowledge and truth–claims]. Because the source of truth and knowledge was and is external to man, he is necessarily a creature of faith. He is also a presuppositionalist by necessity, i.e., as the image–bearer of God man naturally and axiomatically interprets all facts by his presuppositions or assumptions [axioms, first–principles]. See Question 30.
Man was created in the image of God. Thus, the image of God is the essential and primary definition of man. This image of God is ontological, i.e., it expresses the essence of man’s being. It is being the image–bearer of God that makes man a rational, morally–responsible, self–determining being. When man sinned and fell, the image of God was not destroyed; he did not become an animal. The image of God was distorted, but not erased. His intellectual, spiritual and moral nature, devastated in the Fall, is restored in principle at regeneration (Jn. 3:3; Eph. 4:22–24; Col. 3:9–10). See Questions 83, 94 and 95. The very fact that man is now a sinner, and in need of redemption, is a testimony to the retention of the image of God (Gen. 9:6; Acts 17:28–29; Jas. 3:9). Further, because redemption extends to man alone, and neither to brute beasts nor fallen angels, it is evident that God focuses the redemptive purpose on redeeming his image in man through Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:17–18; 1 Jn. 3:1–3).
Because man is the image–bearer of God, God instilled within him the principles of law, morality, logic, mathematics and the ability of speech or communication on both the vertical [Divine–human] and horizontal [human– human] planes. Such are necessary for man as a rational being in God’s ordered universe and also for the fulfillment of the Cultural Mandate (Gen. 1:26–28).
God created man as both male and female. Thus, the individual, either male or female, is incomplete in and of himself or herself. Society becomes fragmented when the basic element is the individual rather than the married couple and the family. Marriage is the natural and normal state for mankind. Marriage and family are necessities for the fulfillment of the Cultural Mandate. It is primarily in the context of the family and the church that the truth of God is to be both retained and promulgated to future generations. See Question 52.
Man cannot be considered as the Divine image–bearer apart from his calling to multiply, subdue the earth and have dominion over it—the Cultural Mandate (Gen. 1:26–28; Psa. 8). Spiritual responsibility, a biblical world– and–life view, a godly work ethic, and the God–ordained institutions of marriage, the family and the church necessarily characterize the truly godly man.
Because man was created and remains in essence the image–bearer of God, the believer’s attitude toward others is to be one of understanding and compassion, viewing his fallen, sinful fellow human beings as objects of evangelism. Have we come to terms with our being created in God’s image and its implications?
By Dr. W.R. Downing