The first words of Christian Scripture are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 NASB). God’s Word then describes the process and timeline God used to accomplish creation. The crown of His creation is humanity. God spoke creation into being; but He created us with His breath in His image, an image we lost in sin and regain in salvation.
There must have been doubting before Charles Darwin, but the humanist view of our beginnings can be traced back to his Origin of Species. God’s Word, however, stands in strong contrast to the supposed “theory of evolution.” It is not only Genesis 1 that confesses our belief in God the creator of all that is. Moses believed in a six day creation: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11). The Psalmists knew God as creator:
“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host…
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast” (33:6, 9)
Isaiah knew God as creator:
“Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing” (40:26).
John, who knew Jesus personally, knew God as creator: “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (1:3).
At the crown of creation is humanity. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them…God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:26, 27, 31a). When God created everything else in the first five days of creation, He did so by speaking. When He made us, however, He did so by forming us from the dust of the earth and breathing life into us (Genesis 2:7). In this way He set us apart from the rest of creation. We are unique in that we have the breath of God in us and are made in His image. We are not animals. We are humans capable of being in relationship with God.
We understand that God shared with us three primary characteristics. He created us perfect; He created us immortal; He created us with a will. The perfection of original creation is seen in that God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That we were immortal is seen in God’s warning that eating of that same tree would result in death (Genesis 2:16, 17). That God gave us a will is seen in that Adam and Eve were able to disobey God (Genesis 3:6). When sin came into creation as a result of disobedience, we lost the traits God gave us. We became sinners. We became mortal even destined for eternal separation from God. We lost our will, our ability to chose God and obey Him. But God… God in His infinite mercy and love is not pleased with our death. “‘For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord GOD. ‘Therefore, repent and live’” (Ezekiel 18:32). God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). In the giving of Jesus, and through His death and resurrection, God saves us. God restores to us in part now His image. When the Father looks on the saved, He sees the perfection of Jesus. Though our bodies will likely still die, we have the promise of the resurrection and the sure hope of eternal life. Through forgiveness of sin, God makes us a new creation whose true desire it is to live in the righteousness He has given us. We then look forward to having the fullness of God’s image restored to us in eternity.
God created us to be in relationship with Him, the capping glory of His creation. We are made in God’s image, sin destroyed that image, but God in His grace restores to us holiness, life, and a new nature. We are His by creation and re-creation.