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The Sixth Day
 

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 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. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 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. 29 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. 30 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. 31 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 1:24-31

“Let us make man in our image.”

   

No chapter in the Old Testament speaks so clearly of the Holy Trinity as Genesis 1. The Word of God reveals this in the plainest language, with a combination of the plural and the singular. God speaks through the Word, which we know from John 1 to be the Son of God. The Holy Spirit broods over the waters. And yet it is God, one God, who speaks – the unity of the Three Persons, the Three-ness of the One God. The word for God itself is a plural form, and God said, “Let us make man in our image.”

The evolutionary view of worship holds that primitive man worshiped many gods until monotheism was invented, with only one God. The evolutionists normally progress to atheism, which they find even more refined and intellectual than monotheism. However, just as a mighty empire like Rome can crumble into a dozen primitive feudal societies, so also can the pure religion of God decay into polytheism, animism, cults, and fads of the moment. Christ did not teach the creation of 400 denominations but one faith only, yet man has subdivided that singular brilliant truth into hundreds of shadowy teachings emphasizing one error or another. How many people have grown up under the supposed teachings of Christianity and yet have heard only the Law, never imagining that Jesus taught forgiveness and love rather than condemnation and guilt?

We often say that God made man in His image, but the Scriptures say, “in our image.” We should constantly reflect on this, because the revelation of the Holy Trinity in the Bible is unique among all the religions of the world. Therefore, it is correct to say “in His image” even though the words of Genesis say “in our image.” The Holy Trinity is a mystery revealed to us. Once believers know this mystery, the Scriptures become a mine filled with treasure. No matter which way we turn, the veins of precious metal run deeper and deeper. We can never exhaust the vast supply. In fact, the more we delve, the more opens up to us. Attacks against this truth only strengthen the faith of believers, who have known and experienced the nature of God. All the subordinate works of faith help support the essentials revealed in the Bible, for there is a vast cloud of witnesses to these truths.

When all the great and wise men of the world clamor against against God or become silent and apathetic, when all the trials of Job fall upon the believer, the attributes of God remain the same as they have been since Creation. The objective truths of the Scriptures can never be refuted, for they are revealed through the Holy Spirit and hidden from the blind attackers.

Every believer knows he is made in the image of God. Pagans comfort or terrify themselves with the images of dragons, rats, and monsters, but the Bible speaks to us of:

His eyes:

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Genesis 6:8

He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. Psalm 66:7

O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? Jeremiah 5:3

His arm:

Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: Exodus 6:6

The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:10

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? Isaiah 53:1

That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? John 12:38

His hand:

Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and uponthe sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. Exodus 9:3

And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. 1 Kings 18:46

Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Isaiah 62:3

And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. Luke 1:66

And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Acts 11:21

His ears:

LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. 2 Kings 19:16

Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. Psalm 86:6

His mouth:

And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it . Isaiah 40:5

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. Jeremiah 23:16

His voice:

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26

The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. Psalm 29:4

Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God. Jeremiah 42:6

His thoughts, mind:

The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Psalm 33:11

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! Psalm 139:17

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36

The Romans 11 passage is one of the key Trinitarian passages of the New Testament, with two allusions to the Trinity. Verse 33 exalts literally about the depth: of the riches, wisdom, and knowledge of God. If we would write in the verbose manner of man rather than the concise language of the Holy Spirit, the verse would read:

The depth of riches,

The depth of the wisdom,

The depth of the knowledge of God.

The language of the Holy Spirit is not at all improved by prolixity, but the Trinitarian form of the verse is made clearer. Verse 36 is more apparently Trinitarian, with three references to Him. Have people wondered why Western man prefers so many lists of three? Why do we give three reasons for everything? Why do we group all manner of objects in three? The three-ness of God permeates our understanding, even when we do not acknowledge its original source.

The spiritually blind see God created in man's image, but man was created in God's image. The human attributes of God in the Scriptures are easily overlooked by believers, who hear these terms so frequently in the appointed lessons and sermons. They reveal God as close to us, not remote, as compassionate in His understanding and mercy, not as cold and cruel. The pagan false gods demanded human sacrifice, even the destruction of their own children. Ancient historians record how one city felt their military losses were due to their neglect of child sacrifice, substituting servants' children for their own. To appease their angry god they killed their own children in great numbers.

God's identification with man became complete when God became flesh, born of the Virgin Mary. When people heard Jesus speaking in His public ministry, they experienced what Moses found at the Burning Bush: two natures in one. Moses saw a bush on fire, but the bush was not consumed. The duality of the burning bush foreshadowed the Two Natures—divine and human—of the Incarnation, for the Son of God spoke from the bush.

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Exodus 3:14-15

The Angel of the Lord (Exodus 3:2) was more than an angel, because He identified Himself as God in Exodus 3:14-15.

When Abraham was faithful to the command to sacrifice his beloved son, the Angel of the Lord stopped him and supplied a substitute:

And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Genesis 22:11-12

Moreover, when Jacob wrestled with a man at the Jabbok, he said he wrestled with God.

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [face of God]: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. Genesis 32:30

Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. John 8:57-59

Jesus clearly identified Himself with the voice of the Burning Bush, the Angel of the Lord. He gave His own people the opportunity to hear the voice of God expressed at their level. Although man fell into sin through Adam and Eve, man was redeemed by the God-man Jesus Christ. The strength of Christianity is its ability to reach all ages, all stations in life, with the revelation of God being born in meekness and poverty, giving up the glory of Heaven to give the riches of His grace to man.

Man in His Own Image

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 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.

God created man perfect, something we can hardly imagine today. We see the Old Adam in children from the beginning. The first word spoken with the most frequency by the majority of children is “No!” They have already heard it so often that they know exactly how to say the word with emphasis. Young parents are often shocked at the will power of the tiny creature.

When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them the freedom to decide between right and wrong. People admire animals because those creatures do not decide these matters and therefore look innocent in comparison with man. However, man would have to be robotic to live up – or rather down – to the same conditions. What scientists call instinct is another name for God hard-coding commands into animals. The mother cat carries her kittens to safety because she was designed to do that. Later on the same cat will see her grown children as rivals and fight them. The noblest impulses of animals are insights into what man is capable of doing, a far more difficult task because of that freedom and the Old Adam.

Augustine spoke eloquently to our generation of self-esteem advocates:

Why is so much assumed about the ability of human nature? It has been wounded, hurt, injured, ruined. It has need of a true confession, not of a false defense. (Augustine, De natura et gratia , chap. 53; quoted with approval by Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent , 1971, I, p. 411).

The more freedom we have, the less we appreciate it. The richest people should be the most accomplished and sympathetic in the world. The opposite is true. Trust fund babies have all the chances one could have to be generous and to achieve without the burden of making of living. They are thrust into Paradise, without planning or earning it, and they take advantage by using their freedom as a license.

Adam and Eve were given one specific command not to do something – eat from the forbidden fruit – so they went to it and ate, tempted by Satan to become like God, knowing good and evil.

With this sin came a three-fold curse.

1. Satan was cursed for tempting Adam and Eve. The serpent would no longer be beautiful and attractive but repulsive and frightening. Even today it is the symbol of evil.

2. Adam was cursed with a lifetime of hard labor. Instead of casually collecting his food he would have to sweat for it and fight the brambles, weeds, and thorns.

3. Eve was cursed with difficulty in childbirth for being beguiled by Satan.

Yet God also promised Adam and Eve the Savior. In those three curses would a three-fold blessing be woven. Satan would play his part by bruising the Savior and having his nefarious head crushed. The Savior would crush Satan and trample death under His feet.

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:14-16

The Old Adam would be defeated by the New Adam: since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection.

KJV 1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Eve became a symbol of the Virgin Mary, who was like Eve before the Fall, yet in need of a Savior because of her sin. The Savior was born of a woman, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born in the flesh. In this and many other aspects, Christianity is unique. God acts in history, intervenes in our troubled affairs, and send His only Son to be our Savior and Redeemer.

   
 
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