Humans have a unique position in the created order. After God made all the wonders of heaven and earth, the stars, plants and animals, He then did something very special. He made man in His image.
Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27
That separates us from the rest of creation.
But what does it mean?
Biologists look at our outward and inward appearance and classify us with mammals. We have similar looking bones, muscles, eyes, hair and blood, but there is much more to us than just bones and hair.
The Bible says God is a spirit.
God is spirit… John 4:24
So, does the image of God refer to physical appearance or is there more to us than that?
Compared to animals, it’s obvious that we have been endowed with a unique combination of nonphysical traits, including language, logic, creativity, and a desire for justice, mercy, and truth.
Animals may exhibit a quality like creativity in some small measure, but not in the same way and excellence as man. For example, some animals use simple tools (rocks to open nuts or clams, twigs to probe for insects, etc.), but we make complex tools that produce other tools! Birds build nests and spiders weave webs, repeating their designs over and over, but we create completely new designs.
Yet, it’s important to note that the Bible never equates the image of God with any single ability like intelligence, or any combination of abilities like creativity, love, and wisdom. Each one of us is God’s image because God said so, no matter how smart or talented we are, no matter what our health, skin shade, age or gender are.
In fact, the Bible seems to emphasize that the image of God is a status that God Himself bestowed on us.
The Hebrew word translated “image” is TSEH-LEM., the exact same word used for images that ancient kings made to represent themselves throughout their kingdom. It seems that the Creator of heaven and earth gave man the distinct honor and responsibility to be His image, showing God’s love on earth.
Part of being made in God’s image means that we have a certain knowledge of God built into us. This is why people from all over the world all believed in some kind of God. However, sin has caused many of us to have the wrong ideas about who God is. This is why God gave us His written Word, the Bible, so that we would know the right things about Him.
Evolutionists constantly try to tell you that you are descended from some kind of ape and that we are closely related to chimpanzees and gorillas and that we were made in their image. Yet, neither of them were made in God’s image and if they are our ancestors, then God did not make us in His image as it says in Genesis.
Evolution says you were made in the image of apes. The Bible says you were made in the image of God. They both cannot be true.
Being made in the image of apes only offers us the promise of death. Being made in the image of God offers us the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ. This is why it is so important to understand that you cannot truly believe in evolution and the Bible at the same time.
How to spot lies in textbooks. Have you ever wondered what textbooks are teaching about living things, as opposed to what the Bible teaches? It should not surprise you that they are opposites, but it might surprise you, that the textbooks contain outright falsehoods. You too should know the lies, so you can help your families, answer our church youth and the unbelieving world. In Dr Jackson’s usual dynamic style he will help you easily identify many of these.
About the Author: Dr. Jackson is Coordinator of Campus Ministry for Creation Truth Foundation. He holds a doctorate in science education from the University of Virginia. and is a lifetime member of Mensa and Creation Research Society. He has 30 years experience as a science teacher, teacher trainer and as a creation speaker/debater.