Introduction: Is man unique among the other life forms here on earth? Is man superior to the beast of the earth, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea? Is there something special about human life that makes it precious, even sacred in comparison to plant and animal life? Most of us would agree that man is indeed unique by virtue of the fact that man was created in the image of God.
But there are growing numbers of people in our culture today who reject the sanctity of human life agreeing with philosopher Peter Singer who said, “The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval”. A bit of recent news from Spain is an example of this growing notion in our culture.
Quote Newsmax article: Spain Gives Rights to Apes.
Notice that what Singer refers to as “speciesism” is a direct attack against the Biblical view of man being lord of creation and the sole bearer of God’s image.
Let US make man- another hint at the plurality within the divine nature.
a. Does not refer primarily to physical likeness- bara - Created refers to the invisible nature of man.
b. Perhaps some physical likeness- God apparently designed our physical bodies so that we can do many of the things God does: see, hear, touch, speak, think, plan etc.
“It would hardly be safe to say that the body of man is patterned after God, because God, being an incorporeal spirit, cannot have what we term a material body. Yet the body of man must at least be regarded as the fittest receptacle for the man’s spirit and so must bear at least an analogy that is so close that God and his angels choose to appear in human form when they appear to men.” Not a material body but a spiritual body?
To have personality one must possess knowledge, feelings and a will.
This God has and so do we.
“We can say that animals possess a certain kind of personality. But an animal does not reason as men do; it only reacts to certain problems or stimuli. It does not create; it only conforms to certain behavior patterns, even in as elaborate a pattern as constructing a nest, hive or dam. It does not love; it only reproduces. It does not worship. Personality, in the sense we are speaking of it here, is something that links man to God but does not link either man or God to the rest of creation”.
Man the creator- Creativity, buildings, electronic gadgets of every sort, cars, airplanes, space shuttles. Poems, and plays, and songs and pictures all demonstrate man’s creative ability. Civilization is man’s creation and a proof of his being created in the intellectual image of God.
The great distinction between right and wrong belongs to man alone.
“I fully subscribe to the judgment of those writers who maintain that, of all the differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important. This sense is summed up in the short but imperious word, ‘ought’, so full of high significance. It is the most noble of all the attributes of man”. Darwin c. Spirituality-
Although man shares a body with such forms of life as plants or flowers and a soul with animals, only he possesses a spirit. It is on the level of the spirit that he is aware of God and communes with him. Man alone is a worshiper! And all men in all times and places have worshiped.
III. Other things that attest to man being made in God’s image.
1. Man alone has a natural countenance looking upward.
2. Man alone has such a variety of facial expressions.
3. Man alone has a sense of shame expressing itself in a blush.
4. Man alone speaks.
Close: Man is uniquely created in the image of God. The missing link is not Neanderthal man, Peking man, Java man but the God man, Jesus Christ!
Man is related to God and our hearts will find no rest until we are reunited with Him.