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The Precious Human Life #3: God’s “Image” and “Likeness”

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INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

 

This is part of a series that is looking at the preciousness of life and the need for a more serious examination of the Scriptural validity of taking a human life under any circumstance.  Folks, our world has devalued the taking of human life to the point the loss of human life is “no big deal” and “JUST a part of the world in which we live.”

By God’s grace, as we continue through this series, my prayer is that the Lord would open all of our spiritual eyes and come to a more complete realization of the great value of human life.  Also, we need to carefully consider the results of our actions, and the circumstances surrounding the taking of human life, making sure that in each situation, the taking of life is Biblically justifiable and absolutely necessary.

Our devotional series will contain six daily devotions, all of which will emphasize the wondrous nature of the human creation and the loss inflicted upon mankind when a human life is taken from their midst…

  1. Thou Shalt Not Kill (Exo 20:13)
  2. The Glory and Honor Of Man (Psa 8:4-6)
  3. God’s Image & Likeness (Gen 1:26-27)
  4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Psa 139:14-16)
  5. The Minister and Witness Of These Things (Acts 26:16-17)
  6. Prepare To Meet Thy God (Amos 4:12)

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

God’s Image & Likeness (Gen 1:26-27, 5:1, 1 Cor 11:7, James 3:9)

Genesis 1:26-27 KJV –
“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.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Genesis 5:1 KJV –
“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;”

1 Corinthians 11:7 KJV –
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”

James 3:9 KJV –
“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.”

In the above verses, we are told that man was made in God’s “image” and “likeness” and “similitude”.   This helps us to understand that man reveals God, His character and His nature.

 

  1. Man made in God’s “Image”

In the Old Testament man is said to be made in the “image” of God, the Bible is telling us that man was formed by God as a “resemblance” or a “representative figure”.  The New Testament reaffirms this principle when it states that man was made “after the similitude of God”. By “Similitude” is meant “a favorable comparison” or “a similarity”.

Both statements simply teach us that Man resembles God.  Man was made to resemble God and therefore, be a representation of God in the midst of God’s creation.

 

  1. Man made in God’s “Likeness”

The Bible goes further and helps us to understand the way in which man resembles God in the midst of creation.  “Likeness” comes from a Hebrew word that means “to be shaped like”, “to be a model of”.   God formed, shaped, or modeled, man after Himself.   Mankind was meant to be a model of God in the midst of His creation.  Much like looking at a model reflects truths about the subject of the original, so too man reveals much about the God who made all creation.

In what ways is man a model of God?  Man resembles God (as a model of God) in many, many ways.  A few of these include:

  1. Man has three parts (body, soul, and spirit) this mirrors the three persons of the Godhead.
  2. Man is an everlasting being (one who will never go out of existence), God is also eternal (having no beginning and no ending).
  3. Man is possesses and exercises delegated dominion over creation, God holds the ultimate dominion over all creation
  4. Man is a moral being capable of understanding and choosing right and wrong. God is the Supreme moral being, Who developed and produced the perfect standard of morality based upon his very being.
  5. Man if saved, at the receipt of the “new man”, exhibits righteousness and holiness following the character of the perfectly righteous and holy God.

I am sure there exists many other ways that the being of man models truths about God.  The revelation of God found in mankind’s model of God far excels any the revelation of God that we might find in other parts of nature.

 

Please note, based on the above list, that even a very wicked man can, in many ways, present truths about God to the world.  EVERY human life is precious and valuable as a model of truths concerning God to the world.  There is no excuse for the dismissive taking of human life simply because the one who is killed was a “bad man” or “a trouble maker”.

 

Certainly, death is an appropriate punishment for grave sins that are specifically listed in the Bible, however then it is to be done under the authority of the human government following an exhaustive investigation and ample proof of the guilt of the one being put to death.   Just because a man is found to be an habitual law breaker does it give the executive branches of government, or other groups, or individuals, the allowance to take life without the proper Biblical prerequisites.

Man being made by God the “image” (“similitude”) and “likeness” of Him is another reason why the taking of human life is such a very sobering act.  When a man’s life is taken, an image of God given to mankind is silenced and, in actuality, destroyed.  

 

The casual taking of physical life can be an act of rebellion against the Lord, and a reflection of mankind’s attitudes towards the Lord (His person and His characteristics).  In some cases, men are reminded (through man’s existence) about a God that they hate. It can be much like looking at a picture of one that is hated.  What is a natural response to seeing the picture of the hated one?  Simply taking the picture and breaking it.

These are all reasons why the taking of human life is defined as a very grave in God’s eyes and is one of the very few sins that are punishable by death in the Bible…

Genesis 9:6 KJV –  “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

 

In our next devotional, we will be being looking at the preciousness of human life by examining man, who was fearfully and wonderfully made by God.

 

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4 Comments

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Another good study Rob. Man in the image of God is where we get human dignity including the right to life.

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