Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, 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. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
There are quite a few lessons we can learn from the sixth day of creation. We can learn about stewardship of the earth (Genesis 1:28). We can learn about God's original diet plan for us (Genesis 1:29). We can even learn how the institution of marriage originated at Creation (Genesis 1:27; 2:18-24). However, there is just one lesson I would like us to focus on today. Let's turn to Genesis 1:26.
- According to this verse, in whose image was man created in?
- Answer (highlight to read): Man was created in the image of God.
When you read through the story of creation, you will see that God made things in groups (“according to its kind”). Did you notice that God grouped man with Him?
The first question that may come into your mind is, “what does it mean to be created in the image of God?” Before we answer that, let’s look at how exactly God created man.
Let’s turn to Genesis 2:7.
- According to this verse, how did God make man?
- Answer: God made man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.
God did not just speak man into existence like the rest of creation, although He most certainly could have done just that. God got on the ground and personally made man with His own hands and breathed life into him. God took special care in creating man!
Let’s turn to Proverbs 22:2.
- According to this verse, what do the rich and poor have in common?
- Answer: God is the maker of them all.
While the world may value the rich over the poor, the beautiful over the ugly, God values us all. While the world tries to tell us that mankind is a product of random genetic chance and is no better than any other animal, the story of creation tells us that we have intrinsic value as a creation of God. Just as God values us, we should value each other and treat each other with the respect worthy of a creation of God.
Let’s go back to answering that question we left earlier about the image of God. Let’s turn to 2 Corinthians 4:4.
- According to this verse, who is the image of God?
- Answer: Jesus
Let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 15:45.
- According to this verse, who is Jesus likened as?
- Answer: Adam
Let’s turn to Matthew 10:24-25 and Luke 6:40.
- According to these verses, who can a disciple be like?
- Answer: A disciple can be like their teacher.
Let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 11:1.
- According to this verse, who does Paul want us to ultimately imitate?
- Answer: Christ
Let’s go back to that first question: What does it mean to be created in the image of God?
An image is a likeness. The image of God is not so much a physical likeness (although that is indeed possible) but it seems to be more of a spiritual and moral likeness. Jesus reflected all the glory of God humanly possible during His time on earth. The sixth day of creation reminds us that we are made in the image of God. We, too, can reflect the image of God by following Christ’s example!
When Adam first opened his eyes on the sixth day, the first thing he saw was the loving face of God. Adam and Eve were both made in the image of God and had a personal relationship with God. They walked and talked with Him in the Garden of Eden. The sixth day of creation also teaches us that God wants to have that same close relationship with you and me.
Friend, mankind was made a little lower than angels (Psalms 8;5; Hebrews 2:7), but we have a special place in God's heart. Although sin has marred the image of God in us (Romans 5:12), we can reclaim what is rightfully ours and resemble the image of God when we forsake our old lives and follow Jesus! (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10) That’s what it means to be created in God’s image: to resemble God in mind, spirit, and character.
Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart right now. No matter how much you have sinned in the past, no matter how far you have fallen, Jesus is willing to reclaim you as one of His own if you are willing to come to Him in faith.Will you let Jesus in?