52 Ways of knowing God, New City Catechism
Answer: God created us male and female in his own image to know him, love him, live with him, and glorify him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to his glory.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NIV11-GKE)
I have had the amazing blessing to live in places where there was more than one culture, race and even languages living together. When I was 15, I lived in New Jersey, and I went to Weehawken High School. I played football for the “all nations” High School team, and we were from almost every continent. Then I went, and I lived in a Ship as a missionary with Operation Mobilisation. We were a crew of about 200 people from almost 40 different nationalities. People from every continent, people with different skin colours, different languages, cultures, backgrounds, and churches. I have spoken to different people from many countries, and this is what I have found:
We are created to display the Glory of God.”
There is something beautiful about the way we were made. There is something majestic, divine, supernatural about humanityAbove all creation and any other living being, we are the only ones created as God’s image.
In his now-classic Systematic Theology, L. Berkhof says that Man is not only the crown of creation but also the object of God’s special care.
What does it mean to us? How is God’s own image reflected on us? Why did God want to imprint his own image in us?
Why did God create us?
So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him; male and female, he created them. Gen. 1:27. God, create humanity. He made you and me. He, in His wisdom and mystery, created us male and female. What is the image of God? We do not know what God looks like because the Bible teach us that God is Spirit. John wrote in his Gospel that “No one has seen God”.
God exists in perfect fellowship, in perfect love and perfect grace. It is the fellowship of the Spirit that enables perfect love and perfect grace to flow within the persons of the Trinity. This is especially important for us to understand because it asks: How and why God created us? Pointing to our identity, to our destiny and our purposes.
Isn’t it great, therefore, to know what is God’s image, or what God is like through the way he has decided to relate to us? God’s self-revelation in God in three persons is a relational revelation based on Grace, Love and Fellowship. It is in this relational aspect and understanding that God said, LET US! Meaning that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were present, deciding and creating humanity, you, and me. This was one Glorious decision, and therefore, we are made from his Glory to reflect his Glory. The Glory of God is His Holiness! At least three verses in Ephesians 1 were it says that we were created for the praise of his glorious grace!
This Glory is twofold:
- God created us for his glory. The first statement tells much of us our place before God. We are here to bring him Glory.
- God created us as glorious beings. The second is how God sees us, what he thinks of us.
“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour.” (Psalm 8:4–5 ESV)
This is a significant verse in the Bible concerning what God thinks of us. We are a little lower than heavenly beings, and we are crowned with glory and honour! Now, I want you to know that there is some debate about these verses and our different versions, translating these verses with a particular twist!!
- This ESV says, “Little lower than the Heavenly Beings”.
- The NIV says, “little lower than the angels”.
- The NASV says: “little lower than God.
- The Hebrew word is Elohim.
I mean that this Psalm is saying that we were created little lower than God, not angels as the NIV and not as the unclear meaning of “heavenly beings”. The Hebrew word is Elohim, which is God. The very meaning of us being a little lower than God tells us that we have been created with an enormous capacity to relate to God. Psalm 8:5 says he made us litter lower than angels of God himself, David is placing a high value on us humans.
It is important to know this is a world contradiction where we do not place a high value on people who do not mean much, but we do when people are worth much. We are living in a Lockdown! Where the interaction and the natural mixing with other people are not allowed. What this means is that the natural tendency to be with people has been suspended. We have been deprived of the basic need for fellowship. So, on one level, we are placing a high value on our needs as humans to relate to one another. On the other hand, there some of us who are struggling with isolation and loneliness. Therefore, when we think less about ourselves, we believe that we are nothing but dust. God does not see us that way.
The truth is that God He has placed a great value on us, such is this value that we are worth saving! Jesus Christ came to save us. He paid with his life, and he was the perfect lamb of God who takes away the sins of this world so that we can come back to God our Creator. To join in this amazing a beautiful relationship with Him.
But above all, he created us for relationships. The most important relationship that we were created to is one with man and God.
Why did he create us? Because he wanted us to have dominion and govern this earth with his and through his Love, Grace and in Fellowship. “You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.” (Psalm 8:6–8 ESV)
There is a powerful verse that God spoke to my wife and me. In fact, it is inscribed on our wedding rings. As a reminder of who we are. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
Second. How did God create us?
God created us, Male and Female. There are only two genders in the Bible. Male and Female are equals in the sight of God. We hold the same value, and whoever tells us that men are higher and more important than females is not being Biblical. We need to remember that we are people of the Second Covenant, which Christ came to establish. In this second covenant, males and females, we are equal in the sight of God. Because we come to know God by believing in the Grace and Forgiveness of Christ. We are saved by grace alone and not because of our genders, cultures, and traditions. In Christ, we are one body, one new humanity where the Spirit of the Lord dwells. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”(Galatians 3:28 ESV)
He created us so that we can Enjoy God Forever!! Let me show you what I mean from Genesis 2:7
“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 NIV11-GKE)
This verse teaches us that man is formed of dust and the breath of life, which is the Spirit of God. From this encounter of the Spirit of God with the dust of the ground, the man became a living being. So, man became a living creature only when the Spirit of the Lord came into the dust of the ground. So man is made a body, and of a Spirit and from that union man became a living being. The Hebrew word for “living being” is the word for Soul. (The LXX is psyche).
So, what am I saying? I am saying that the Soul “living being” of man was never independent of God’s will and the Spirit of God. This was an unbroken relationship between God and Man. The soul of man was never conceived to be independent of God. This relationship was holy, sinless, and joyful, and when God spoke, Adan and Eve understood.
Therefore, as Berkoff said, Man is the crown of creation and the object of God’s special care.
I do hope you are getting the picture here. Before sin, man, this living being, could hear the voice of the Lord because God’s Spirit was interconnected with the very essence of what it means to be a living being. In this regard, we are unique. All the other living creatures were brought forth a word of the Lord to the seas and the ground. In Gen 1:24, God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures”. But In Gen. 1:27, “God said Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. How God created us? He created us out from the dust of the ground, and we became a living being through the Holy Spirit so that we can enjoy him forever!
Do you know the Joy of the Lord? Or do you eat lemons for breakfast?
When sin came into this world due to men’s disobedience, death came upon us physically and spiritually. But thanks be to God that through Jesus, his son, we now have the Spirit with us and in us. He has restored us, and now we can worship Him. We can bring glory to God.
The body of Christ, the followers of Jesus who “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:6–7 ESV) He became a man who never lost his Glory because he Never sinned. But, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 ESV). We have been restored at a high and costly price. Why? Because it has placed on us a great and high value called Love.
So let us treat one another as God sees us placing a high value on the person before us. Do not become the opposite. Do not treat what God called his own image as something to be despised, as something to be of less value, as something be scorned, as something to be rejected and slander upon.
How and why did God create us?
God created us male and female in his own image to know him, love him, live with him, and glorify him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to his glory.