Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Are We Like Our Creator God ... And Heavenly Father?

The beginning of the human race, of each of us, in the loins of our first father and mother, is recorded in Genesis 1:26-27. "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." Clearly, God made human beings in His own "image  and likeness" and commanded that we have "dominion", or sovereignty, on earth over every other creature as He has sovereignty over the universe and everything in it. He intended us to be His Children, the King's sons and daughters, princes and princesses to love Him and be loved by Him. 

The word "image" in v.26 is the Hebrew word "tselem" and it means "a visible appearance or presence". Adam and Eve "looked kin to" their Creator, Father, God. A related Hebrew word is "tselel" and means the "shadow" of a visible person or thing of substance and presence.  Real things of substance and presence make shadows. One of the attributes of God is Omnipresence or All-presence. Our Father, God is an infinite presence and we are a tiny finite presence in His "image". This word "image" is exactly the same word which the Prophet Daniel used when he interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar's dream and said, "Thou sawest a great image...." An "image" is an iconic replica of something else. We are, in appearance, in the image of our Father God.

The second word, in v.26 regarding our similitude to our Father, God, is "likeness". The word likeness in Hebrew is "demuth" and means more like "a life in action, emotions, seeing, hearing feeling, tasting, loving and reasoning. We are a finite "image" of our Infinite Creator, Father, as children are in the image of their earthly father. And we are a finite "likeness" of our Infinite heavenly Father's mind, emotions, knowledge, power, presence, talents, reason sovereignty, and free will. He created us sinless as He is sinless but gave us a finite free will to choose, as He has an Infinite Free Will To Choose. We are not God or gods but are "Children" of our Father, who is God.. We have a small "presence" and small "likenesses" of our Heavenly Father. God is Omnipresent; We are mini-present. God is Omnipotent; We have mini-powered, God is Omniscience; We are mini-knowledgeable. God is OmniSovereign; We are mini-sovereign. God has OmniAgape Love; We can receive His love and in turn give a smaller bit of His Agape Love to others. God has OmniWill; we have a mini-will.

The words "image" and "likeness" are two different words. "Image" has more to do with God's outward appearance. "Likeness" has to do more with His inner attributes of character. Likeness is a much deeper characteristic than image and speaks of God's marvelous, inner qualities.

So, since it was our Creator God's infinite sovereign will, when He made us, to give us humans a tiny, earthly bit of His universal "dominion", or sovereignty, for our use, free will choices, and responsibility,  He will not overrule Himself. His own sovereign will created us with a will that we might be thinking, decision making, likenesses of Himself , as his children to voluntarily obey and serve Him.

Man's God-given free will to choose was first exercised in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve chose, by their own human sovereign will, to disobey God and do what He told them not to do. We can't blame their free will, disobedient sin on God. It was His sovereign will that they have a will to decide, but it was their choice to sin ... not His. God allowed Adam and Eve to sin; He did not make or want them to sin. He wanted "children" who would choose to love and obey Him not just images but likenesses of Himself to love and be loved as children not will-less dolls, puppets or pawns.

As a pastor, I have been asked many times, "Why does God let wickedness happen?" The answer is that He, in His sovereign will, gave us a bit of sovereign will and will not override His own sovereign will with another sovereign will. If He did it would mean He made a mistake and was wrong in giving that bit of His own "likeness" to us. He does not make mistakes.

That is why he came to earth as the Son of God, in a human body, so that body of flesh could die and pay His own determined price of sin, death, in our place for our sins. Thus, He opened the door of redemption that "whosoever will" may be saved. Rev.22:17. He paid the price and bought us back to restore us, as He first created us in the Garden .... as His children, in His image and likeness .... if we will accept Jesus Christ's death to cover our guilt of sin. RB