Segment Two: Part One
How do we know that Man is not merely an animal?
- Man was created distinctly in the image of God. (Genesis 1:24-28) In the creation event, God gave Man dominion (used twice in the Genesis passage) which Webster’s defines as supreme authority. The same passage also says that Man was made in the image and likeness of God. Nothing is said in that passage about animals having dominion or made in the image of God. Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10 both talk about the “new man” being created in the image of God. Animals do not have the characteristic of being righteous or holy as referred to in these passages. These are unique aspects of Man that make him different from animals.
- Man is infinitely higher than and different from the animal kingdom. The Lord Jesus Christ referred to this in Luke 12:5-7. Jesus gave two important truths in this passage about animals and man: 1) we see that God does care for animals; 2) He gave this fact that man is infinitely greater in value than animals. His reason is that man has an eternal soul and will be held accountable for his actions.
- Animals were made for man’s pleasure. Psalm 8:4-8 give is a clear picture of man’s rule and dominion over the animal kingdom. However, that dominion (authority) over animals does not give man the right to animals with cruelty. It does mean that man was given a divine right to rule over the animal kingdom and God’s creation and use it for his purposes and needs. Proverbs 12:10 even tells us that we should regard the needs of our animals.
- Animals are for man’s food. The nation of Israel ate meat. The Lord Jesus Christ ate meat. The Passover meal was lamb (see Exodus 12:5-10), and Christ ate the Passover. (Matthew 26:17-20)
What about Christians eating meat? The Apostle Peter was certainly a Christian, and in a vision from God he was commanded to eat meat. (Acts 10:10-13) The vision was to instruct Peter that Gentile believers were not unclean. The vision, however, was God’s command to Peter to eat of the various meats. God would not have instructed Peter to do this if He abhorred meat eating. The vision in Acts 10 also shows that God had removed the O.T. dietary restrictions. The Bible clearly says that God created animals to be eaten. Therefore, it is not cruel to kill an animal in hunting, fishing or farming and to eat it. Christians are thereby free to eat meats or not to eat meats. Romans 14 gives very good instruction in regards to eat or not eat meat.
Segment Two: Part Two
- The image of God is seen in man’s moral nature. The image of God is not seen in man’s physical form, nor is it seen in his being intelligent, but in man’s moral attributes that are seen only in God. These are God’s attributes of righteousness and holiness as seen in the new “man.” (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10) From John Wesley’s Notes we see this thought about Adam and Eve: “…Thus holy, thus happy, were our first parents, in having the image of God upon them. But how is this image of God upon man defaced! How small are the remains of it, and how great the ruins of it! The Lord renew it upon our souls by his sanctifying grace!” Thus God’s image in us is damaged, but belief in Jesus can renew it.
- The image of God is seen in man’s creation as a spiritual being. The Apostle John writes to us Jesus words in 4:23, 24 saying “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Jesus indicates here that man has a spiritual part of his being. Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians tells them “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” As a part of his being, man has a spiritual nature and as such man has the capacity to understand the spiritual concepts of God.
- The image of God is seen in man’s ability to reproduce the very image of God in his offspring. God gave man this command in Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:…” If man was created in the image of God, he then also has the ability to pass that image along to his offspring. Having the image of God within, man is then able to have dominion (authority) over the earth to subdue it.
- The image of God is seen in man’s authority. (See previous comment)
5. The image of God is seen in man’s ability to exhibit this creativeness. We see this in God giving Moses instruction on how to build the tabernacle and its contents. God named Bezaleel to do the work because of his creativeness: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.( Ex 31:3) Also, in the N.T. we see this expressed in another way: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10) In both cases, God gives us the ability to express our creative gifts.
Segment Two: Part Three
Does this mean that man is God or is a little god?
- Man is not God because he cannot accept worship. We see this in the words of Jesus himself when tempted by Satan: “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10) The prophet Isaiah wrote these words he received from God: I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Is. 42:8) Scripture plainly states that man is not to be worshiped or receive worship at any time. (Acts 14:11-15)
- Man never will be God because he will always be subject to God. Man is God’s creation and as such, the created (man) cannot ever be equal to the creator (God). John the Revelator, writes these words: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3) John continues on in 22:3 “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:” John even makes a point to say that not even the angels are to be worshiped in 22:8 “And I John saw these things, and heard them, And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” Man cannot worship an idol, another man, or even an angel as God is the focus of all worship.
Segment Two: Part Four
The Soul of Man