Created in the image of God – Keys to God’s plan for eternity

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created in the image of godCreated in the image of God

Man was created in the image of God! “In what way?” we may ask. Why does the Bible make it a point to mention that man was created in the image of God?

One of the keys to understanding the bible is to recognize clues to what God’s plan is, answering the question: what does God want? In my post for January 22nd I wrote about getting answers to prayer by recognizing what God wishes to do and recognizing that He uses His people to accomplish His will. In the first few chapters of the Bible we can begin to unwrap clues to God’s plan for eternity and begin to understand the theme of the Bible and how it relates to His will and why man was created in the image of God.

Man was created in the image of God to rule over satan and his hosts

Imagine Satan’s indignation upon strolling into the garden and seeing an infinitely less powerful being created in the image of God.  Satan’s original sin was declaring that he would be like God, for that he was expelled from heaven and banned to earth.  Then what happened?  After God cleaned up Satan’s mess, He planted a garden paradise and made man in His own image.  When Satan saw the man he recognized that God had made something that he always wanted to be but wasn’t: the image of God.  And then God gave him (the man) authority over the earth.  Satan now saw that his place of banishment and humility would become even more humiliating.  Because now a creature who although was created in the image of God, was confined in a physical and very limited body, hardly a match for Satan’s superior and supernatural capabilities.  And yet now he understood that this new human being would be his ruler.  Now what would he do?

Created in the image of God but dependent on the tree of life

In Genesis 2 God speaks of two trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These two trees reveal two principles of life.  The principle of the tree of life is dependence on God, and the principle of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is independence and separation from God. The latter is the principal that Satan always works under and must lead man into in order to resist God. God’s will is done in heaven, while Satan’s will is carried out in the air. Man’s will is exercised on earth. Satan soon saw that his only hope to get back at God was to somehow convince man to side with him under the principle of independence and separation from God.  As long as man continued eating of the tree of life he would remain united to God and exercise dominion over Satan and all the earth.   But if he would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he would join himself to Satan and be subject to him over whom he should have dominion.

Created in the image of God yet separated from God’s power losing his authority

We know the story, Satan succeeded in deceiving Eve and Adam followed her in her transgression and both passed into spiritual death which is separation from God.  God’s will and central plan was temporarily delayed.  One of the results of eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is that man lost his position of dominance over the earth. The whole earth suffered as a result and from that point forward Satan regained his position as ruler over the earth.  He became the god of this world and began to try to consolidate his foothold against God’s further purposes on the earth through the agency of man.  At this point however God had not been taken by surprise, for unknowingly to Satan, He already had a plan to continue with His purposes using the future seed of the very man that originally failed His purpose.  After man’s fall God prophesied to the serpent with a veiled message foretelling that through Eve’s seed He would bruise his head.  In other words God would use man to bring forth another “man” who would be the “second man” and “last Adam”.  This of course was a reference to Jesus Christ the Messiah.

This prophesy and punishment for tempting man is the foundation for God’s plan of redemption.  The plan of redemption covers most of the great doctrines of the Word of God including, salvation, justification and sanctification.  Now remember at this point that none of these doctrines can be central in God’s will and heart because they don’t represent what God has been doing since before the foundation of the world.  The entire doctrine of redemption is a “course correction” or adjustment because of man’s initial failure to fulfill God’s eternal purposes on the earth.  In Romans 8:29 the Apostle Paul revealed a dimension of the eternal purpose of God

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

. . . the next post will show how Romans 8:29 reveals God’s plan and His eternal purpose thus revealing what is central to His purpose in having created man in His image.

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