What makes us so special?
What makes us so special?
In finishing our world God was not like the artist putting some last delicate touches to his painting. Nor like the writer who finishes his article with a well-crafted sentence or two. Nor like the composer completing his score with some exquisite final notes. God finished making our world by making people. And in doing so he brought things to an astounding climax. Human beings constitute the very crown of God’s creative work.
The account of it, in Genesis 1.26-27, reads as follows: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him”. Here is something that sets us apart from all other creatures. God in making humans made us in certain important respects like himself. As holy and righteous and free from sin as he is, for example. With the capacity for intimate friendship with himself. In such a way as to be able to serve, glorify, and enjoy him forever. And with gifts for a God-like task.
Reading on in Genesis 1, when God made our first parents he “blessed them and said to them, ‘…fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (v.28). For man the God-like creature God has a God-like task.
Why God-like? For God is a God who rules. He is Lord over the whole of creative reality. What he made he governs. And here now are humans made in the divine image. What are we? Rulers too! And the sphere of our rule is the earth in its entirety. “You have given him dominion over the works of his hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8.6).
The importance of this is immeasurable. Take the evolution that has no place for God, that excludes any kind of intelligent design, that denies that there is a Creator. What does that do? It robs us of our true dignity as humans. For what are we, according to atheistic evolution? Merely the result of an infinite series of random occurrences, a chance product, something that might conceivably never have been, intrinsically no different or more valuable than any other members of the animal kingdom.
Furthermore, atheistic evolution destroys the notion of any ultimate ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’ in life. Human existence is just an accident. As one writer has put it, “We are merely the product of matter plus time plus chance”. All search for ultimate meaning is therefore fruitless.
In an article entitled Life’s Great Riddle, and No Time to find its Meaning, the British columnist, Bernard Levin, wrote: “To put it bluntly, have I time to discover why I was born before I die?….I have not managed to answer the question yet, and however many years I have before me they are certainly not as many as there are behind. There is an obvious danger in leaving it too late…Why do I have to know why I was born? Because of course, I am unable to believe that it was an accident; and if it wasn’t, it must have a meaning”.
God himself assures us that it most certainly does have a meaning. We have a Creator. He has made us in his own image. And for a purpose commensurate with that high honour. He has made us to rule over his creation – now and for eternity. And supremely, through Christ, to know him, glorify him, and enjoy him forever.
Grace Baptist Church
777 W North Street
Carlisle, PA 17013