Q10: How did God create man?

A: God created man male and female, after his own image (Gen. 1:27), in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:24), with dominion over the creatures (Gen. 1:28).


I. God created man (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:7).

A. Man is God’s crowning act of creation.

1. After other acts of creation, God pauses taking counsel (“Us”).

a. Pause seen in the formula, “Let there be,” or “let the,” on days one through five, but on day six, “let Us.”

2. Man alone is: created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27); given dominion (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:19-20); capable of rational speech (Gen. 2:19); God’s covenant partner (Gen. 2:16-17); “breathed” into by God (Gen. 2:7).

B. Man is created in one divine act with two aspects (Gen. 2:7).

1. “Dust” denotes the material aspect of man (physical).

2. “Breath” denotes the immaterial aspect of man (spiritual).

a. Man is dichotomous (Matt. 10:28).

(1). Spirit and soul are synonymous, though they have nuances.

(a). Spirit nuance–life as having origin in God looks heavenward.

(b). Soul nuance–same life as constituted in man looks earthward.

(2). Spirit of man is immediately created by God and joined in the womb with the body, and does not proceed from one’s parents, nor has the soul eternally existed in past, though it is immortal once created by God (Ecc. 12:7; Zech. 12:1; Matt. 10:28).

b. Man is not trichotomous.

(1). “Body, soul, and spirit” (1 Thess. 5:23) denotes wholeness, as do other passages, unless man is three, four, and five parts at the same time.

(a). “Heart, soul, mind” (Matt. 22:37).

(b). “Heart, mind, soul, strength” (Mk. 12:30).

(c). “Joints, marrow, soul, spirit, heart” (Heb. 4:12).


II. God created man “after His own image” (imago Dei).

A. “Image” generally pertains to the human soul being a spirit (cf. Jn. 4:24).

1. The essential attributes of a spirit are reason, conscience, and will.

a. Man “breathed” into by God (Gen. 2:7).

(1). Spiritual comprehension and consciousness of God and of His law (Job 32:8; Prov. 20:27; Jn. 1:9; Rom. 2:14-15a).

2. The essential attributes distinguish man from animals.

B. “Image” specifically pertains to knowledge of God, righteousness, and holiness according to truth.

1. This is derived from “reading back” (restorative hermeneutic) what man is restored to through Christ.

a. “Knowledge” (Col. 3:10): a true knowledge of God.

(1). After the Fall man’s mind is darkened (Eph. 4:18).

(2). After salvation man is renewed unto “knowledge.”

(a). Epignosis has this sense in Colossians (1:6, 9, 27-28; 2:2-3).

(b). The knowledge is the effect of the renovation; not mere cognition, but living or practical knowledge.

b. “Righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:23-24), when used together denote all moral excellence.

(1). “Righteousness” is justice: right conduct towards one’s neighbor.

(a). After the Fall Adam blamed God and Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent (Gen. 3:12-13).

(b). After having righteousness imputed one will act justly towards others (Zech. 7:9-10).

(2). “Holiness” is purity and piety towards God.

(a). After the Fall man was ashamed and hid from God (Gen. 3:8-10).

(b). After salvation man can be holy before God again.

2. Restoration is progressive (2 Cor. 3:18), and inward (2 Cor. 4:16).


III. God created man to have dominion: cultural mandate (Gen 1:26-30; 2:19-20).

A. Man as God’s image bearer warrants dominion (Ps. 8:3-8).

1. Man imago Dei warrants dignity and respect.


IV. Application.

A. Use, of knowledge.

1. Note how far man has fallen from the divine image, which is all but obliterated in him due to sin—ignorance is in the mind instead of knowledge, the will that was perfectly conformed to God’s will is now rebellious, and the affections are set upon what is ruinous.

B. Use, of testing.

1. Are we employing all the means of grace to put off the old man and put on the new (Eph. 4:22-24)?

2. How do we view the unborn fetus (cf. Ps. 139:13)?

C. Use, of exhortation: sinners and saints.

1. Sinners. Come to Christ, who is the image of the invisible God, and the beginning of the creation of God, who at first made man after the divine image, and can make him so over again, and will do so to those who come in faith.

2. Saints. Let us endeavor, by grace, to put off the old man who is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds, putting on the new man. Study righteousness and holiness if you would be like God.