1 September 2018
Created in (not evolved into) the Image of God
We are created in the Image of God. And by we, I mean humanity. Reverend Evan R. Smith of Second Presbyterian Church in Staunton, Virginia, spoke in an online devotion about the Image of God. In the video, he says the following:
"God gifted humanity with something very unique, something He only gifted to humanity, and that was a part of Himself. He created us in many ways to be like Him. And so we have the ability to think and to reason. We are the only species that knows God exists. We are the only ones who can comprehend any of that sort of thing. And we're also the ones who are most able to exert our own will over creation and to create ourselves. And that's a great gift. And so God created us in His image in the hopes that it would lead us back to Him."
And to echo the Scripture mentioned by Rev. Smith, Genesis 1:27 (NIV) says the following:
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Speaking of Genesis, I cannot claim the Image of God verse as true if I dismiss creation. This means I cannot claim the Image of God if I fail to take the Bible seriously. The foundation of the Bible is Genesis which declares we are created in God's image, we are sinners who suffer the consequences of the Fall, and we have hope the promise of a Savior and so much more. In Genesis 3:15b (NIV), the LORD God said to Satan the following:
"And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel."
If we are to be Biblical as Christ's followers, we must take Him at His Word. We must believe the Bible -- all of it. The world wants to dismiss the foundations and replace it with Darwinistic evolution (macro-evolution) and other heretical and false thinking. If we are created in the Image of God, we are not highly-evolved animals. We've always been human. God was intentional in each aspect of His creation. In a recent discussion I had, the man with whom I was talking said he didn't think science and the Bible had to disagree. I agreed with him and said that there was no disagreement as long as it is good science. We know the Bible is good. He said he believed in evolution and that God was intentional with the Big Bang. I responded that God didn't light the dynamite of the Big Bang and walk away. Order doesn't come from an explosion and there is order like the Laws of Thermodynamics and much more.
Jesus agreed with Genesis and this implies His believing in the Creation (which is obvious being that He is God). In Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:4, Jesus echoes the Genesis 1:27 verse and says God made them "male and female" in the beginning.
That should be enough for anyone who claims to follow Christ to also believe in His creating the world as is written. Still, the man with whom I was conversing brought up how birds' beaks hardened so they could eat clams and he claimed this was evolution. I mentioned that even birds with changing beaks are still birds. These are changes in kind but not from one species to another. One may argue for dinosaurs evolving into birds because "they found dinosaurs with feathers and hollow bones like birds." That just means they found large, prehistoric birds, not dinosaurs. Adaptation (micro-evolution) is observable and measurable and real (look at the dog breeds). Sadly, it is generalized to support macro-evolution (Darwinistic trans-species evolution), which is neither observable nor real. Often, proponents of Darwinism swap the definitions of micro- and macro-evolution using what is real and observable to promote something that is not. The same is done with dinosaurs and birds where an ancient bird is assumed to be a dinosaur in order to fit the narrative. God placed all the information needed for the adaptations of a creature within each kind. And He placed His Image upon the crown of His creation - humanity.
We cannot evolve the Image of God. If we could, then some could deem others more in the image of God and some less in the image of God. This echoes the evils of slavery, racisim and the holocaust. This denies the Biblical teaching in Genesis and undermines the whole notion of treating others with dignity. After all, being God's image-bearers is a huge motivator for both the one doing the "treating" and the one receiving it. And if one claims Darwinistic evolution, then one claims we evolve the image of God. What's to keep one from claiming what the New Age movement has claimed -- that we can evolve a Christ conscience -- or even become gods ourselves? Clearly, this is in direct conflict with Scripture. We cannot evolve into the Image of God, much less into a deity.
We cannot even evolve godliness as our works are filthy rags according to Isaiah 64:6. So, we cannot earn salvation with filthy rags. If you could earn it, you could lose it. That would violate the definition of eternal, which is unending. Once eternal begins, it does not stop (i.e., it cannot be lost). Further, if you think you can work for, earn, or evolve to a place of gaining salvation, then you discount Jesus' perfect work -- His sinless life, His vicarious death on the cross for the sinner to be saved and His glorious resurrection. If you claim works-based salvation, how is evolution any different? One could claim s/he evolves into the image of God over millions of years. If that's the case, then what about Christ's work for salvation? Was it not enough? It's preposterous for the Christian to think otherwise. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV) says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." Throughout Scripture, we see that in and of ourselves, we are no good. We need that Savior promised in Genesis.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV) states a timeless truth (as does all Scripture):
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Denying God and questioning His Truth is just the age-old attempt of man trying to not be accountable to God. However, we are all accountable to Him. What are you trusting? Do you really believe you are created in the Image of God? You are. If you claim that truth, then let go of the worldly falsehoods (like Darwinistic evolution) that conflict with the truth. Are you trusting Christ? Are you relying on filthy rags and failures of your own effort or resting in His perfect and completed work where He went to the cross, took sin upon Himself, died and paid the penalty for mankind who could not pay the price, and resurrected to offer hope of new life in Him?
That cannot be evolved. It is a work of the Holy Spirit. You are created in His Image. Are you also in His flock?
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