The First Man
What does the normal condition for man look like?” Instantly I thought, “Normal was Adam.” In Adam and Eve (before the fall), we see man as God designed him to be; not one flaw, no shortcoming, devoid of perversion.
When it comes to man’s redemption, Jesus is the standard. It is His image we must be molded to in our inner man, so that the life of God may be seen in us. It is He alone who paid the price for our atonement as a sinless offering so that we might be reconciled to the Father (Acts 4:12).
To reconcile means to “bring back into a former state of harmony”. The normative condition of man before sin was that he reflected the image of God. Through the propitiation obtained in Christ Jesus, God is bringing man back to that state. Such is the function of salvation (Romans 8:29). Looking back to man’s creation, we can glean important aspects of God’s will for mankind and the spiritual battle in which we are engaged.
People have often wondered why there are two renditions of the creation story in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2. Some have gone so far as to suggest that these are conflicting stories. They are not in the least. Like all of God’s word, these texts are inspired of the Holy Spirit and reflect the mind of God. Collectively, these two perspectives give us insight into the nature of God and His peculiar creation in man.
The Nature of God
Genesis Chapter 1 depicts a God who is far above and beyond the earth; outside of time & space. He is not of this world. With just one glance, He not only sees the fullness of the earth, but the entire universe. With just a word from afar, He can speak life into being and reorder galaxies. There is no one from whom He needs to request permission; He does as He pleases. He is sovereign.
There is no one with whom He needs to confer for understanding. He is the logos, logic & intellect. At the time when there was such a thing as “the beginning”, God was there. He is eternal. When there was nothing else, God already existed. He is the Creator of all. God refers to Himself in plurality (let us make man in “our” image). He is a trinity while still being One. All matter obeys His commands. He is omnipotent.
“He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” Jeremiah 10:12-13
He has authority over all because He is the Author of all.
While Genesis Chapter 1 depicts God’s majesty, Chapter 2 attests to Him being a loving Father. The words for “father” in the Scriptures denote the one who is the progenitor of another. Every time we call God "Father", we are implicitly acknowledging Him as Creator of all and over all.
ab/abba: (Hebrew/Aramaic) originator or patron, producer or generator; head or founder of a household, group, family.As a Father, we can see that our God is a personal God. He not only speaks life into existence, but He is intimately involved in the details of His work. He personally “forms”, “plants”, “grows”, etc. None of creation occurred haphazardly, but it was God’s meticulous handiwork on display as He took care to order everything just as He desired. Each creation had its place; each creature had a name, an identity, a companion. God cares for His creation and its well-being, taking care to ensure that everything created was “good”.
pater: (Greek) The generator, originator, transmitter of anything. The root for the word "patriarch" and even the word "family".
In the two creation stories, we see that God is the great Elohiym who says, “Let there be…” and it is done, while at the same time being the very present Jehovah, whose voice even walked amongst them (Genesis 3:8). Our God is all-powerful & far above us while still being attentive and near to us. He is so by choice because such is the nature of love (I John 4:8).
A Peculiar Creation
Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 also tell us about the peculiar creation which God made in man; peculiar because unlike the rest of creation, man was made in God’s image. The stories of creation tell us about the purpose man is to serve as we see the objective for man’s relationship with the earth, with each other, and with God.