In the Beginning…
Did you catch that? God created.
God made. God did. God acted.
What did he create? Quite simply, everything. He created it all and he did it well. You might even say perfectly.
One of the things he created was a human being, “male and female he created them.” We learn from Genesis:
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26–28 ESV)
The key word: tzelem — image. God made humanity in his likeness. Usually man made God in his likeness. In Genesis it’s the opposite. HALOT (a Hebrew Lexicon) points out that tzelem in this context leads us to the idea that man is God’s “viceroy, representative or witness among the creatures.”
What did God do? He created.
What is man? God’s representative in the world in his likeness.
What should man do? Create.
Look at the last paragraph of the passage quoted above. God gives humanity a very specific responsibility and that responsibility is fill the earth, subdue it, and have dominon. We are to this as God’s ambassadors.
This requires humanity to create.
The primary responsibility of humanity is to represent God among the creatures and in so doing we are required to create. This is what is necessitated by us being made in God’s likeness.
Many people today believe that the primary identity of a person is that they are a ‘sinner’. It is not. The primary identity of a person is that he is an image bearer of God. If we can begin to understand this we can begin to understand some things about how we are to interact with culture.
Now I am getting ahead of myself. For today let’s end it there. To summarize: Humans are image bearers of the Creator that are to represent their Creator among the creation.