What God Made

You are likely familiar with the opening verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). In this short verse, we find the power of God as the beginning point of the rest of His revelation of Himself, His work, His plan, and His interaction with His creation — man. It is enough, if we stop and consider it as deeply as possible, to cause us to stand in awe of the great God we serve, and to tremble in fear at such great power as is able to create all material things out of nothing.

      But that is not all God did or made — no, not by a long shot! There is much more to God’s doing, God’s work, and God’s plans for His Creation. These are things we should know about and appreciate for their part in our lives and how they benefit us, sometimes beyond all we can really know or understand. Let’s consider just a few today, shall we?

      God Made Man In His Image. In the first chapter of the Bible, we find the days of Creation listed in order, and all God created on those days that would exist on the earth. Of course, within that listing we find “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27). Obviously, this is related to us, for all men descended from the man and woman whom He created! Without this creation of God, we wouldn’t be here!

      But that is not even the most important thing we should see in that revelation; no, what we should note is that God “created man in His own image.” But to understand how important this is, we need to understand exactly what He meant by that statement of being created “in His own image.” So, what does that mean?

      The first, and (I would contend) most important, point is that this “image” included the spiritual nature of God (cf. John 4:24). While man is a mammal, he is not an animal — without a spirit and left to the natural and brutish behavior of seeking and obtaining whatever his fleshly body desires.  Does he have fleshly desires? Sure! But the presence of those desires does not mean he is an entirely fleshly creature; it is his spiritual side, in fact, that may control or limit or restrain those desires because of a second part of that likeness: he is eternal.

      In this, we are not exactly like God in that He is from everlasting to everlasting and was created by no one; we, obviously, have been created and have a beginning. But in that man is made in His image, man’s spiritual side does not perish and cannot be destroyed. We will either exist eternally in heaven or exist eternally in hell after our earthly life (Matt. 25:46), but contrary to The Jehovah Witnesses’ argument, we do not simply cease to exist.

      God Made Christ The Sacrifice For Us, That We might Become Righteous. Paul reminds us that God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). In this passage, we find a very important creation of God: The way for men to become righteous! I don’t think we can overstate the importance of this creation of God, for without it, we would all be unrighteous and, thus, lost and without hope of eternal life in heaven with Him.

      The sad fact of mankind’s history is that sin has been a part of the earthly existence of man almost since the beginning. We may remember the story of the temptation of Eve in the garden (Gen. 3:1-24), and how that brought sin into the world (Rom. 5:12), and the problem then was “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). The fact is, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).

      What is wrong with that? The problem is, in that condition, we cannot even approach God, for He is completely righteous and holy (i.e., without sin) and cannot dwell with sin. As such, man had no hope of ever being in the presence of God again, much less eternally! Unless man found some way to once again be called ‘righteous’ by God, He would have no possibility of reconciliation. Remember, it is our sins that separate us from God (cf. Isa. 59:1, 2); as long as those sins are still held against us, we are unrighteous beings because “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:16) and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).

      The great thing is, God made a way for us to be called ‘righteous’ again — and this plan was set in place even before we were created (cf. 2 Tim. 1:9, 10)! You see, though we earn the punishment of death for our sins, “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” For that, we should be eternally grateful! (And the saved will, indeed, be eternally grateful!)

      God Has Made Jesus Lord. The very first time the gospel message was preached to man, revealing at last the eternal plan of God for man’s salvation, Peter told the hearers of how God had raised up Jesus from the dead, and “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Though they had rejected Him and crucified Him, God raised up Jesus because He was exactly who He claimed to be: Christ, the Son of God and Savior of all men.

      This is in accord with what Jesus told the apostles shortly before He left this earth, when He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). It is in accord, too, with what Paul wrote when he noted how God “raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:20-23). Simply put: God made Jesus higher than everything and everyone but Himself. The fact is, this the same Jesus who left behind all the glories of heaven and of being deity, “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross,” and because of this, “God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

      Now, it’s time for you to make something: a decision. This is something God won't do for you, so it is something you must do. Despite the claims of some religious men, God has not already chosen who will be saved and who will be lost; He gives us the freedom to choose, but the consequences of that decision are not under our control. How will you respond to God, our great Creator? What will you do with the knowledge that you are an eternal being? Will you choose to obey the Lord and do what He said you must do for Christ’s sacrifice to make you righteous? Will you truly accept that Christ has all authority, and that you must submit to Him as your Lord and King?

      Make your decision, but realize your decision has eternal consequences. Don’t make the everlasting mistake of choosing to ignore the truth.

            How will you respond?          — Steven Harper