26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man[a] 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.’ 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27 ESV)
One of the results of God creating humankind in His image was giving us the responsibility of dominion over God’s creation. Dominion involves the righteous use of power, authority and control.
Unfortunately, the fall into sin (Genesis 3) perverted man’s delegated dominion over God’s creation. This is because the human heart became wicked and sinful (Ps. 51:5-6; Jer. 17:9).
“Tragically, the man and the woman turned away from God and fell into sin, seeking to become yet more like God (3:5); to choose for themselves what is good and evil. The image of God was defaced. Though made upright, they sought out many schemes (Eccl. 7:29). Their descendants would likewise bear this defaced image (Rom. 5:12–21),” states Dr. Mark Ross, professor of systematic theology at Erskine Theological Seminary in South Carolina.
Christians understand that human beings were created good, but fell into sin and rebellion against God and alienation from one another. Apart from God’s redeeming and renewing grace, fallen man finds only violence in his heart. David expresses the truth eloquently as he writes of God’s attitude toward the wicked: “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man” (Ps. 5:5–6),” explains Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, president of Westminster Seminary, California.
The wicked are boastful in what they do. They are evildoers. They speak lies and feel little to no remorse for doing so. The are bloodthirsty and deceitful. It is the result of a secular worldview born of a sinful soul.
“In one way or another, they (the wicked) claim that the victims of their violence are in some way inferior or less human than they are. I can justify violence against those who are not like me: they are not part of my family, my neighborhood, my tribe, my nation, my race, or my religion,” Godfrey comments about the secular individual’s propensity for violence.
With respect to abortion, the advocacy of it rests not only on the woman’s right to choose, but also on “scientific” arguments that argue that the unborn baby is sub-human tissue. Is this argument legitimate?
“Proponents of abortion insist that they are exercising their freedom legitimately. However, they have actually dehumanized the unborn child to justify their elimination of unwanted pregnancies. The real problem is not science, but the abuse of science. The horrendous effect of these pseudo-scientific justifications is dehumanizing violence born of selfishness,” concludes Godfrey.
Are humans nothing less than animals? Aside from today’s text, where else in the Scriptures does it teach the inherent value of the unborn? When next we meet, we will examine Psalm 139:13-16.
Have a blessed day in the Lord. I appreciate your prayers. You have mine.
Soli deo Gloria!
The His Word Today Weekly Podcast begins Monday, September 5 featuring expository messages from the Epistle to the Ephesians.