23rd September 2019

Beginnings

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27 (NIVUK)

The title of the book of Genesis is from the Greek and means “Beginnings.” It begins several themes about humanity that run through the whole Bible. In the beginning God created mankind, humanity, in the image of God; that image is shared by both men and women. Matthew Henry’s Commentary gives an interesting reflection on the creation of Eve that Christians would do well to meditate on, “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”

What is meant by the image of God has been much debated. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit bound in a relationship of love. When God created the universe, his love was extended to all his creation. Since God is love and Jesus Christ, the only perfect human made in the image of God, had a relationship of love with the Father and his fellow human beings, it follows that being created in the image of God includes being created to have a relationship of love with God, other human beings and all of creation.

But a relationship of love cannot be established and maintained by coercion it has to be freely given and freely accepted and so from the very beginning God gave Adam and Eve, humanity, the freedom to choose to remain in that loving relationship or reject it. God’s loving will from the very beginning was to save humanity from the consequences of eating of the tree of good and evil. As the scriptures states, “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17). They rejected God’s will and from the “Fall” onwards the image of God became distorted by sin which fragments relationships and history demonstrates the ability of human beings to love but also to hate and to do evil. It is through the “Fall” that Christianity has the ability to explain the reality of the world around us.

Jesus is not just the Saviour of Christians, but of all people. As the apostle Paul wrote, “we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe” (1Timothy 4:10). In God’s time he will make available the opportunity for all people to freely accept the salvation already achieved by Jesus and live in a relationship of love with God.

Prayer
Father, we thank you for the good news that you will all humanity to be saved through Jesus Christ.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh
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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Sheffield
The Source Training & Conference Centre
300 Meadowhall Way
Sheffield
S9 1EA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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