How was Man Created?
Man is the highest creation of God on earth.
God said, “Let us make man in Our image, after our likeness; and
let him have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl
of the air… and over all the earth… So God created man in His own
image, in the image of God created He him.” (Gen. 1:26-27)
Adam and Eve were created by God after all the other
created beings and in a different way. They were created by the direct
involvement and action of God from elements already created. This
indicates not only the outstanding position of the human being in
the whole of the creation, but also a special relationship to God.
Only the human being combines both material and spiritual elements.
was a distinct creation having a higher purpose than the rest of
creation. We are called to exercise dominion over all creatures on
earth (cf. Gen. 1:28), i.e. to be stewards (oikonomoi) of God's material
world, caring for it, maintaining it in its integrity and perfecting
it by opening it up to God through our own deification.
Presence of God’s image in man testifies to a reflection
of the very attributes of God in man’s spiritual nature. God formed
man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life; and man became a living soul (Gen 2:7). Body and
soul were formed at the same time.
God created all other creatures with His word but Man He created
with His own hands... Showing the greater care God had for man than
Saint Basil the Great:
If you consider nature alone, man is nothing and has no value; but
if you regard the honor with which he has been created, man is something
Man is created in the
image and likeness of God
The presence of God’s image in man
testifies to a reflection of the very attributes of God in man’s
spiritual nature. The first man was not deified at the time of his
creation, but he was created for deification. Man was a distinct
creation with a higher purpose on earth that the rest of creation.
He was made to “live in Him,” to “glorify Him,” to perfect himself
in “His likeness,” and to be the chief “priest of all earthly creation.”
Gregory of Nyssa:
This is the same as to say He made human nature participant in all
good; for in the Deity is the fulness of good, and this is His image,
then the image finds its resemblance to the Archetype in being fulfilled
with all good.
Most of our Church Fathers teach that there is a
difference between the image of God and His likeness. The image is
the very nature of the soul. The likeness comes from the moral perfecting
of humankind in virtue and sanctity as he acquires the gifts of the
Holy Spirit. We receive the image of God with our existence. But,
we must acquire the likeness given this possibility from God. For
us to become in the likeness of God depends on our free will.
We can grow to become like God. This is our purpose. To become morally
perfected in virtue and sanctity through the acquirement of the gifts
of the Holy Spirit. God wants us to glorify Him and to be faithful
in our union with Him. We have innate within us a striving to move
towards Him, to acknowledge Him as the Creator, to glorify Him, finally
to rejoice in union with Him. We are called to perfect ourselves
and to guard our likeness with God and restore it.
God also made us as his chief priests and to offer a sacrifice of
praise and thanksgiving to God on the behalf of all those born on
earth. We are to unite all of creation with God and thus keep the
whole chain of earthly creatures in a harmonious bond and order.
A man may know the number of the stars in the heavens, and the names
of all the fish in the sea… A man may know all the thoughts of men
and fortell their destinies and reveal every mystery that the earth
holds in its inner recesses… If he has not the fear of God his knowledge
is of as much use as a water in a sieve.
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