"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, 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. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.' And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.' And it was so. (Genesis 1:26-30)
Old Testament Concepts
God is the Sovereign Creator
The concept of creation is critically important to our understanding of the Bible, the nature of God and the nature of humanity. Why? Because understanding the concepts of creation helps us to better understand the ramifications of the fall and of mankind's sin nature. God is the sovereign Creator of all the universe. During creation, God fashioned and created the heavens and the earth, and God fashioned man and woman after His own image. Humanity was created in the image of God, which means humanity was created to have a loving and close relationship with God. In addition, humanity was created with a mind, body, soul and spirit, which allowed for a relationship with God. We also have to understand that being created in the "image of God," carried the additional meaning of being representatives of God to the world around us. This means that all people were created with the purpose and special function of representing God here in this world. In other words, we were created to be the "image bearers," of God's love and compassion, while doing the will of God. We were called to shine the light of His love here in this world. Therefore, because we were fashioned by God, this means humanity belonged to God. This also means that God had created all things good, and He alone claims ownership over all of creation.
Therefore, humanity too is owned by God. However, God because of His love for us, relinquished the earth to humanity as a free gift, while still binding Himself to all of creation. This means humanity, which is fashioned and owned by God had freedom within limits. Limits meant to sustain our relationship with God and maintain an abundant life as we walked with the Lord. This also means humanity's most important relationship, is our relationship with God. And in our world today, that relationship can only be found through our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. Moreover, because we are fashioned in the image of God, humanity is the crown of God's creation. Humanity was given four basic responsibilities on the earth, given to us by God. These responsibilities include replenishing the earth, subduing the earth, tilling and keeping the earth and to exercise godly dominion over the earth. In addition, because of these basic responsibilities and the fact that only humanity was created in the image of God, with a mind, body, soul, spirit and purpose. We alone were created with the ability to have a relationship with God. Humanity is above the rest of creation and has been called by God to exercise godly stewardship over the rest of His creation. These basic Biblical concepts of creation, which was God's free gift to humanity, helps us to better understand God and the ramifications of the fall of humanity.
The Bethel series: a new format in adult biblical studies Harley A.Swiggum - The Foundation - 1961
MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible: New King James Version. Nashville: Word Bibles, 1997. Print.
ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011. Print.
Scripture taken from the Modern King James Version of the Holy Bible Copyright © 1962 - 1998 By Jay P. Green, Sr.
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.