The book of Genesis is as its name communicates is about beginnings. We need to under-stand what God is teaching us because then we will understand ourselves just like a manual describes the purpose of a product so Genesis describes God’s purpose for us and how we work best. Chapter 1 of Genesis gives a panoramic view of God and His world and His purposes. Genesis 2 pictures for us a more intimate detail of God’s relationship with people and with the world. Interestingly in chapter 1 the name of God is His general name God but in 2:4b he is the Lord God or Yahweh. This is His covenant name which indicates that God’s purpose is for relationship with human beings. Human beings are like animals in that they are formed from the dust of the earth 2:7 but we are unlike animals in that God personally breathed his breath of life into us. Even the way we have been created indicates that God wants to be involved intimately with us.
The Greek world view and many others see the body as evil and encourage us to escape from our bodies. But a Christian view sees our bodies as valuable and good. Yes we have been corrupted by sin but the NT hope is the resurrection of the body not the obliteration of it. It is true to say that what we do with our body matters to God. Further, another implication of being created in the image of God and being moral creatures is that God has given us the ability to make choices. In 2:15-17 God expects that we can discern between right and wrong as defined by His Word. In fact we are not autonomous beings and there is an objective moral order - a definition of what is right and wrong as defined by God and His Word. The implications for this are huge. This also means that we cannot simply blame our chemical make up or our genetic mix for our actions. We have choice and are expected to exercise it according to God’s Word. The Bible says that we are morally accountable to God and His Word. This is a very important aspect of what it means to be created in the image of God. Further Genesis indicates that God has created the human race as male and female. There is a complementary aspect to this so that a man and a woman can find companionship and fulfill the mandate to be fruitful and reproduce. In Genesis gender identity is define as male and female. This is before the fall in Genesis 3. Obviously our identity is marred because of sin but in Christ our humanity is restored albeit not perfectly until the resurrection. Ultimately in heaven there is no marriage so singleness is a valid lifestyle and God provides an eternal family for us which is the church so that we are not alone but have companionship.
Rev David O’Mara