Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."Genesis 1:26(NASB)
Mankind is unique within the creation, for man was made in the image and likeness of the Godhead Who speaks, thinks, wills, acts, and feels. God is Spirit. He is all-knowing, incorruptible, and invisible, while man is flesh and is clothed with a physical form, a mortal body. And yet like his Creator, man was given the ability to communicate through speech, the power to reason with his mind, the free will to make wise choices, the capacity to work, and the privilege to express his inner feeling through a variety of God-given emotions.
When God had created the world through the power of His mighty Word together with the beasts of the earth, the cattle of the field, and every living thing that creeps upon the earth, He was pleased and finally said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. And let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
While God saw His entire creation was good, Adam was unique within His creation because the Lord formed man to be like Himself, with the capacity for moral, intellectual, and spiritual choices. While there are certain similarities between humankind and various animal species, the differences are immense and the gulf that divides man from everything else created is unbridgeable.
Mankind was further entrusted with sovereignty over the whole earth, and because everything that God made was very good, mankind was created with the capacity to think, speak, will, act, and to feel.
Perhaps one of the most stunning things about God's decision to create man in His own image is the use of the plural pronouns: "Let US make man in OUR own image," rather than 'let ME make man in MY own image'. There is only ONE God and God is ONE, for we read in Exodus: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!", and Jesus Himself said, "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord," yet God is presented throughout Scripture in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The triune God made man as a triune being, with body, soul, and spirit, and it is this very tri-unity of being that is unique among creation. Triune man is endowed with a God-consciousness, spiritual capacities, and a moral nature that distances him from every other created being. God created man to be His regent on earth, to govern God's world under the authority of His Creator God: "And let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Man was the last brushstroke in God's perfect, seven-day creative masterpiece. Humanity was the final full-stop in creation's story. When God made Adam from the dust of the earth, he was the closing chord of God's magnificent symphony. Man was the pinnacle of His splendid super-structure, underlining the peculiar importance of man in God's economy, for man was to be God’s representative on earth, crowned with his Maker's authority, clothed in the image and likeness of the Father.
We all know of the shocking fall of the first MAN - the first ADAM, causing his progeny to be made in his fallen image. But God in His grace had planned a new creation, a second MAN - the last ADAM so that through Christ, humanity could be redeemed from his sin, renewed in righteousness after the image of God, and restored into his rightful, sovereign position.
In God's grace, the Lord Jesus Christ was sent to earth to redeem this lost race of sinners and be reinstated as God’s representative MAN of earth, for all who believe in Him.
Heavenly Father, I stand in awe of Your grace and wisdom. Thank You for my creation, salvation, and the glories that you have prepared for me in the eternal ages to come. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.