Intermediate Edition

II. God’s Creation of People


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Chapter 6  Part II

God’s Creation of People

Arguably the most significant part of God’s creation is his creation of people. God not only gives people life and a spirit, he has made people quite unique amongst all creatures. Also, of all his creatures, it is primarily to people that God reveals himself and relates.

Life and Death

God creates people . . .

The rich and the poor are alike in that the Lord made them all.   Proverbs 22:2 NCV™

. . . God gives people life and breath

He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people.   Acts 17:25b CEV

People’s lives are very brief

[David, to God:] You made my life short, so brief that the time means nothing to you. “Human life is but a breath, 6and it disappears like a shadow.   Psalms 39:5-6a CEV

As many old people would affirm, in a relative sense life is very brief.

Each person is destined to die

For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart.   Ecclesiastes 7:2b NET

The Human Spirit

God has made people with a spirit

The Lord – who spread out the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit in a person – says, …   Zechariah 12:1b GW

The spirit is at the core of one’s being

A person’s spirit is the lamp of the Lord; it searches through all of one’s innermost being.   Proverbs 20:27 ISV

People are dead without their spirit

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.   James 2:26 NET

People’s spirits exist after death

They [Jews] continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”   Acts 7:59 NET

Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect.   Hebrews 12:23b CEV

The reference is to the spirits of righteous people who had died.

The Uniqueness of People

God has made people in his own image

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” 27God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.   Genesis 1:26-27 NET

That God has made people in his own image is evident in that they reflect such things as his personal traits – e.g. aspects of his character and intellect – and that they have a spirit. Additionally, it is noteworthy that although God essentially is spirit, some descriptions of visions or manifestations of God speak of him in terms of a human-like form (cf. Ezekiel 1:26-28; Daniel 7:9).

God has given people an able mind – with which they can think and reason intelligently

Who has put wisdom in the heart, or has imparted understanding to the mind?   Job 38:36 NET

And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”   Acts 17:2-3 ESV

People have the moral capacity to know good from evil

And the Lord God said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”   Genesis 3:22 NET

People are to care for and act responsibly towards creation

A righteous person cares for the life of his animal …   Proverbs 12:10a NET

[God, to the Babylonians:] For you will pay in full for your violent acts against Lebanon; terrifying judgment will come upon you because of the way you destroyed the wild animals living there.   Habakkuk 2:17a NET

The Babylonians’ desolation of the forests of Lebanon (cf. CEV, GNT, NLT) and their destruction of animals contravened humankind’s responsibility towards nature – and they would be punished for it.

Epilogue: God’s Self-Revelation to People

See also:

God reveals himself to people

Then the Lord again appeared in Shiloh, for it was in Shiloh that the Lord had revealed himself to Samuel through the word of the Lord.   1 Samuel 3:21 NET

God reveals himself by what he does

[God:] I acted for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations among whom they lived, before whom I revealed myself by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.   Ezekiel 20:9 NET

By delivering the Israelites out of Egypt, God revealed himself to the surrounding peoples.

Creation perpetually evidences and reveals God to all people

[Paul, speaking of wicked people:] For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.   Romans 1:19-20 ESV

Pray for persecuted Christians