Free files for youth pastors:
Humanity rules! Napoleon Dynamite is a fictional movie character that is known for his jeans tucked into his ski boots, teased and curly red hair, and hilarious movie lines that were adored and quoted by teenagers across our entertainment riddled country. When Napoleon took a liking to something, he brought back one of the ever popular retro sayings by exclaiming something like, “Tater tots rule!” The same can be said for humanity by looking at Genesis.
Is humanity something far more than we’ve thought if we’ve used phrases like: “I can’t help that I’m forgetful, or sinful, or full of mistakes. I’m only human. Gosh!” What does it really mean to be human? How did God originally intend humanity to be and live? If we want to live for God in our skin, bones, eye balls, etc, then we must know what God has commanded from us from the beginning! Please read Genesis 1:26-2:25.
Previously, we’ve seen that God created everything out of nothing ultimately for the glory of Christ. How does humanity fit into this key storyline of Scripture? First, humanity was created as the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). The “Let us” there is not God speaking to the surrounding angels or God talking like the Queen of England…“We will have our tea now.” God is talking with Himself as our one God is three Persons. We must remember that God has created us to project His image and not our own. Clothes, exercise, talents and humor are a few ways that we can live to point people to our own image and not the Image we were created for.
Second, humanity was given very specific tasks – to rule over all of the earth, to make all things fruitful, to fill the earth with more images of God, and to exercise kingly dominion over it all (Gen 1:26, 28). God is ultimately Sovereign King over all things, but His plan from the beginning has been to rule over His creation through a human mediator who was Adam in the beginning. Adam was to rule over all the earth in order to bring glory to God.
Third, all humanity was created as either male or female (Gen 1:27). Genesis 2 certainly goes into greater detail as God parades all of the land beasts, flying creatures, and sea monsters before Adam to name them and exercise his dominion. After naming them, Adam was a bit depressed for not having anything on earth quite like him. God fixed that problem and made woman out of Adam’s rib. Adam was overjoyed and announced that she was just like him. Edmund Clowney writes that God was establishing His pattern and pleasure for exclusive love.
Watch how Adam, his life, and his calling ultimately points to Christ! First, God creates Adam in His own image so that Jesus Christ would be THE image of God (Col 1:15). Why do we normally assume that God created humanity and then decided that Jesus would become human? Isn’t God sovereign? Couldn’t God have first purposed Christ to be in His image and human, and that be why God created Adam to be human — His image? Second, God created Adam with specific tasks of ruling so that Jesus Christ could ultimately be the human being Who would rule under God as Mediator-Human-King over the cosmos (Col 1:16-17). Third, God created Adam to have an exclusive love with Eve as a pre-picture that pointed to the mysterious perfect union of flesh between Jesus Christ and His bride, the church (Gen 2:23-24, Col 1:18).
Where Adam failed to obey God in each of these areas, Jesus perfectly fulfilled them as the perfect human. In fact, Jesus Christ is what it really means to be human! Want to be more human? Seek to grow more in God’s image, to rule over sin more in this world, and to be more exclusive in your love as you grow in the knowledge in the image of our Creator, Jesus Christ (Col 3:10). Not only images and loves, but also…humanity rules – through Jesus Christ!