Man was created in the image of God. Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV) tells us, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and 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.” Genesis 2 gives more detail on human creation. “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7 ESV) “The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:20-22 ESV) Both man and woman were created without sin (“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a ESV).
Humanity started off in perfection, with an unbroken relationship with God and each other. But then they chose to sin, breaking God’s command, and thus died spiritually (and eventually physically). From then on, all humans are born with a sin nature and an inability to live righteously on their own. Hamartiology is the theological study of sin, while Soteriology is the study of salvation and how God planned for the redemption of those He chose. We will look at each of those theological disciplines in separate posts.
While man is now affected by sin, he still bears the image of God. This is why Christians have such a high view of human life, for we bear God’s image. All human life is precious because of this. Our doctrine or belief on man affects how we treat other people. If we believe that all humans are created in God’s image, we will treat them differently than we would if we think they are just a higher version of the animals. That is why it is important to recognize that man is a created being, not just something that evolved from lower life forms.