Today's Foundations Devotional: We are created into God’s image and likeness

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Memory verse:

Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

(Ecclesiastes 12:7)

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For further understanding concerning the constitution of man’s total personality, we may turn to the original account of man’s creation, as given at the beginning of the Bible.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Gen. 1:26).

In this verse two words are used to express the relationship of man, the creature, to God, the Creator. The first of these words is image; the second is likeness.

The original Hebrew word, here translated “image,” is in many other passages of the Old Testament translated by “shade” or “shadow.” In modern Hebrew the same root occurs today in the verbal form which means “to have one’s photo taken.” These other associations of the word indicate that its primary reference here in the creation of man is to man’s external form or appearance. Even in man’s external form there is a correspondence between man and God which is not found in the lower animal creation.

However, the correspondence between man and God goes further than mere external form. The second Hebrew word used here, translated “likeness,” is much more general in its application. It refers to the total personality of man. It indicates that there is a correspondence between this total personality of man and the being or nature of God Himself.

One important aspect of this correspondence between the nature of God and the nature of man is contained in the revelation of the three elements of man’s total personality – spirit, soul and body. Thus we may say that man is revealed as a triune being – one total personality, yet composed of the three constituent elements: spirit, soul and body.

In a corresponding way, the Bible also reveals that the being of God is triune – that is, there is one true God, yet within this one Godhead we discern the three distinct Persons of the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

Thus the Bible presents us with a likeness, or a correspondence, between the total personality of man and the total nature of God. Briefly, we may sum up this correspondence of man to God as follows: The Bible reveals a triune man, created in the likeness of a triune God.

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Prayer:

Heavenly Father, what a blessing and a privilege it is that our total

being indeed corresponds to Yours. This is so different from what is

generally taught today in the world, namely that man would be an

animal species ... Thanks You that we are essentially different from

them because we look like You! Amen.

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