At creation, the world was fit for God’s Kingdom. This included us, mankind.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”
So God created man
in his own image;
he created him in the image of God;
he created them male and female.
The Image of God
God made man in His own Image to know Him, love Him, live with Him, and to glorify Him (New City Catechism). As a special creation of God, mankind is not merely material in nature; God knelt down and breathed the breath of life into man, giving him a soul (Gen. 2:7).
Though the Bible does see man as a whole, it also recognizes that the human being has two sides: physical and nonphysical. He has a physical body, but he is also a personality.ANTHONY HOEKEMA, CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE
When the Bible talks about the nature of man, it uses a variety of words to describe the two “sides” of man:
Hebrew (OT), basar
Greek (NT), soma
Hebrew (OT), nephesh/ruach/lebh
Greek (NT), psyche/pneuma/kardia
Just as the body is complex and comprised of a variety of cells, tissues, and organs, the soul/spirit/heart is also multifaceted. So what comprises the soul?
The soul (synonymous with “spirit” and “heart”) is comprised of three faculties: the mind, the emotion, and the will.
The mind is our cognitive faculty. It is what God gave us to be able to think and to know. This is where we find the thoughts & beliefs of our soul.
The emotion, or our emotional capacity, is what enables us to have desires. This is where we find the affections of our soul.
The will is our volitional faculty. It is our ability to choose and is where we find the decisions of the soul.
The diagram below illustrates these faculties of man:
When God created Adam & Eve, body & soul, He created them “good.”
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed.GENESIS 1:31A
What does it mean to be “good” in relation to God’s Kingdom?
Remember, the Kingdom of God is:
- God’s Kingdom rule, and
- God’s Kingdom realm
A Good Soul to Submit to God’s Kingdom Rule
When God made man, He gave us a soul so that God’s Kingdom rule would be realized in the hearts of man. Adam & Eve had a soul that knew God as He was (mind), loved God as He was (emotion), and willingly obeyed God (will).
We can see how the first aspect of God’s Kingdom corresponds to the soul/spirit/heart of man.
A Good Body to Dwell in God’s Kingdom Realm
When God made man, He gave us a body to dwell in God’s Kingdom realm. Adam & Eve actually walked with God’s glorious presence!
Therefore the second aspect of God’s Kingdom corresponds to the body of man.
So far we have seen the state of man in relation to God’s Kingdom at creation. We were created for God, to lovingly obey Him and to live with Him. This was the reality in Eden. The Kingdom of God on the Earth is what Eden was all about.
Unfortunately this is not the end of the Story. Mankind rebels and our relation to God’s Kingdom changes.