People Are God’s Prized Creation
Don’t you hope there’s a video room in heaven? I want to see how it all happened: the parting of the Red Swa, the wall of Jericho tumbling, the stone rolling away from the tomb. But first on my list is creation. I want to see how God formed the mountains, how He dug the deepest ocean trenches, and placed the stars. Creation sparks our imagination and strengthens our trust in God.
The craziest thing about creation is this: He saved the best for last.
And that was us.
Humanity: frail, fearful, and totally dependent. But there’s something about us that no other created thing has: the image of God, according to His likeness, with the command to rule (Genesis 1:26). After creating the earth and the universe, God declared it “good.” After creating us, He declared the universe with us in it “very good” (v. 31). Not only that but we are created for His glory (Isaiah 43:7), meaning that we were made to reflect or reveal Him. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) because we have the breath of God’s life in us (Genesis 2:7).
As image-bearers of God, we are not just a chance collection of matter or the emre result of eons of changing animals. We are set apart by God, made especially by Him and for Him.
People are His prized creation.
God Loves People
What do you love? Apples? Your kids? Guitar music? Pasta? Sunsets? Swimming? Books?
God loves His creation (see GEnesis 1-2). He had declared it good and then “very good” with people in it. He loved His creation so much, in fact, that He sent Jesus in order to save people.
In John 3:16, the word for “world” refers to everything God originally created. Because people are made for creation and creation for people, our sin has brought death and destruction to the created world. Jesus’ power is not over only human death, but He also has the power to redeem and restore His creation.
Yes, all of creation waits for the fullness of the promises of God to be fulfilled (Romans 8:19-22). Jesus’ salvation not only enables people to be made new but also gives us the promise of a new creation. Because God loved the world, He came in the person of Jesus Christ to save people. We humans, God’s pinnacle and prized creation, have a special privilege: God particularly loves people. He showed His love in a variety of ways throughout Scripture: blessings, forgiveness, joy, revelation, companionship, guidance, wisdom, favor, possessions, and miracles. And though He worked through a particular nation to distribute His blessings, He gave any person of any background or heritage the opportunity to know Him and be His.
He loves us not only corporately but also individually. This is not a relationship with all of humanity like a person speaking to a large auditorium. It’s an individual relationship. God loves people. All kinds. Every one.
We Obey God Only When We Show Love to People
God chooses a one-on-one relationship with each of His people. But that’s just part of it. While we are one-on-one with God, we walk the earth in a sea of people. And our interaction with people is central to our honoring (or dishonoring) God.
You can look back to the Ten Commandments: six of the ten teach how to relate to other people (Ex. 20:12-17). Honoring your parents and choosing not to lie, murder, steal, commit adultery, and covet are all parts of obeying God Many would like to believe that our relationship with God has nothing to do with our relationship with people. They would be totally wrong.
God interacts with people. We interact with people. God created us to live in community. We glorify God most evidently when we show real love for people. Jesus Himself said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). When a lawyer asked Jesus about the greatest commandment, Jesus’ answer reflected the first of the Ten Commandments: Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Though the lawyer didn’t ask for a second command, Jesus added, “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
How is the first like the second? They are intertwined. We love God when we love people. We love people because we love God. God loves people, and we love God, so we also love people.
John the apostle goes as far as to say, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar,” and “he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:20-21). The command to love other people is not just a suggestion for extroverts. It’s a command straight from the mouth of Jesus, and a requirement for loving God.
Content in this article is taken from the Word Study Reference Bible
Bring the words of Scripture to life and discover the richness and significance of the original languages of the Word of God. The NKJV Word Study Reference Bible includes in-text subheadings and 2,000 easy-to-use word studies with select Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words explained in every chapter from Genesis to Revelation. By looking into these ancient texts, we are able to read scripture as it was originally written and passed on from generation to generation. In addition, this Bible’s Topic-by-Topic studies give a practical framework for understanding scripture, along with more helpful resources.