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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . .”—Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)
Today we’re going back to the beginning of the Bible. At this point, God has brought the following things into being: heaven and earth, night and day, water and land, vegetation of all kinds, the sun, moon, and stars, and all types of sea and land animals. And now, on the sixth day, we come to God’s next creation—mankind. Notice how God uses the words “Us” and “Our” in today’s passage. Who is He talking to?
Some suggest God is speaking to the angels, which is a hard theory to follow because angels haven’t even been introduced yet. This would be like writing a whodunnit where the culprit is a character that was never introduced in the story. But there’s a much deeper and convincing reason this can’t be a reference to the angels. In the original Hebrew text, the word here for God is “Elohim” (a plural noun) which links the plural pronouns of “Us” and “Our” to the plural noun of “God.” And if we need any more convincing on this point, just look at the very next verse: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him” (Genesis 1:27 NKJV).
The text unmistakably tells us man was created in God’s image alone—not God and the angel’s image or anything else for that matter. So, here in the very first chapter of the Bible, we see God speaking to Himself! But that leads us to another question, “Why is God doing this?” The answer becomes clear as we continue to read through God’s Word and learn the truth about God’s very nature.
In essence, and in keeping with the plural noun, “Elohim,” God is revealed to us as being one God comprised of three separate and distinct persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Over the centuries, theologians have coined the terms “Godhead” and “Trinity” to describe this aspect of God’s nature.
It’s hard for our finite minds to comprehend, but God eternally exists as one being within a plurality of persons. Without losing singularity of being, the Father uniquely relates to the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Son uniquely relates to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit uniquely relates to the Father and the Son. In other words, there’s a self-contained community within God, Himself, which is seen in God’s statement, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
Admittedly, we’re swimming in the deep end of the theological pool here, but the essential truth we need to take away here is this: Community isn’t just something God wants us to do, it’s rooted in the very nature of who God is. Ultimately, community is a reflection of God, Himself, which makes it something every follower of His should embrace and embody.
Pause: What does Genesis 1:26 reveal to us about God’s nature?
Practice: Consider how this should influence our attitude about community.
Pray: Lord God, help me to see community as an echo of Your very nature and help me to experience it the way You want me to. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.