So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
– Genesis 1:27 –
This axiom—that God made mankind as ‘male and female’ is a fundamental truth of the Christian worldview. However, it is not so plain to our Western culture. No longer is gender a biological given, reinforced by a Judeo-Christian ethic. Rather, according to most secular theorists, gender is a social construct, something that each individual discovers through a process of trial and error.
To engage our culture, we need to know what God’s word says about sexuality and gender.
In this week’s sermon, I explore what it means to be made in God’s image, as male and female. The sermon follows the outline of redemptive history—(1) God’s design for men and women in creation, (2) the effect of the Fall on gender, and (3) how redemption in Jesus Christ restores the created order. Let me know what you think.
In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth, and on the earth he placed a man and a woman to reflect his glory and rule his creation (Gen 1:26-28). Genesis 1:26-27 recounts the words of the triune God, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness. . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
In his Theological Anthropology, Marc Cortez supplies a helpful survey of the ways Christians have understood the Imago Dei. He summarizes the positions and asserts that some have argued that there is something material in man that makes him unique (i.e., his reason, mental capacity, etc.); others have suggested a functional view, that man made in God’s image is intended to rule over creation. This has strong exegetical support in Genesis 1:26-31 and Psalm 8. Still others make a case for a relational aspect of God’s image. Just as God exists as the three-in-one God, so mankind is male and female, and when man and woman unite in marriage, the two become one. The relationship is complementary, and in the mysterious union and diversity between the sexes is there a material glimpse of the one God who exists in three persons. Continue reading →