Genesis 1:26-30 shows that God intended man to have dominion over all the creatures God had made on the earth.
David says, in Psalm 8:4-6, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?... Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: thou has put all things under his feet." When David wrote "all things", he was probably referring to the passage in Genesis 1 mentioned above, but does he also include things in the heavens?
After all, the works of God's hands include the sun and moon, other planets, and distant stars and galaxies. In Psalm 102:25, David said, "Of old thou hast laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works of thy hands." One of the main problems with the idea of man having dominion over the things in the heavens is that we are mortal, and limited, and bound to the earth's environment.
We learn about the universe by observation; science provides man with ways of exploring the creation; the things we learn reveal God's nature and power. Paul wrote in Romans 1:20: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead."
The gospel is based on creation; God continues his creative work. Whereas God has made all the creatures, the earth, and the sun and moon, and the stars and planets, he has not finished with us! Paul says the gospel of Christ is the "power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth", and reveals the righteousness of God [Romans 1:16-17].
The creation that occurs today is the faith God nourishes in our minds and hearts, and it is the work of the same Spirit of God that hovered over the dark primeval watery chaos from which the earth was made.
Creation is not yet complete! It awaits the redemption of the saints, as Paul says in Romans 8:22-23: "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
Creation is an essential part of the gospel; God is making each and every believer a new creature. Paul wrote: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." [2 Corinthians 5:17]
In Genesis 1:26 we read "And God said, 'Let us make man in our image;" in Colossians 1:15, Paul says Christ is "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." Christ is the fulfillment of Genesis 1:26, and Paul even calls him the "last Adam", in 1 Corinthians 15:45: "And so it is written, the first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."
Paul goes on to say, in verses 48-49, "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they that are heavenly. As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." As Christ is the image of God, those who are "in Christ" are being remade in the "image of God." Thus, the gospel fulfills Genesis 1:26.
Creation is still going on; eventually we are to be clothed with immortality: "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." [1 Corinthians 15:55]
Hebrews 4:9 refers to a sabbath of rest yet ahead for the believers: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." We now labour to enter it; "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest..." The rest that we hope for, and labour towards, is the culmination of God's purpose in creation.
Paul wrote to the saints in Ephesus, and all who have faith in Jesus Christ, that God chose us "before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." [Ephesians 1:4]
In the new heavens and the new earth of Revelation 21-22, there is no more curse. There is no night, and no need for the sun or moon, or even a candle; the saints reign for ever and ever [Revelation 22:5]. Over what do they reign? Could this be what all those stars in the vast universe are for?
Jesus said, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." [Revelation 21:7]
Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:9: "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heat of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Copyright © 2010 by Douglas E. Cox
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