A Broken Beauty
Genesis tells us that a loving God split light from darkness and land from water, setting life in motion and sculpting the first human from clay. Genesis describes God’s joy and satisfaction in His work, again and again delighting that each new feature is “good.” Earth flourished in perfect harmony, cared for by humanity.
God celebrated His work by declaring a weekly holiday, the Sabbath, a day off to remember our connection with our Creator. God designed humanity to reflect His glory, each of us echoing a unique facet of His personality and character. Mind, body and spirit, we think, live and meditate. The astounding component? Freedom.
We owe our very breath to God, yet He gave us freedom to choose—a trait that risked catastrophe. A clever lie caused the first humans to question God’s love and trustworthiness. Soon fear, envy and indifference scarred the world. Separating us from God, sin warped all that was good. Hearts rebelled. Bodies decayed. Relationships rotted. We could not reach God on our own; God would have to come to us.
And so God did, sending His Son to rebuild the shattered relationship between heaven and earth. God sent His Spirit to mend the disfigured image of God in us. The Spirit empowers us to reach out to others, demonstrating love and representing our Savior and Creator to a broken world we’re called to repair.
God made our world with brilliant creativity and tender care. He created humanity to take care of and take pleasure in the planet, with rest and recreation in perfect balance.
God has revealed in Scripture the authentic and historical account of His creative activity. He created the universe, and in a recent six-day creation the Lord made “the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” and rested on the seventh day. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial fo the work He performed and completed during six literal days that together with the Sabbath constituted the same unit of time that we call a week today. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When he world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1-2; 5; Exod 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Isa. 45:12, 18; Acts 17:24; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2; 11:3; Rev. 10:6; 14:7.)
Nature of Humanity
Once molded in God's image, now fractured by sin, it took a perfect Savior to reconcile us. The Spirit restores God's reflection within us so God can work through us.
Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and one another, and to care for their environment. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7, 15; 3; Ps. 8:4-8; 51:5, 10; 58:3; Jer. 17:9; Acts 17:24-28; Rom. 5:12-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Eph. 2:3; 1 Thess. 5:23; 1 John 3:4; 4:7, 8, 11, 20.)