God created man in His image on purpose (Gen. 1:26-28). The first man, Adam, was fulfilling God’s purposes for creating him until God’s image and nature in him became corrupted and distorted through his disobedience to God’s express command.
All of us were born spiritually dead, being alienated from the life of God, and with a sin nature and thus with an inherent inability to fully understand and fulfil God’s purposes or intentions for creating us in His very image (Rom. 5:12, Eph. 2:1, 4:17-18).
Until the full revelation of God’s grace to mankind in and through the person of Jesus Christ no man was able to completely, consistently, or constantly walk in all the purposes for which God created man. This is simply because of the depraved sin nature all men inherited from Adam.
Jesus Christ was the first man on earth after the fall of Adam who completely, consistently, and constantly walked in all the purposes for which God created man. This is why Jesus Christ is our perfect model, example, or standard in everything (John 13:15, 1 Pet. 2:21, 1 John 2:6).
It is absolutely impossible for any natural man without God’s nature, life and Spirit to fully comprehend and fulfil God’s purposes, for “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14 NKJV).
It is only the new man or creation in Christ who can fully discover, understand and accomplish all of God’s purposes for creating mankind in His image.
The divine potential or capacity to fulfil God’s purposes that the human race lost in and through Adam is now fully restored in and through Christ Jesus to all those who put their faith in Him by receiving and surrendering to Him as their Lord and Saviour.
The Scripture testifies that believers are “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10 NKJV).
Therefore, until you are born again through faith in the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross, you don’t have all that it takes to walk completely, consistently or constantly in the purposes for which God created man in His very image. It is only through the new birth experience that you can become a partaker of the very life, nature or image of God (2 Pet. 1:3-4, 1 John 3:9).
What are God’s fixed intentions or purposes for creating man in His own image?
Let us explore the Scripture to discover and understand them!
First, God created man to fellowship with Him:
God created man in His image, possessing the same life and nature with Him so that man can enjoy a loving and intimate relationship, fellowship or communion with God (Gen. 3:8, Psa. 8:1-9, Prov. 8:31).
Sadly, man became alienated from God’s life through disobedience, thereby losing the spiritual capacity to consistently enjoy a loving and intimate relationship, fellowship or communion with the holy God without any fear, guilt or condemnation (Gen. 3:8-10, Eph. 2:1-3).
You are created with a vacuum, a deep longing, and hunger for God in your heart that nothing else can fill, meet or satisfy. Until God occupies the central position or place in your heart, you cannot experience true joy, peace, fulfillment or satisfaction in life (Eccl. 5:10).
Nothing else besides a personal, intimate, living and loving relationship and fellowship with God through Jesus Christ can satisfy your heart completely and constantly.
This is why Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35 NKJV).
Until you are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, you are still spiritually dead in your sins and thus without any spiritual capacity to enjoy a deep and personal loving fellowship with God.
Besides, sinners are by nature the children of wrath or God’s enemies (Eph. 2:3). Only the new creation in Christ can experience or enjoy a living and loving communion with God, for “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:17 NKJV).
Second, God created man to worship Him alone:
Man was created as a spirit like God Himself so as to be able to worship God constantly, continuously, or consistently in spirit and truth.
The Lord Jesus reveals: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24 NKJV).
If you are not worshipping God in spirit and truth, you are not fulfilling one of the primary purposes why God created you in His image. A true, pure and spiritual worship springs from the heart and not from the lips.
True worship is acknowledging and worshipping Jesus Christ as God and the Saviour of the world and submitting to His lordship. True worship is a service to God, a total consecration to God, and willingness and commitment to obey God’s Word at all times.
The unbelievers or the unregenerate people can never worship God in spirit and truth. Why? Because their spirits are still dead in sin, being alienated from the life of God!
Until your spirit is recreated or regenerated by the operation of the Holy Spirit, you don’t have the spiritual capacity to worship God in spirit and truth.
Although the unregenerate people may honour God with their lips, yet their hearts are far away from God (Matt. 15:7-9). This is nothing but hypocrisy. It is simply a vain worship!
If you are not worshipping God according to the revelation of God’s nature or character made known by Jesus Christ, you are not worshipping God in spirit and truth.
Any believer who is still worshipping God according to the Mosaic laws, regulations and rituals is not worshipping God in spirit and truth.
As a new creation in Christ, you are called to worship God according to the new covenant guidelines or principles taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ and His early apostles.
The Scripture states: “But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:6 NKJV).
Third, God created man to manifest or reflect His nature:
Man, as God’s masterpiece, was fearfully and wonderfully made to exhibit, manifest and reflect God’s nature, character, wisdom, love, glory and power on the earth (Isa. 43:7, 21, 1 Pet. 2:9). Therefore, a natural man without divine life and nature of God cannot fulfil this purpose.
It is only the new creation in Christ who has the divine potential or capacity to manifest or exhibit God’s life, nature or character. Sadly, many believers today are not increasingly or constantly manifesting God’s life, nature or character because their minds are not being renewed to conform to God’s Word.
It is only to the degree to which your mind is renewed that you can manifest God’s life, nature or character (Rom. 12:1-2)!
Fourth, God created man to share in His rule or dominion:
God is a Sovereign Ruler both in the heavens and on the earth. However, God created man in His image to be His representative on the earth, wielding or exercising unlimited dominion, power, and authority on God’s behalf on the earth (Gen. 1:16-28).
The Scripture states: “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S; But the earth He has given to the children of men.” (Psa. 115:16 NKJV).
“And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:10 NKJV).
When he considered the heavens and all that God has made, the Psalmist exclaimed: “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.” (Psa. 8:4-6 NKJV).
However, through deceit, manipulation and disobedience of man the devil took over the dominion over the earth from man. This is why the devil boasted before Jesus, saying, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” (Luke 4:6 NKJV).
But, having defeated and spoiled Satan and all his cohorts, the Lord Jesus Christ has received the dominion over the earth from Satan and He has restored it to the new creation, the new man in Christ (Eph. 2:4-6, Luke 4:5-8, 10:17-19).
Therefore, the believers in Christ are now kings unto God and they will reign, wield, or exercise unlimited dominion or authority on the earth.
The Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 NKJV).
Therefore, you are not fulfilling God’s purpose for creating you in His image if you still allow the devil to oppress, afflict or torment you by any means.
Lastly, God created man to serve humanity:
Man was created as God’s steward to administer God’s resources for the use and benefit of the entire mankind. However, the sinful and selfish nature you inherited through the natural birth will not allow you to truly serve others lovingly and joyfully regardless of their response.
Therefore, until you share or partake in God’s loving, selfless, meek and kind nature through the new birth, you will remain proud, selfish or self-centred and thus unable to fulfil the purpose why God created you in His image.
Beloved, you are created to replenish the earth and to serve others in humility and love, “not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.” (Eph. 6:6-8 NKJV).