First and foremost, man is a marvelous creation. In fact, I would say that man is God's greatest creation. Greater than all of the other created things in the universe. Greater than any galaxy, or any other living creature on the face of this earth, or in the heavenly realms. For in man was the image of God created. None, no not one, of any of God's creations can say that they were created in the image of God. In Gen. 1:26, when God said "let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness;" just what did He mean? Did He mean that He would create a being with two arms and two legs, with two eyes and a nose and a mouth with teeth in it? I think not. God placed the very essence of His nature and being in man when He created him. The word "image" means "to shade," so you could say that man is the shadow of God. The invisible God who could not be seen, cast a shadow of Himself on the earth when He made man.
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23, KJV).
First of all, man is a spirit creation for God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24), and the Father of spirits (Heb. 12:9). Man's body was formed from the dust, or elements, of the earth; to which then God breathed His Spirit life into the man, and man became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). So, you could say that man is a triune being, spirit, soul and body.
When man was first created he was the most perfect of all of God's creation; he was the bearer of light and the glory of God to the earth. Ps. 104, says that God is clothed with honor and majesty, and covers Himself with light; I suspect that man was covered with light also. Man was the light bearer or brightness of God's glory and was to bring this light and glory to all of God's creation. God's first man, Adam, was His son (Lu. 3:38) and would have been heir to all that was God's.
Man was given dominion over all the earth and was to rule it as God's ruler in the earth (Gen. 1:26). In fact, man's authority was so great that he was given the task of naming the animals, and in so doing he gave them their natures, for, "name" denotes "nature." The original man was truly an awesome and perfect creation until the day when sin found its way into his heart.
"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it," (Gen. 2:15, KJV). The first man was in the garden of God, he walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones. He communed and fellowshiped with God in the spirit of the day. The gift of music was placed within him, so he could praise and worship his creator. He was an anointed blessing that was a covering to the earth; perfect in all his ways, from the day he was created, till iniquity was found in him.
Man was God's perfect creation over all His creation, till that day he chose to disobey God. His heart became proud because of his perfection. Man's pride has always come before his fall. He corrupted his wisdom for the sake of his splendor; for he said in his heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will be like the Most High. But he was a man and not a god, though he had set his heart as the heart of a god; and he was cast down to the ground, the carnal realm of flesh.
Adam was not deceived, "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Timothy 2:14, KJV). Adam knew what he was doing. He wanted to be as God. He was not content with being the ruler of this world, but wanted to be El Elyon, "Most high." This is why he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he wanted to become something greater than what God had created him to be. But insted of becoming as El Elyon, he became a profane thing, polluted with sin and death, and forever changed what man was.
Instead of being a spirit-man, ruled by, and living out of the very life of God Himself, he became a soul-man, ruled by, and dominated by his mind, will and emotions, living out of his fallen, carnal, nature that is now under death. Death became his new realm of existence, where the devil had power over man; "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil," (Hebrews 2:14, KJV).
Man became an instrument by which death entered into all creation. He no longer brought blessing to the creation, but now he brought sin and death, and the curse, and all that came along with the judgment he brought us into. By one man sin, and death, entered into the creation, (Rom. 5:12); and that sin and death spread to all mankind. The whole creation was brought under the bondage of Adam's transgression.
Man was now a dead man, spiritually speaking. He became spiritually dead and entered into a lower realm of existence, when he left the Garden of Eden. The garden didn't go anywhere, man did; and this garden, this paradise that Paul was caught up into is still there, waiting to be entered into. But no man will go into it, only a New Creation Man will be able to enter into the garden.
Adam is forever rejected, cast out of the mountain of God, his doom is destruction; "...You have become a horror, and shall be no more forever" (Ez. 28:19). The only hope that could ever come to man would be for someone to take his place in death, and the destruction that was to be his, so that he could be raised a brand new creation, the old one "no more forever" existing.
Creation was sent spiraling downward into death and destruction under the judgment of God. God had said to Adam not to do this, eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or this, judgment of death, would happen (Gen. 1:17). So man became spiritually dead; dead to God, dead to the ZOE life of God, dead to all that God had created him to be. A lost son, gone his own way an on his own journey and course of life; all we like sheep have gone astray.
This has been the condition of MAN on this planet for the last six thousand years or so. We have had a dead man ruling this world, always trying to be as God, still saying with his proud heart, I will be like the Most High. Man is forever trying to fix his mistake, this planet, and all that God created, though he never will. Only God, El Elyon, El Olam, El Shaddai, the "Most High," "Everlasting God," "Almighty God," will be able to accomplish such a task through a mighty and awesome work that only He could do.
Man brought a legacy of sin and death and the judgment of God overshadowing him. But God, not willing that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9), had a plan. He had a plan of a second man that would redeem the first man. A plan that is so glorious that is actually a brand new creation of a brand new man. A brand new creation, the old passed away, and man becoming a brand new race of being; not the old one fixed up, but a new creation man. He would not be like the first man formed out of dust, but a new man birthed out of God. The first is done away with that He may establish the second. A two man plan, to have a new man in the earth.
Man has now been brought back into union with God, perfect in spirit, soon to be in his soul, then his body, through the redemptive work of the second man. The first man had to be destroyed, and he was, and a brand new man is being raised, through the second man.
The Second Man, the New Creation Man, is a King and a Priest as was the first man, but of a higher order, the order of Melchizedek. He is the firstborn over all creation, heir of all things; created in the brightness of God's glory and the express image of His (the Father's) Person. He is reproducing Himself in the earth, as did the first; but this Second Man has abolished sin and death, and brought life and immortality to all who would believe on His name.
This name, by which no other name in heaven or on earth can be saved is JESUS, "Jehovah is salvation." He is the head of the new creation race, the firstborn from the dead, and He is the only way in which man can be saved from the doom and despair Adam brought all mankind into.
Through the work of Jesus, God is birthing Himself a family of sons and daughters who will be the image of the heavenly Man, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (Jesus)" (1 Corinthians 15:49, KJV). "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order" (1Cor. 15:22). This is what the Gospel, is all about, that is why it is called "The Good News." The good news is, that the first man who got us all into trouble is doomed to death, but a Second Man came to redeem us all out of that death, into a brand new creation, relationship, with God and Father who loves us and sent His Son Jesus to become who we used to be and die as us so we could become everything He was when He was raised from the grave.
Hallelujah, Praise His Holy Name, Man is a brand new creation, and he is to be everything that Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Richard Morton 3-98