Humanity was not a mistake, coincidence or development by nature. Humanity is a purposeful and intentional creation of God in His own image (Genesis 1, 5, 9). Man was made from the dust of the earth (Gen 3:19) and breathed into life (Gen 2:7) to become a living being and reflection of God’s masterpiece in Creation. Man was made to share in relationship with God’s entire being; the Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) (Gen 1:26). To reinforce the value of the human form, Jesus became human and dwelt among us (John 1:14), and lived the range of human emotion and experience. Jesus, the Word, fully man and fully God, (John 1:14), wept, ate, slept, traveled, worked, spent time in relation to others, listened, spoke, and even pleaded with God; all in His perfect form.
The human body is not just flesh, but it is also Spirit and as such, is a Holy temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). The human body requires care of both its physical and spiritual essence in order to be sustained and it is our responsibility to care for it in honor of God because, as Paul reminds us, it is not of our own (1 Cor 6:19). We are to be good stewards of all that God entrusts to us, especially that of His life in us.
The Bible specifically addresses physical human needs such as sustenance, companionship and sexuality as these are all normal, healthy components of the human condition. Man is not to neglect his physical condition in pursuit of pure spirituality as both are essential to the proper functioning of the Temple. Jesus Christ is our ultimate example of the perfect human role model.
While there are various approaches to understanding what is meant by man being made in God’s image, the Relational approach is most applicable to our understanding, accounting for the essence of relationship that was intended between the Trinity and man at the moment of Creation (Gen 1:26). Looking once again to the perfect example of Jesus Christ, He often refers to His entire existence in relation to the Father (John 5:19, 10:30) and His purpose is entirely dependent on that Relationship (John 5:30). The very essence of the Trinity is relationship, therefore the greatest commonality we could possibly have with our Creator, is also in relation. Our God is a personal God.
Yet because of the total depravity of the human condition after the Fall, God sent His only son to pay the redemptive price (John 3:16), which should have been our own death (Rom 6:23). The Fall ensured that the heart of man could no longer naturally incline to God but instead to himself; yet the Gospel shows us that this is not the end of the story. Jesus came, the war is won, and man is forever reconciled to Him because of the cross. Humans are now able to fully experience the ability to love because God loved us first (1 John 4:19). Salvation steps into humanity at the realization of that very notion.