The nature and role of human beings in creation

The Bible teaches Christians that God created humans in his image: So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27). This does not mean that humans physically have the same appearance as God. Instead, they have certain characteristics that they share with God, such as being loving.

For Christians, this shows how important all humans are to God and explains their special relationship with him. It is also a reminder to them that humans should try to show love and forgiveness just as God does.

Christian beliefs about the soul

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

Because God breathed life into Adam, many Christians believe that every person has a non-physical, spiritual dimension that connects them with God. This is known as the soul. Many Christians believe that the soul lives on after a person’s earthly life has ended. For Christians, this sets humans apart from the rest of creation, which God simply commanded into being.

Stewardship and dominion

Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' (Genesis 1:26)

Many Christians see this part of Genesis as evidence that humans have dominion, or power, over God’s creation. However, this does not mean that humanity should exploit the Earth’s resources. Most Christians believe that humanity’s purpose is to look after the world that God has created like caretakers (or stewards), because creation belongs to God, not people. This is known as stewardship.