One of the things that becomes immediately clear as you read through the book of Genesis is that humanity is the pinnacle of creation. There are a lot of different parts to this, from the image of God to the uniqueness of marriage, there is a lot that we can talk about here. As a matter of fact, many of the cultural issues that are present today can trace their foundations back to the beginning of Genesis. Questions of marriage, gender, and the sanctity of life all find answers in the first chapters of Genesis. These are important questions to deal with. All of these point to a deeper issue: can we trust the Genesis account? John MacArthur once famously said, "Tell me what you believe about Genesis 1, and I'll tell you much about what you believe about the rest of the Bible." This is especially true when it comes to the account of the creation of man.
Male and Female
Genesis 1:17 says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." This might be one of the most important passages of scripture for us to hold to today. It seems like every day, there is someone else claiming to be a new "gender." The reality is that the Bible is abundantly clear that there are only two genders. It is clear that there are no differences between sex and gender. God created humanity in two genders, male and female. God created these two genders as part of his plan to populate and regulate the whole of the earth. The first command that humanity is given is to "Fill the earth and subdue it" (Gen 1:28). By fill, the Lord means to have babies. The context for this is the two genders and their union in marriage.
As the creation account continues in chapter two of Genesis, we get a close-up of how the Lord created man and women. First, Adam is created from the dust of the earth and then set in the Garden of Eden. As Adam starts off his work, he is brought representatives of all the different kinds of animals. This serves a couple of purposes. First, the animals all get names, something I think we all appreciate. The second thing is that Adam gets to see firsthand that none of these animals are a fitting companion for him. We are told, "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Gen 2:19). Because of this, God makes Eve by taking out one of Adam's ribs. She is then brought to Adam, and the concept of marriage is established. It is a union between a single man and a single woman where a new household is established. The Man is to leave his father and his mother and clings to his wife. The union is meant to be for life. It is apparent in the proclamation that the two shall become one flesh. This is both an elusion to the sexual union and also to the reality that what has been brought together is not to be separated. They are one together.
The Sanctity of Life
Another essential truth taught about humanity in the first couple of chapters of Genesis is the value of human life. Man and woman are uniquely created in the image of God. This is different than all the other aspects of creation. The trees, animals, birds, and fish are all created and called good, but only Adam and Eve are created in the image of God. Humanity is then placed above the rest of creation as its God-appointed ruler. There are lots of different ideas about what exactly the image of God means, but for this, what is important to understand is that human life has value above and beyond all the rest of creation. Why is abortion wrong? Because it is the willful killing of an image bearer. The same thing applies to murder in general.
Obviously, this is just a brief overview and not a deep dive into any of these subjects. We will dig into some of them a little deeper, as well as other essential aspects of anthropology—things like sin and the fall, as well as the first proclamation of good news. The idea here is to understand the importance of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. In a very real way, if we do not get the beginning right, then everything that follows will have issues. This is the nature of foundations. If you have a cracked foundation or are missing chunks, you will most certainly run into issues as you attempt to live in your house. Culturally, we can see this as we see the rise of the acceptance of God rejecting ideas such as evolution. The more these ideas are embraced, ideas that reject the truths of Genesis, the more that other vital issues become an issue. It is a fundamental rejection of Genesis that leads to issues such as gay marriage, pronouns, and abortion. If we are going to stand up against these essential issues, then we need to understand the foundation.
Soli Deo Gloria