26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)
At least three things are learned about our creation here. First, humans have been created in the image of God (v. 26). We, above all of God’s creation, bear the marks of the divine image. We are dual beings of flesh and spirit, possessing intellect, emotion, volition, conscience and immortality. These things distinguish us from the animal kingdom. Second, humans have been created to fulfill God’s purposes (v. 26, 28). Among these is the God-given right to rule over His creatures, big and small. As we “fill the earth” we have the right and responsibility to “subdue it” for the blessing and benefit of humanity. Third, humans have been created male and female (v. 27). God established gender identity to enable human procreation and to accomplish the purpose of filling up and subduing the earth.