4:2. After God had made everything else, he created mankind. He made them male and female, with rational and immortal souls, endowed with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image. They had the law of God written in their hearts and had power to fulfill it. They were, however, under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change. In addition to this law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As long as they obeyed this command, they were happy in their communion with God and had dominion over the creatures.
God saved the best for last! Mankind is the crown of his creation being creatures made in his image and able to commune with him and appreciate him. But then woman was made after man; so there’s that.
What were the unique components of the creation of mankind?
1) We can think and use reason.
2) We were made to live forever. We have a soul that can never die.
3) We had true knowledge. We can know things accurately, but not comprehensively.
4) We had true righteousness. We were made perfect and able to live a perfect life. The law was written on our hearts and we could keep it.
5) We had true holiness. We are separated unto God and able to walk with him in the cool of the day. We had no sin, nor a tendency to sin.
6) We had free agency. We could choose our own path. We were not senseless stocks and blocks, not mere automatons. We had the ability to walk away from God’s gracious covenant and joyful presence.
God summarized their law-keeping in one commandment. Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In keeping that one command they were assured of their happy communion with God and fulfilling God’s created purpose to rule over the world in His place and for his glory.