The conflict in heaven that resulted in the devil and his cohorts being thrown out may reveal the purpose of God creating mankind. Before his rebellion, scripture records that Lucifer was “in Eden the garden of God” and that he was the “seal of perfection” (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12-16). It is highly likely that God created man as a replacement for the devil who was no longer in “Eden the garden of God.” God therefore created man in his own image and placed him in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15).
God created mankind to reflect His image
From the Genesis account of creation, we know that God created man in his own image and after his own likeness. In the words of scripture;
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness… Genesis 1:26
The first purpose for God to create mankind was for the demonstration of his image. At the point of creation, there weren’t any other humans except for Adam. Shortly afterward, Eve followed. And then they lived alone in Eden until the fall when they started bearing children. So to whom were they to display God’s image?
Well, they were to display God’s image to the angelic beings – both angels of light and angels of darkness. The earth was created as a testament to God’s ultimate victory over satan and man was placed on it to always demonstrate this victory by displaying God’s image over creation. This is one of the reasons why the creation account does not agree with Darwin’s view of evolution. The idea that man was once an ape and then evolved into a human would suggest that apes were created in God’s image. But this is not true since only man was created in God’s image.
Being created in God’s image means that we derive our identity from God. God is the source of human life and without Him, human beings will not have a meaningful life. The purpose of life should therefore to develop a personal relationship with the creator. Just like fish cannot survive outside water or like terrestrial plants cannot survive if pucked out of the soil, man must remain rooted in God or they will die (a spiritual death).
God created mankind to rule over creation
The second reason why man was created was to rule over creation. In the same scripture that talks about God making man in his image and likeness, it also says that man was to have dominion over creation.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26
We see in verse 28 how the work of ruling over creation would require some work because the Bible uses the word “subdue.” The word implies that creation would not willingly submit to man’s rulership and that man had to work to ensure his rulership on earth was complete. This may explain why after creation, God put man in the garden to “till it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15).
After the fall of man, man lost his position of authority to the devil who then became the god of this age/world that has blinded men (2 Cor. 4:4). However, Jesus came to restore the authority that was lost in Eden by man. This was made possible through his death on the cross which was the ultimate price for man’s redemption. As such, mankind got back his palace of authority through Jesus Christ. We see this from what Jesus taught in the gospels e.g. in the Gospel of Mathew:
Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Mathew 18:18
God created mankind to reproduce
The first command that God gave mankind after creation was for mankind to reproduce. We see this in the 28th verse of Genesis chapter 1:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28
Before He told man to subdue and have dominion, he told him to reproduce. This makes sense because the work of subduing all the creation couldn’t be done effectively by two people – they needed numbers. It is not just man who was told to reproduce – all other living things including plants were also commanded to reproduce. However, only man was given the blessing to fill the earth as well as to subdue the other creation.
But just like God commanded the other living things to “produce after their kind”, God also expects mankind to produce after his kind. Since man was originally created in God’s image and likeness, the expectation is that man will produce godly offspring. If man produces offspring that is ungodly, the offspring will fulfill the command of filling the earth but not subduing it. For man to subdue, he has to remain in God’s presence for only then will he be able to exercise his God-given authority over creation.
Procreation is one of the most important reasons for marriage. Raising children calls for being selfless and couples who do not want children only focus on their selfish desires. It is the desire that every Godly family will participate in raising Godly children who will in turn exercise God’s dominion on earth.
To wrap it up, God created mankind in his image and after his likeness which is unlike the angels or any other creation. After this, God commanded man to reproduce and then have dominion on earth. This sequence gives the purpose of Man’s creation which is three-fold – to show God’s glory/image, to reproduce, and to exercise dominion.