Gen. 1:26,27 (NASB) tells us: “Then God said, ‘Let Us [God and pre-human Jesus] make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ (27) God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Man did not evolve from apes. He was a direct creation of God and Jesus and was made in their image. He was not made in God’s physical image because God is a spirit being and man is fleshly. But man was made in the mental and moral image of God. He given the ability to reason, to know right from work and the ability to communicate with God and with each other. In this way man was unique compared to the other animals.
Because of these capabilities, God gave man dominion over his earthly home and all of the animals that lived there. God also gave man a law to obey if he wanted to continue his existence. God stated the simply law in Gen. 2:16,17 (NASB): “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; (17) but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.'”
The commandment stated that life was dependent upon Adam’s obedience to God. God was establishing for man the importance of obeying God’s laws and commandments. To disobey would bring pain, suffering, catastrophe and ultimately, death.
Created perfect and initially instilled with God’s principles of truth and righteousness in their heart and mind, our first parents obeyed God’s commands and exhibited no desire to disobey their Heavenly Father.
For additional information please see our booklet on Creation.