Is man just an upscale animal or a special being with God? (Ps. 8:4a) ask the question “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?”
repeated in Heb 2:6b
Man is God’s crowning creation because He created man in His image.(Gen.1:27a- b) “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;” This was not in a physical image because God is Spirit.cf. (Jn. 4:24) The body of man houses this image, Spirit, Soul and Mind. Man differs from animals in so many distinct ways that it is disrespectful to God to try and classify man as an animal. Man differs anatomically, physiologically, psychologically, mentally and spiritually. Man has the ability to think and make rational decisions. Animals do have brains but they are without the capacity to process rational thought. Animals respond to instinct and man responds to thought and reason.
What man is cannot be concluded without taking into account the fact that God Himself came into this world as a Man and "visited him," (Ps. 8:4c, St.Jn. 1:14 ) in the person of His Son, The Lord Jesus, in order to secure man’s redemption. God gave reality to Himself as a man, in human form through His Son(Jn. 14:9-10a) that says; “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?” KJV In the person of Jesus the fullness of God was manifested. “In Him dwelleth the fullness of The Godhead bodily.” Col.2:9)
Man’s origin is also different, not because he was created (for the animals were also created, but because he was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27a-b).
Man was given dominion over the animals cf. (Ge. 1:26,Ps. 4:5-8) and stands midway between the created angels which are spirits and have no soul. For that reason they have no need for redemption and the animal world which has no soul that is capable of sin and have no need for redemption either.
The whole body of man has, clearly been designed to support and enhance the uniqueness of his mind , soul and body. The tongue and hand have been structured in a very remarkable way to give coordinated expression to the sum total of human potential, to the power of reflection, of communication, and the respect of creation at one and the same time, of having dominion over the rest of God's creation and yet of worshipping the Creator. But it is not merely the structure of his brain and the anatomy of his body which have made these things possible. Man's uniqueness goes deeper than this. In some not yet clearly understood way, his whole physiological organization and the very special quality of his spirit have together played a part in leading inevitably to the kind of culture that he creates as a framework for his own self-expression and restraints. In the final analysis he recognizes his need for redemption and is capable of apprehending it by faith as instructed by his creator. (Eph. 2:8-9)
Man is in one final way superior to animals in that we have the ability to speak.
Many experiments have been conducted on chimpanzees, monkeys and apes to get speech from them even being put in human environments from birth and treated as human infants but no success was achieved because this is a unique quality of man because man is unique as a result of being created in the image of God the creator. We all spoke one language at first until man decided to make a tower that reached into Heaven. Cf. (Gen. 11:1)
Man is the crowning jewel of God’s earthly creations. He is superior to all others and has the unique ability to worship and fellowship with his creator.
Again I repeat:
Man’s origin is also different, not because he was created (for the animals were also created, but because he was created in the image of God cf. (Gen. 1:27a-b).