Christianity 201

October 19, 2015

Made in the Image of God

Gen 1:26 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, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Col 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation

Heb 1:3a The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…

John 14:9b Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Today’s author came recommended to us. Josh Ketchum has been a pastor in Kentucky for the past 12 years and marriage and family counseling is an area he feel especially drawn to. You can learn more by reading today’s post at his website and then clicking around to see other articles. Click the title below…

The Image of God: What Does it Mean?

There is tremendous talk about mass shootings these days, and rightly so.  While the problem is multifaceted, the root goes back to the individual’s beliefs.  This is one product of a larger problem, we as a nation are raising thousands of individuals who do not know who they are!  They have been fed a message of evolution which says they are nothing more than flesh and blood which evolved over millions of years from lower life forms.  They don’t know where they have come from, and certainly not where they are going!  Thus, they live solely for the present.

image of GodThe doctrine of man being created in the image of God is so crucial because it teaches the uniqueness of man.  Genesis describes man’s creation as unique from the rest of plant and animal life (Gen. 1-2).  Humans are the only life-form that resembles God!  We are unique in creation because of our personhood and purpose.

Humanity possesses unique personhood traits like intellect, language, volition, creativity, conscience, and emotions. We have religious desires which are similar to our moral and ethical thoughts.  Most importantly though, each individual possesses a soul or spirit that will live eternally (Ecc. 12:7).

It seems He created us in His image for the purpose of a relationship with us.  We possess his qualities and elements of his character so as to be able to relate to Him.  We also represent Him in this world.  While Christ is the perfect representation of God, the image of God is not lost in man’s sin.  Truthfully, God’s image is distorted, and often marred, by the sinful actions of humans, but his image is still upon man.  Like a coin that is scratched and worn, the value is still there.  So each person still has value and worth, because of their nature of being made in the image of God.¹  Genesis places an emphasis upon us being created in His image to provide dominion and care for the world.

This doctrine has great implications, much of our current cultural issues are addressed in understanding this Biblical truth.  Being made in God’s image impacts how we view the animal world (Gen. 9:6).  Animals are acceptable to be eaten, should be cared for with good stewardship, and can serve humanity.  But, they are not to be seen as on par with humanity.  This doctrine is the foundation for our beliefs about the value of human life.  We oppose abortion, euthanasia, and value the oppressed and suffering because every human life is valuable.  Being made in the image of God changes how you view yourself.  It creates a positive and healthy self-image.  It underscores the church’s call to evangelism.  God created all of humanity and wants all to come to know their Creator and Father.  Finally, it motivates us to live godly lives as we are a reflection of our Creator and Savior.  Truly the image of God is present in everyone’s nature, and has the potential to be present in everyone’s actions.  We are to be made as the “new self” after the image of our Creator (Col. 3:9-10).

This truth is so vital for our world.  We must reclaim the truth for all humanity that we are not just flesh and blood living for the present, but wonderfully made beings, as the apex of God’s creation, who represent the Creator having His image and likeness upon us.  When people believe they are a reflection of God it will change how they view themselves and treat others.

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¹ Genesis 1:26-28;  2 Cor. 4:3-4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3-4; John 14:9

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