Genesis 1:27, we read that God created human beings in his own image. This is a crucial concept for us to grasp, for it means that we bear the image of God and are like Him. It is important to understand that only human beings are created in the image of God. Sin and the Curse have impacted us, but to comprehend the extent of this impact, we must first understand what is bestowed upon us by image-bearing.
In Genesis 2:5, we learn that no one was there to work the ground, and no shrub had yet appeared on the earth. But then, streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. We see our family members in our children and are struck by the fact that we gave them life. They bear our image.
The first notion of image-bearing is that we belong to God, just as my kids belong to me. As a result, the first thing we get from image-bearing is a family name. Names have significance in the Old Testament, just as they do in our families today. In my family, the Cepin name means hospitality and taking care of others. We inherit a family name from God, and with it comes holiness. Holiness is sacred, right, and the definition of sanity. We have inherited from God a rightness, a sacredness, and a saneness, which are all part of our family name.
When we reflect on what it means to bear the image of God, we understand that we are called to demonstrate God’s character and attributes in the world. We are called to love God and love others, just as He loves us. We are called to live in a way that is holy, right, and sane. When we live in this manner, we reflect the image of God to those around us. Let us strive to live in a way that honors God and reflects His image to the world.
We can observe God’s image in human beings in a variety of ways. We see it in our creativity, our ability to think, and our capacity for relationships. We see it in our moral sense, our longing for justice, and our appreciation of beauty. We see it in our desire for purpose and significance, our yearning for love and acceptance, and our thirst for knowledge and understanding.
In Christ, the image of God is fully revealed. He is the perfect representation of the Father, the exact imprint of His nature. Through His life, death, and resurrection, He showed us what it means to live as image-bearers of God. He taught us how to love sacrificially, forgive freely, and serve humbly. He showed us how to be fully human, to live in right relationship with God and others.
As we follow Christ, we are transformed into His likeness, from one degree of glory to another. We are conformed to His image, becoming more and more like Him. We are empowered by His Spirit to live as image-bearers of God, to love as He loved, to serve as He served, and to glorify God in all that we do.
In conclusion, as image-bearers of God, we are called to reflect His character and attributes in the world. We are called to love God and love others, to live in a way that is holy, right, and sane. We have inherited from God a family name, which comes with holiness, rightness, and saneness. Let us strive to live in a way that honors God and reflects His image to the world, following the example of Christ and empowered by His Spirit.