Bulletin Articles

Bulletin Articles

Created In God’s Image

Genesis is a battleground for worldviews. Humanists know that to undermine the teachings and concepts of Genesis will ultimately undermine Christianity. They know that biblical ideas are contrary to the evolutionary concepts to which they so dearly cling. Do Christians understand the importance of Genesis so well? Genesis matters because it is the foundation for understanding our relationship to God. Genesis teaches us who God is and who we are in relationship to Him. If we will have a proper view of who we are, then we must start with God.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

Trying to understand who we are without God will never work. This is one of the fundamental failures of naturalism. Humanists seek to understand man first, then speculate how man invented God. The biblical perspective is very different. Not only does God come first, but mankind is made in God’s image (1:26-27). Identity, purpose, and destiny can only be understood within these perimeters: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Male and female are made in God’s image. The “image of God” is likely well beyond what we fully grasp. We are complicated creatures. We struggle to understand. How much more do we struggle to understand the infinite God? Since God is able to do far abundantly beyond anything we can ask or think (Eph 3:20), we would do well to maintain some humility. Though far from exhaustive, I would suggest that being made in God’s image includes:

Reason. God made us with the ability to think and reason. The idea of God communicating with mankind in any way shows God’s expectation of reason. We have minds capable of reflecting, thinking, and deciding. We are made to think, and this ability reflects the image of God.

Morality. We are moral creatures, but why? Darwinists assume that what we call moral behavior evolved just like everything else, but brute materialism does not have the ability to explain why we should or should not do anything good or bad. The biblical worldview understands that morality is tied to the Creator. God is, by nature, moral. “There is only One who is good.” God doesn’t just do or command good, He is good. He made humans moral creatures with the ability to choose right or wrong. This is not something applied to the animal world. Dogs don’t contemplate the moral ramifications of their actions. We don’t call a tiger immoral for killing another tiger. Only humans have this moral nature, and this directly connects us to God’s image.

Love. God is love (1 John 4:16). The nature of love is that it seeks a loving response. God made humans with the capacity to love. This comes with a risk, for if we can choose to love, then we are able to choose not to love. Choosing not to love will have great consequence. Love, then, is tied to free will, for love cannot be forced. If loving God is the greatest commandment, then it must be chosen. Our capacity to love, together with our moral nature and ability to reason, are powerful reflections of being made in God’s image.

Dominion. In the context of Genesis 1 is the idea of dominion. Mankind was made to rule over all other created things. This concept of kingship stems from God Himself, who is the ultimate Ruler. Being made in God’s image means responsible rule and leadership. Humans were made as the crowning glory of God’s creation, and this calls upon us to act appropriately. This is not for our own selfish ambition or pride. Rather, we are to submit ourselves to God and His glory, just as Jesus, our King, acted.

Why sin is a problem

Sin is a problem precisely because we are made in God’s image. Animals have no moral dilemma or guilt. We, on the other hand, are guilty of sin because we are reasoning, moral creatures who can choose to love or not love God. If love means anything, then there will be consequences for not loving Him.

Law is a reflection of God’s character and nature. Sin is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4), and a falling short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23). Sin violates the glory and nature of God. When we sin against God, we also sin against ourselves, acting contrary to the image in which we have been made. The consequences of sin should drive this point home.

Being made in God’s image, we were created to serve Him and not ourselves. Let us remember that proper reason, pure morality, undefiled love, and responsible dominion are what God expects of us. We, of all creation, are especially blessed to be created in God’s image. Now, we continue striving to be conformed to the image of His Son. Respecting who we are will necessarily involve respecting the One who made us this way.