The Image of God

August 1, 2019

Pastor Jerad Free

 

Looking around at problems in the world it seems as though the world has become full of people who cannot help but to covet after things that they feel would make them better. For example, looking at Hollywood and the lifestyle of luxury, it’s really easy to want the image of that lifestyle wealth and fame. It’s easy for someone to fall into wanting a life they don’t have and want to live like someone else who has luxury and prestige versus the life that they do have. Although in most cases of people fantasizing about the image of Hollywood, the reality is that they may never get to that level of what life they want. Thankfully there is an image that beats the highest of anyone in the highest of heavens and here on earth. There is an image that is hopeful and not hopeless. There is an image that can fill a person’s heart with love and not obsession or lust. One might not believe that statement, but this image comes from a source that all have access to if they choose to do so. This image is the the Image of God or the Imago Dei. The Bible states that God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground. So God created human being in his own image. In the image of God he created them male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27). What that means is there is something far much grander than Hollywood spectacles on a television screen and people can look to something better than possessions and money.


When it comes to the Imago Dei (Image of God), the definition of image is astounding and according to the Webster’s Basic Dictionary (Webster). It means reflection as in a mirror as though it is the same. It also goes on to say that image means counterpart. The awesome part of this definition is not really reflection, although that is interesting, but when it says counterpart. Is it possible for a person to be a counterpart with a creator that is above all else? According to the way creation was set up that answer would have to be a yes. Mark Ross spoke about the Imago Dei in Tabletop Magazine and his view was that God made a point to set up a foundation before the creation of mankind. In all His creation, mankind is what makes God the most happy (Ross, 2013). Shaun Lewis view on this issue is that God has given man the gift of uniqueness by making mankind in the image of Him. Although sin can corrupt God's creation, it cannot undo salvation because by choice mankind can get back to that place of being one with its creator. There is a redemption process God has allowed and can be taken if choices are made. It's awesome that mankind has been made higher than even the angels God has created, but yet they protect mankind if they choose to live in God's image (Lewis, 2012). On these 2 views alone there a connection with God that does allow people to be a counterpart with God and the way to be that way is leave sin behind and believe in his Son Jesus Christ.



When thinking about the definition regarding the Imago Dei, one must ask the question should God’s people imitate God in any aspect of life. This answer surprises some and people get skeptical when they hear that true believers should imitate God. This does not mean imitating him in an all-powerful aspect, but in the aspect of how God in the flesh walked the earth through his Son Jesus Christ. Paul goes into this and says to imitate God using love and living like Christ did (Ephesians 5:1). This does not mean we are on the same level as God, but as his children we ought to represent God in a way of imitation of him so the world can see him through his people.


The Image of God is a physical aspect with feelings and emotions while at the same time being a spiritual aspect on how to live by example of our Creator. There is evidence in The Bible and in science that God has emotions as though he were human. This is seen with emotions of anger, jealousy, concern for his people, and the most important emotion of all, his love. It is so amazing to think that the Creator of the universe created mankind more special than anything else in creation and still feels that way even though a fall has happened that distances people from God. The fact that "sin" has crept in and caused a damper on God's creation, God is a merciful God who still allows us to be in the image of him by choice. This means our destiny is in our own hands by choices we make while God still has a plan for our lives. Unlike all of the other species created, man is truly after God's own heart while all other creation cannot have a relationship the way that mankind can have. It is so amazing that God would save the creation of mankind for last making them the greatest of all creation in the eyes of God.


When thinking about God and him making man in his image, there is an aspect of trinity he has instilled in mankind as well. Just as God's Trinity has a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Mankind has a trinity of mind, will and emotion. Just the way he created mankind can send goosebumps through those who choose to believe this; however there are those who would rather put other creation (animals) more important than man. One must notice that God has set mankind to be superior to animals, but in today’s age that is not true. Animals are lifted up and made by made as superior. Animals in today’s age get treated so much better than man, but is this because we are to take care of these animals in a sense of being superior to them? (Richards,1991) Although it is clear that organizations like PETA and the SPCA would think animals are more important, the bible is clear that mankind is superior to animals and mankind is to take care of animals as well because they are Gods creation while mankind is made in God’s image.


Something else to note about being Imago Dei is that God made mankind not only to reflect him, but be a representative of him (Strong,1996). Even though the fall of Adam and Eve has placed hardship into the creation God has made, He still loves his creation so much that he made every way possible for mankind to be with him. Going back to the trinity of man, which is the soul, even though man fell into sin it, did not take away God's image from mankind. God still desires man to be made in his image spiritually and physically. The soul is composed through mind, body, and emotions which is the spiritual aspect of the image of God. Physically mankind is to show the image of God through his Love (Focus on the Family,2011).

In conclusion, God created everything in an order to lift up mankind. Nothing that has been done has changed the Imago Dei and it is still as precious as ever with a relationship bond that cannot be broken. Even though there was an attempted setback from Satan himself introducing sin into the world, God’s people can still live in the Imago Dei. Since God is the same thorough out history while never changing, it is evident more now than ever that his people can be confident while living in the light of the Creator himself and that nothing separates from his love but the bad choices of his people. Even then they can be confident that God is there and they can continue to live in Imago Dei.

 

Works Cited

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Genesis 1:26-27 New Living Translation (NLT). 2015. s://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A26-27&version=NLT (accessed February 13, 2019).

Alexander, David and Pat. "The 'image' or 'likeness' of God (1:27)." In Handbook of the Bible, by David and Pat Alexander, Oxford: Lion Hudson Plc, 2017.

Auld, Graeme. "The Expository Times." Imago Dei in Genesis: Speaking in the Image of God, Janury 1, 2005:

Focus on the Family. What It Means to Be "Made in the Image of God". 2011. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/what-it-means-to-be-made-in-the-image-of-god (accessed February 13, 2019).

Lewis, Shaun. "Journal Dispensational of Theology - August 2012." What is Man? or, The Image of God, August 13, 2012:

Minerva Books, Ltd. "Image." In Webster's Basic Dictionary, by Ltd. Minerva Books, New York: Minerva Books, Ltd., 2010.

Richards, Larry. "Genesis 1." In The Bible Readers Companion, by Larry Richards, Baltimore: Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc, 1991.

Ross, Mark. "Tabletalk Magazine Defining Personhood." Imago Dei , 04 01, 2013:

Strong, James. The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996.

Tyndale House Foundation. Ephesians 5:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT); Living in the Light. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Foundation., 2015.

Copyright © 2019 Jerad Free

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