What does it mean to be made in the image of God? What evidence is there to prove that we are made in the Image of God? How can one identify the Image of God in us? Do we become less of God´s image when we fall from grace?
“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ” – Genesis 1:27
To understand what this statement means, we first of all have to know who God is. The bible is full of various ways that review to us who our God is. But it also goes ahead to show us that we are his children, who he made in His own image and loved so much to the extent of doing and giving His all, just to have us reunited with Him, this, after we clearly rejected Him.
An image is a reflection of the original object. So having been made in the image of God doesn’t make us God. We are only but a reflection of himself. With the exception that, though our disobedience and wanting to be like God, we corrupted the nature of our original being. God on the other hand is good through and through.
When God made man, man too was good. He said in Genesis one ” and everything was good” God was pleased with all He made, man included. Then he blessed man, and have him rule over the earth. With this authority, came the opportunity and responsibility to project God’s image in us in all we do and say.
What are some of those characteristics of God, that we find in man?
Characteristics of God
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1: 1
Are we creators? Human beings invent new things all the time. Some times it is hard to imagine what life would be without some great inventions that occurred in the past centuries. We have achieved so much.
But we should not forget that God is our inspiration. We copy the examples in nature that He provided for us as inspiration. God on the other hand doesn’t need inspiration. He can create everything from nothing. We on the other hand need God to be able to create anything. He gives us ideas and resources that enable us to do what we do. As a loving Father, He cheers us on when we use the creative mind He gave us.
To create things, we need authority. God had the authority to create things. He gave us the authority to rule over the earth so people too have authority. Someone has authority because; -it belongs to him, no one except God can take it away from him or her. Our response to this God given authority should be obedience and a humble heart know that we need God, if we are to do anything right.
When we go our own way, we will, through our creation, destroy ourselves with our inventions. Unfortunately, due to our sinful nature, we have also created things that have destroyed us. The sin rooted in our hearts blindfolds our eyes so we may not see and discern what is bad and what we should keep our hands off.
Our words also create. Most times, we underestimate the power in the words we speak into our lives and the lives of the people around us. We are reckless with our choice of words. We curse people without even knowing it. Many people live in bondage so hard to break because of a word that was once said to them by someone who even forgot they said this. How many people have lost hope in themselves because they were told they are not good enough? yet a little simple good word, goes a long way. Sometimes i dare to imagine what this world would be, if we all paid more attention to what we say to people we encounter.
“God blessed them and said to them, “Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” ” -Genesis 1: 28
How should we rule?
It seems obvious that we should rule like God rules. Yet how many times, do we, in the hunger for power, cross the boundary? And yet when we get to a position that lends us authority -which ever kind- we tend to suppress those who seem to be “below” us.
Man should not just seek his own good but also the good of those under his rule. Justice, in love, referring to God’s rule, with God’s help, not our efforts.
The authority to rule is not limited to just the plants and animals, but it goes deeper into the dimensions of leadership both of one’s self and others. A great leader, knows where his authority comes from. He knows that he can not rule well, without the grace and guidance of God. He knows that the same God who raised him, has the power to put him down.
Having power and rule over someone or something does not make us god. If we make ourselves our own god, then we are not acting like we are His Image. We make ourselves our own image. And in so doing, we make the devil to our god.
Jesus was an example of a Ruler. He was humble, meek and cared for all his followers and more.
See Jesus, “who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” – Philippians 2:6
We are God´s image
God said we should no make an image of him. He already made an image of Himself: which is mankind. If we attempt to make an image of God, we not only represent Him in the narrowed perspective through which we see Him but also our sinful nature can not allow us to express even a pinch of His perfect, good and holy being. How can we, yet we are inclined to evil in all we are and know. The image we would make of Him would not even be an image of him but an image of ourselves.
Seeing that we are inclined to doing evil than good, are we more in the image of God when we “don’t” sin than when we sin? We know that God created us in His own image. Despite our sin, we are still beautifully and wonderfully made.
Now despite being made in God´s image, we can choose to walk away from God for we have a free will given to us as a gift from God. When we choose to live a life contrary to what God intended for us, it does not make us short of being in His image, but it surely does distort it to the extend of the original image not being recognized anymore when someone looks at us. But we can choose to be in Christ.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” -Genesis 1: 31
Because God is good. He is the source is good. And when we are in Him, He enables us to become more like Him the more we surrender all our being to Him. We can only truly see evidence of God in us when we are in Him. In so being, the truth that all God created, us inclusive, is good can be seen in what we do, say and in our lives.
Was Lucifer also made in the image? The bible does not talk of angels being made in the image of God. It actually is written that Christ set us higher than angels. So no, Angels are not made in God´s image. Thankfully we have been made in the image of God and when we rely on Him as our guide, our lives will be a testimony to those around us.