In the Image of God

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

1. Creater:

“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.

2. Rule

“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.

Understanding what took place at the cross

It is not a rare thing, to meet a Christian who has little or no knowledge of the very foundation of our Christian faith which is, Christ died for our sins so that we might be saved. Why is this so? I believe this situation is as a result of a lack of mentoring and ample time to study biblical truths about salvation.
Too often, new believers are overwhelmed with two extremes. On the one hand, there is the doctrine and pressure to prove you are truly saved by your actions, and on the other hand, the euphoria of all the good things and blessings that come along with being God’s word.
Both sides are right and mean well. It is amazing that actually most Christians fall under these two seemingly opposite categories. On the one side, we struggle with sin and try to make it right by actions, on the other hand we  accept God’s grace and do nothing about our hidden sin. The first side is usually known as the legalistic christian. The later as the Christian who believes in grace without fruit.

Earning Salvation

As born again Christians, we should not live as though we were not saved. The fruits of the Holy Spirit should be evident in our lives and spirit because we are new creatures. This nevertheless should not be lead us into the trap of trying to work for or maintain our salvation with our “goodness”.
Galatians 3:2-3 –  This is all I want to ask of you: did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying [the requirements of] the Law, or was it the result of hearing [the message of salvation and] with faith [believing it]? Are you so foolish and senseless? Having begun [your new life by faith] with the Spirit, are you now being perfected and reaching spiritual maturity by the flesh [that is, by your own works and efforts to keep the Law]?
Endeavoring to earn our salvation is a sign that we do not understand the completeness of the finished work. If we understand that Christ paid it all, the whole price, not just part, and that we can not add on to it to secure our salvation, then we can learn to trust in his sacrifice and know that He is enough for us.

Non-Fruit bearing

The other side of the coin understands that Christ paid the price and we have unending grace given to us as a gift from God. And somewhere along the way, conviction of sin is left behind. we fail to see sin as it is, it’s ugliness and how it grieves the holy spirit in us. We are okay with not dealing with our sinful nature because we know grace is enough. But we live in the joy of salvation and expect blessings and more blessings from God.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? – Romans 6:1-2
I have come to realize that before someone is given the gift of salvation, the joy of being a child of God, they must first and foremost understand the depth and ugliness of their sin. See their guilt and understand why they need a Savior. Otherwise we stand the risk of taking for granted, what Christ did for us. The price was too high and his life too precious to just be mediocre Christians with no fruit bearing. Much as we are not saved by our works, we are not called to life only to remain in bondage of sin.

What we learn about the cross.

It is at cross that we see clearly what Christ is all about. Every Aspect of Christianity can be summarized in that one act of love that Christ showed to mankind. At the cross, the deepest kind of love is expressed. Christ demonstrates obedience to the Father even in the hardest of times, even when it meant he had to lose his life. We learn the true meaning of forgiveness as we watch Christ die for a people as undeserving as we are. We see God´s power expressed in Jesus´resurrection.  These are the clear things that are evident in the series of events that happened at the cross but there is more to the cross than meets the eye.
If we don´t study the word clearly as the Spirit guides, we might easily over see the rejection the Son of God had to endure. What kind of pain got him to why out ” Father Father, why have you forsaken me!” or how bad must it have been to be rejected by God completely? How heavy was the sin of the whole earth? We sometimes are overwhelmed by our guilt and might never be able to live a free life because it keeps haunting us. Now imagine Christ had to carry the guilt of every man, that ever lived, was living and would live. How much guilt did Christ endure, just so we might live a guiltless life? What was at stake? What did Christ have to give up?  And yet, Christ did bear all this, just to save us. He gave up his holiness so that he can pay for our sin and in exchange cloth us with His holiness.
 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – John 19:30
When we understand the meaning of the cross, we are moved to by God´s love to be more like Christ every day. We will worship him with all our hearts. We will yearn for nothing else other than his presence. The passion to do God´s will becomes evident in our lives and oh how great the fruit we would bear. Our lives will be the testimony that brings all unbelievers to Christ. When we build on the foundation that Christ laid down for us.