Mrs. Gertrude, an 81 year old Sunday school teacher who has been teaching Sunday school for 61 years, looks down at little Johnny, whose mouth is stuffed with gold fish, and tells him, “Johnny you are special because you are made in God’s image”. What a great fact for little Johnny to know.
I mean isn’t it great to be made in God’s image? “Well yes! It is wonderful! I love being made in God’s image, it’s just that…I uhhh…hmmmm….Its great, but I’m not really sure what it means.” Maybe this is your response. Maybe the only image of God that you have in your head is that which the Simpsons have placed in through their own cartoons sketches of God. Wherever you might be in your thinking let’s take a look at the image of God together and see the importance of us reflecting that image.
First, let’s look at a quote by Andy Bannister. (Andy works with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and has a great article of what it means to be human here→ https://www.rzim.org/read/a-slice-of-infinity/what-does-it-really-mean-to-be-human)
Andy says this:
“If atheism is true and there is no God, then there can be no grand purpose to life—we are just freak cosmic accidents, random collocations of atoms thrown up by the tides of time, chaos, and natural selection. We are nothing more than matter, molecules, and atoms.”
Wow. That sounds depressing
He goes on to say:
“But if that’s true, some fairly drastic consequences follow. For instance, there would be nothing wrong with treating our fellow human beings on that basis, as if they were just particles, as mere things. After all, they would have no inherent value or dignity.”
I want to start off with this: because God exists YOU are not here by accident, nor are you just a depressing collocation of atoms thrown together by the tides of time, chaos and natural selection. I want you to know that there is a grand purpose to life and I want you to know that you are created for a purpose by a CREATOR!
As human beings we are different from all the rest of creation. In Genesis 1:26 God says, “And let them have dominion over the fish of the seas and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on earth.” God has given mankind dominion over all creatures of the Earth. Just in that verse we see the privilege that God has given to humans.
Verse 27 says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Humans hold the significant title of being made in His image! Being made in God’s image is not a title for super christians, but it is a title for every single human to ever live. If you are reading this you can bet 100% that you have been made in that image of God! Even brutal men such as Sudam Huessain and Adolph Hitler were made in the image of God. How could such destructive men like this be made in God’s image? Well, like all of us, our sin has distorted the image of God (we will look more at this in a moment), but this does not take away the fact that we are still made in his image.
Being made in the image of God doesn’t mean that we look like God.
Wayne Grudem explains that “Being made in the image of God means that man is like God and represents God.” (Systematic Theology)
We are not God, nor are we little gods, but we do share some of the characteristics that God has. We have the ability to love, show compassion, be gracious and gentle, etc,etc.
See God made us in his image so that we would be REFLECTORS of God! The whole point of creation is to bring glory to God and God made humans in his image so that they would reflect who he is!
So how well are you reflecting God?
The thing is, even though we are created in the image of God we have sinned. And our sins have distorted God’s image.
Sin doesn’t take away the fact that we are made in God’s image, but it does distort the image of God within us.
So think to yourself, are you reflecting God or are you reflecting a distortion?
Here is the Good News: Through Christ, God has redeemed us so that we might “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29)
And Jesus was the perfect Image of God because he is God. Colossians 1:15 says that “He is the image of the invisible God”
Through Christ we can be conformed to that image. We can become more and more like Christ (like God).
The more and more we reflect Jesus the more and more we reflect God and his beautiful, righteous, holy, magnificent image.