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The Image Of God


In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him,
and without Him nothing was made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

Then God (the Father, the Son and the Spirit) said,
"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;
let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
over the birds of the air, and over the cattle,
over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
So God (the Son) created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them. (Gen 1:26-27)

An image is an optical appearance of an object produced in a mirror or through a lens bearing the same likeness of the object. An image is not permanent like a photo. It is a reflection of the object. It changes in the same manner as the object changes. For the image to be as clear as the object, light is needed. No light, no image. Little light, dim image.

Our God never changes. His image remains the same. We are being transformed into His same image from glory to glory. Day by day, He is transforming us to become more like Him! We need His light to continue shining through our lives until we reflect the fullness of His glory!

Now the Lord is the Spirit;
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is liberty.
But we all, with unveiled face,
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor 3:17-18)

At creation, God endows man with His godly characteristics, distinguishing him from the rest of His creation. God is a Spirit, invisible and having no physical form. We will not look like God physically. The image of God, which we bear, is therefore His attributes such as personality, mind, creativity, capacity to love and be loved, emotions, will, conscience, imagination, memory, moral responsibility, holiness and godliness. God has made us like Himself. He has also given us the desire and privilege to worship Him!

Jesus is the Word of God, and He created all things! Nothing was created without Him. We are created in His image bearing His light and life. We will become more and more like Jesus from glory to glory:

Beloved, now we are children of God;
and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
but we know that when He is revealed,
we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself,
just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)

The creation of man was not an afterthought at the end of Day Five. God is the Designer, Architect and Planner of the whole universe. Before the world even began, God had man in mind. In actual fact, we are His prized masterpiece.

The name of God used in Genesis 1 is Elohim, a uniplural noun. El is singular, Eloah is dual and Elohim implies three or more persons.

Likewise, man is a tripartite being – body, soul and spirit. The presence of a living spirit in us differentiates us from the other creatures. Man is 100% physical, 100% emotional and 100% spiritual – not one-third body, one-third soul and one-third spirit. A soul without a body is a ghost, a body without a soul is a corpse and a soul without a spirit is a beast!

At the creation of man, Adam’s body was first formed from the dust of the earth. Like a Potter and the clay, man was created as he was molded and fashioned by the hands of the Master. Then God breathed into man His Breath of life, and man became a living being.

The first woman, Eve, was created after Adam's naming of the animals. God taught Adam speech and language as they walked and talked in the Garden. Adam was able to study and analyze the different kinds of animals, and chose suitable names for each one of them. He was endowed with wisdom and power to fulfill his role of exercising dominion and stewardship over the earth.

The animals were already divided into male and female. Sexuality already existed at this time. But Adam could not find a counterpart for himself in the animal world. There was no one in creation who could be his helpmate. For the first time, God declared that something was not good. And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." (Gen 2:18) "Not good" does not imply "evil", it simply means "incomplete." Further creativity and work were needed to bring total completeness to man.

Placing Adam into a deep sleep, God took a rib from the side of Adam and created a woman. The LORD made Eve by taking her out of Adam. Both male and female were made in His image (Gen 1:27). His image is all about His attributes, and not about His physical appearances. Both Adam and Eve had the attributes of God!

Though man and woman were separated and differentiated as two separate persons, one is incomplete with the other. And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Gen 2:23-24)

While both man and woman are created in the image of God, they are not identical. In fact, they are complementary opposites. One without the other is not whole or complete.

To be created in the image of God means that we are not to be alone. We have the ability and privilege of knowing, serving and loving God. We are 100% human when fulfilling our spiritual responsibility.

Every human life is precious to God as all are created in His image. This is the reason why we should love our neighbours as ourselves and treat all, whether male or female, as God’s masterpieces.

Source:
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary