What does it mean to be made in God’s image?

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? We brought up this issue in my message this past Sunday, and I’ll remind you of some things here in just a moment. But Genesis 126 and 27 mentions three times that all people, regardless of age, regardless gender, are made in God’s image. It says it three times. So that’s a really important idea for us, and perhaps you’ve heard that term, but it’s a little confusing if we don’t dig in a little bit more to really appreciate what it actually means that all people are made in God’s image.

But it does say all people. So that means, again, regardless of age, regardless of size, that means in the womb that those children that God are knitting together and are forming in their mother’s womb is made in God image. That everyone outside of the womb, everyone who is medically fragile, anyone who is elderly, anyone who is vulnerable in some way or has a special need or some type of disability, all people, for all time, are made in God’s image. And what that idea means of being made in God’s image simply means that we were made to resemble God, certainly not physically, of course.

God is spirit.

We know. And so us having a body and him not having a body doesn’t mean that we resemble him in that way, but we resemble him in our inner being. And I want to point out just quickly three specific ways that we resemble God as being made in his image. We resemble him mentally, meaning that God has given us a brain, God has given us intellect and the ability to rationalize, to have logic. So anytime that you or I create something, we invent something.

We write a book, or we read a book, or we listen to a symphony, or we argue or debate, perhaps a reason or two for a position that we might hold. Anytime that we think, anytime that we use our mind in that way, we are declaring and proclaiming that we are made in God’s image. God made us that way. And that is one of the ways that we are set apart from other types of creation that God has made. Only humanity can do those things mentally, that God has equipped us to be able to do.

And so we resemble him mentally. We also resemble God morally. We resemble him morally. Which means that God has put within us an agent of conscience, the ability to be able to sense when something is good or right or not. And yes, over time, our consciences have been feared, as Scripture tells us, because of the effects of our sin that have caused us to sometimes call good that which is evil or evil that which is good.

But deep down, even though we are fallen humanity, we still have something within us most of the time that can reason and think through whenever a law is good, or whenever a law is just, or whenever something is unjust or not right or unrighteous. So anytime a person creates a law, or anytime we praise someone for their good behavior, or anytime we feel conviction over maybe a bad decision that we’ve made, all of that is a proclamation that we are made in God’s image, and we’re made to resemble God morally. And then thirdly, we were made to resemble God socially.

That, to me, is a picture of the triune God, the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who, of course, have relationship with one another even before humanity came onto the scene. But God is a social being.

There’s community within the trinity. And so God has made us to have community with him and with other people. It is not good that a person would be alone, Scripture tells us. And so God puts people in our lives that help meet this need for community that we have. So anytime that we spend time with a friend, anytime that we connect with another person on an intimate level of conversation, or being there for them in their time of need, or perhaps they’re there for us and they offer us advice, and we just feel more connected to them.

And even whenever we gather together for worship with other believers, and we’re all of one mind and one heart, and we are acting as the body of Christ, all of those are proclamations that we were made in God’s image, and we’re made to resemble God. So we resemble God mentally, we resemble God morally, and we resemble God socially. And what are the implications for that? Well, in my message on Sunday, we talked about this issue of the sanctity and the sacredness of life. And so if indeed this child in the womb is God’s handiwork, his creation that he is forming and knitting together, as Scripture tells us, then we need to understand that, again, these children are made in God’s image.

This is not just a blob or a tissue. This is an individual who is made to resemble God. And so that raises the stakes for us to hold on to an ethic of life and to recognize that we need to honor the child in the womb, while also, again, if you listen to my message on Sunday, honor their mothers and honor their families as well and those outside of the womb. That’s one of the implications. It changes.

This idea of being made in the image of God changes how we think about ourselves and our self image and our identity. It changes how we should treat other people, as we recognize. Even those that we disagree with or struggle to love are people who are made in God’s image. And so the implications for that are enormous. But one of the other implications that I just simply would leave you with is because we were made to resemble God, then that means that we, as God’s people especially, it’s important for us to reflect God in our words and in our deeds and in our character, so that when others see us, Jesus is the one who is seen in us, that God’s character is what is seen in us.

And so, as we’re made in God’s image, let’s reflect God in all the ways that we possibly can, and celebrate the fact that, again, we are made in God’s image. Thanks for joining, joining us today.