Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:26-27
Folks sometimes post pictures of their children with a child picture of themselves to point out how they are the spitting image of one another. Is this what it means somewhat to say you are created in the image of God?
You ARE made in the image of God, yet you are visible, and God is not. So His image in you must not be your big nose or small hands, but rather your human nature, your mind, character, heart, and soul; all that lives on as “you” when your body is discarded.
Is it possible to know who you are when you exit your distinctively “you” body? I believe Paul tells you “yes” to that question when he describes his brief “translation” into heaven in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. This is a mystery, but as Paul says, “whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell”; yet they still know one another.
So do you actually think much about what it means to be created “in the image of God?” You ought to know something about it because Scripture indicates it is a vital truth for you to grasp. It describes who you are foundationally. You are made in God’s image whether you claim it or not.
It is a good thing to do to meditate on what God’s image in you means. Do not treat it glibly, matter of factly, or just ignore it. Rather be reminded of it and do the personal research to grow in your understanding of who God is and through knowing Him knowing who you are.
Calvin wrote in his Institutes of the Christian Religion: “Again, it is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God’s face, and then descends from contemplating Him to scrutinize himself.”
So take your Bible and search in it for the biblical defining of God, in all 66 books. Scripture always enlightens Scripture, so its parts reflect the truth of the whole. Scripture is never inconsistent with itself. If you find it so you are not understanding the true meaning of a text or you are taking that text out of context.
Then, also look at the magnificent Creation and see the magnificence of God in it. This is the God in whose image you are created. You are never equal to God, but His nature is reflected in you, minus your sin. As it says so poetically in Psalm 139 you are marvelously made.
Attempt to list the things you know about yourself that you believe reflect the image of God in you. An exercise like this will help you to look at the face of God and then at yourself through this lens to know yourself more thoroughly.
It ought to humble you at the very least. God’s glory does that. Your ultimate goal in all this is to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). This is your glory.
“Clearer still we see thy hand in man whom thou hast made for thee; ruler of creation’s glory, image of thy majesty. Music, art, the fruitful garden, all the labor of his days, are the calling of his Maker to the harvest feast of praise.”
(2nd verse of David Clowney’s hymn “God, All Nature Sings Thy Glory,” 1960)
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