Genesis 1:26-27. 26 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.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
All of life begins with God and with his love. But what does it mean to be alive? Were we made by God simply to be loved by God? The answer the Bible gives is actually way better. Better than being loved? Yes.
To be alive is to image God. The image of God or Imago Dei has been stamped into every human being. Every person bears God’s image and likeness. Nothing else in creation can boast this. Only us. This means the purpose and meaning of all of every human life is for it to image God. To be his lookalike. But how? Let’s break it down:
Let US – Our singular God is a plural. The Trinity. A loving community that exists as the one God.
our image – to image God is to represent him. Like an idol represents a deity, or a servant represents a master, or a son represents his father and family, we were created to represent God and his great love to the rest of creation.
our likeness – the likeness of God is the revealing of God. We were created to reveal God and his love to the world. In our spiritual but also physical being we make the invisible God visible.
Indiana Jones, the image and likeness of God, and the image and likeness of some other god.
You see being God’s image and likeness is even better than just being loved. It is the ability to love in return. Life is a cycle. God pours love and glory into us and we pour it right back toward him and his creation. In this way we participate with God’s life. You may have noticed verse 27 ends with male and female. The communal God created a community that could represent and reflect his other-centered love toward one another. That’s life!
“To live is Christ” restores the image and likeness of God to humanity.
1 Corinthians 15:49. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man [Adam], so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man [Jesus].
In the incarnation, God became the image of God (human). Jesus Christ took on flesh and made the invisible God visible. In his humanity, he became the perfect image and likeness of the Trinity. And he is the one that will restore us to the image bearers we were intended to be. In Christ the divine image is restored in us by his indwelling life. But it’s a process. The process of learning to live from his life. A process of learning to receive and then share the love of God and in so doing to image him to the world. A process that one day will be complete when we finally see Christ.
How do you see your life? What would you say is your purpose? What gives your life meaning? Is it image bearing? Is it God’s cycle of receiving and giving love?
You in Christ
Meditate today on how being in Christ restores your purpose as the image and likeness of God.
Christ in you
How can you make the life of Christ, the love of the invisible God, visible today?