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

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

There are 12 vital truths revealed in the fact that we were made in the image and likeness of God. Taken together, they provide the essence of a biblical anthropology, or view of humanity from God’s intention as our Creator, that has massive implications for virtually every discipline from anthropology to sociology, politics, and philosophy.

  1. We were created by the Trinity.
  2. We were created as persons by a personal God. [Gen. 2:7].
  3. God originally made mankind without sin. [Genesis 1:31]
  4. God blesses us. [Gen. 1:28].
  5. Unlike the animals who were made according to their “own kind,” we are made in the “image of God.”
  6. God gives commands to us because He made us as moral image bearers.
  7. God made us curious adventurers and granted us permission to explore His creation through everything from a telescope to a microscope.
  8. God created us to be creative and make culture.
  9. God created us to be reproductive and have children.
  10. God made us with meaningful work to do. [Gen. 2:15–17]
  11. God created us as his image bearers solely for our benefit, not his own.
  12. God created us to live coram Deo, “before the face of God” as friends. This Latin phase was commonly used by theologians throughout church history to explain the Christian life. Practically speaking, we were created to live all of life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, according to the Word of God, by the power of God, to the glory of God. Nothing in our life is secular or separated from the sight of God because all of life is sacred.

Which of these truths is the most encouraging to you?

This is an excerpt from Pastor Mark’s booklet Real Faith: Answers to the Top 100 Questions About Christianity. You can get a free digital copy HERE or a physical copy for your gift of any amount during the month of April HERE.

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