Today's Manna

January 1, 2017
Created in God's Image
by J. Eric Doucet
Scripture Reading: Genesis 1

Genesis 1:26-28 clearly states that humans were created in the image and likeness of God. What is not so clear is what this phrase actually means. The original readers would have understood this phrase to mean, ‘Let us make man to be like us and to represent us,’ according to Bible scholar Wayne Grudem.

I believe Grudem has captured God’s intended meaning. Mankind was created to reflect God’s character and represent Him on the earth with the purpose of establishing His rule over the earth. Understanding why we are here, not just how we got here, is vital to our search for meaning and purpose, as well as to our understanding of the significance of Christ’s work in our lives.

It is very obvious that God’s image in man has been corrupted as a result of sin’s entrance into the world through Adam’s disobedience to God. When Adam sinned he also relinquished authority over the earth to Satan, whom Jesus called “the ruler of this world” (Jn 12:31, 14:30, 16:11). As a result, humans now bear Adam’s image and likeness (Gen 5:3). We reflect Adam’s sinful nature and have lost the privilege of being God’s representatives on earth, making it impossible to fulfill God’s original purpose for mankind. Thus, it is also impossible to discover true meaning, purpose, and joy in this life.

The only way the image of God can be restored in humans is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As the virgin-born Son of Man, Jesus did not inherit Adam’s sin nature; and, as the eternal Son of God, Jesus is not under the devil’s dominion. When we believe in Jesus, God makes us new creations (2Cor 5:17) and gives us new natures.

Therefore, in Christ, we are being conformed to His image (Rom 8:29) making it possible once again to reflect God’s character in the world. As ambassadors for Christ (2Cor 5:20), believers can once again be God’s representatives on earth with the responsibility of establishing God’s rule over the earth. This is not done by force, but by faith as we proclaim the Gospel to every creature, giving them the opportunity to enter the kingdom of God.

As we start 2017, let’s commit to reflecting the Lord’s character by living holy lives. Let’s also commit to representing Jesus faithfully by consistently giving sinners an opportunity to believe in Him.

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