Everyone matters to God. Every person has worth simply because they are a human. We are called human beings, not human doings. Our worth to God is not based on what we can contribute to the world around us; it is based solely on the fact that we were made in the image of God.
1. We Are Made in the Image of God
The Bible does indeed say that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27; 9:6; James 3:9), but it does not expound on exactly what that means. It seems to leave it open to discussion and possibly even interpretation.
In John 4:24, Scripture declares that God is a Spirit. Jesus said in Luke 24:39 that a spirit does not have flesh and bones. Second Corinthians 4:4 and Colossians 1:15 assert that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. We readily understand as human beings we have flesh and bones. We also know that Jesus had flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Therefore, we can conclude that being made in the image of God is not about our physical body, which then brings us to the question, “What does it mean to be made in the image of God?”We are not little “God juniors” running around this planet; instead, we are vitally important to God with the distinction of being the only creatures in the universe made in His image. Click To Tweet
2. Jesus is God with Us
My thought on the best way to unpack the meaning of this phrase is to look to Jesus. Jesus was God with us, and He was the image of the invisible God. Jesus told Philip in John 14:9, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” Again, considering that God is invisible because He is a Spirit (Colossians 1:15; I Timothy 1:17; John 4:24), we know being made in the image of God cannot be referring to physical attributes. Rather, the Bible confirms that Jesus, as the “express image” of God, displayed the characteristics and attributes of God.
We are not the image of God, but we are made in the image of God.
In His Image – a digital lesson with Pentecostal Publishing House – Don’t miss this lesson!
We are not little “God juniors” running around this planet; instead, we are vitally important to God with the distinction of being the only creatures in the universe made in His image. This distinction is obvious when we see the differences between humans and all other living creatures.
When sin entered the world, it did not erase the fact that we are all still made in the image of God, but it surely marred it. Our sin nature has tarnished this concept of knowing who we are and what we should do. Not only should realizing who we are help us grasp how important we are to God, it also helps us to understand what is expected of us.
3. Jesus’ Example to Us
Jesus came to restore this proper relationship and thought process within us. Knowing who we are, what we are worth, and how much God thinks of us can restore our confidence in how we are to be. This idea of what and how we should be is clearly seen throughout the Word of God by following the footsteps of Jesus.
Jesus was kind, loving, patient, forgiving, merciful, gracious, and so many other beautiful things.
This idea of what and how we should be is clearly seen throughout the Word of God by following the footsteps of Jesus.
But we must remember, those created in God’s image must be those things too. These characteristics can be attained by having the Spirit of God residing and working within our lives.
Is everyone made in the image of God? Yes! Sin has not negated that fact, only tarnished it. Even though everyone may not know who they truly are or act as they should, it does not change the fact that all human beings are important creations. Those who have been born again of water and Spirit, those who are a new creation in Christ because of this experience, should now strive to perfectly reflect the image of God to the world.
(A version of this content originally appeared in Pentecostal Life. To see more content or subscribe, visit Pentecostal Life.)
Mitchell Bland | Pastor of the Sanctuary, Hazelwood, Missouri
Resources and Links
In His Image digital lesson – Don’t miss this lesson!
Do we fully grasp what it means to be handmade by God for relationship with Him? Because we are made in God’s image, His imprint should be visible in our lives. This series will explore how we should live as a result of being fashioned for a relationship with God and to serve His Kingdom with creativity.
This digital series offers a variety of tools for leading your group or church in the lifelong journey to follow Jesus Christ. Originally developed for The Discipleship Project Curriculum, this material has been repackaged as single stand-alone topics to supplement churches’ teaching ministry. For this digital series, you can choose the option for children, youth, adults, or the whole church.