“In the beginning”, the starting pages of the Bible we see our God creating all things by the power of His word. There is rhythm, order, structure. “And God said”… “Let there be”… “And it was so”. Then suddenly, the rhythm breaks. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26). It’s distinct, personal, pointed. The Creator leaving His mark. Mankind linked with the divine, designed to reflect Him within the world. As we’ve reflected on Genesis, what does this mean for us today? How do we display this in a broken, sin-stained world?
Humanity, created in the image of God, has inherent dignity and value, established in God’s blessing (Gen. 1:28). We exercise the authority of God, in keeping His standards and purposes. Therefore, mankind is to do good on the earth, alongside the wonderful purpose of glorifying and enjoying Him forever.
This intimate and loving relationship meets a stark and tragic end. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve reject the gracious authority of God and their identity under Him, exchanging that for images of created things. This fallen humanity still retains the image of God in relation to our inherent value and dignity (Gen. 9:6). However, the vital core has been lost- the righteousness and holiness in which we were made has been lost, along with our ability to commune with the Creator personally.
Praise God, we are not left in that stained, marred state. The Father redeems His image bearers by sending His Son, “the exact representation of his being” (Heb. 1:3). Jesus Christ came to remedy our standing with God, restoring His image within us, so that through Jesus, “we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 4:23-24). So now, as we bear “the image of the earthly man”, we long for the day when “bear the image of the heavenly man” completely (1 Cor. 15:49), and can enjoy the covenantal relationship of communion with God that we were designed for (Rev. 21:3).
But while we wait, the Spirit works in us, making us more holy, loving, gracious, and patient, along with many other characteristics likened to Christ. And we wait actively, seeking that others find their purpose in Christ, enjoying Him forever. So as we move from our time in Genesis, let that point your eyes to Jesus – the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2), and invite others to join you, especially over this Christmas season.
Eden Williams | Ministry Trainee