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Man is made in God's image.

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Tellyontellyon, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. Tellyontellyon

    Tellyontellyon Active Member

    United Kingdom
    Genesis 1:27

    So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

    What does it really mean that we are created in the image of God?
    What does that say about us?
    What does that say about God?
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  2. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    Jehovahs Witness
    It means that humankind was given characteristics and qualities that mirrored God’s own, such as love, wisdom, power (Authority) and a sense of justice. It's to do with personality traits and has nothing to do with physical likeness. We are flesh, God is spirit. That's why the Apostle Paul, since we have all inherited imperfection from Adam, encourages us:

    "Do not lie to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it," Col 3:9,10.

    Paul encourages us to build personality traits, qualities that reflect Gods, thereby getting closer to the image or personality of God that we had from the beginning.

    Jesus so perfectly reflected Gods image or personality/qualities that he could say to Philip:

    "Jesus said to him: “Even after I have been with you men for such a long time, Philip, have you not come to know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also. How is it you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9.

  3. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    It is near universally agreed among Christians and Jews that to be created in the image of God refers to the spiritual, or intellectual, image of God. That being we have a rational mind, most importantly the ability to choose either good or evil.
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  4. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

    United States
    Just like the image you see in a mirror. You see a reflection of the original.
    The reflection does not lift things or is in any way the same.
    But it looks similar.

    Consider the state of reflective surfaces when the words were written.
    The best image of something you could see was in water.
    Kind of poetic and spiritual.
  5. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    In the LXX, we could say God created man AS the image of God. Also, having Christ in mind, are we not created in his image?
  6. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

    God created man with the intention of having a family. Adam was primarily a spirit being. God is Spirit. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. It is difficult to see past the terrible state of mankind now. Yet God has not forsaken His creation and has made it possible for us to be redeemed and put back the way that God intended in the beginning. God wants us to be His sons. And God will have His way.

    One of the greatest promises, if not the greatest, is that Christians shall be like Jesus one day. No angel will ever be made like Jesus. Imagine millions of people just like Christ living on this planet. If that does not stir your heart, I don't know what would.
  7. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    I like to think we are made in the image of God in a way the Angels are not. The three persons of God, (Father, Son, Spirit) are one God. We too are made to be one with Him, and now for a time are not above the Angels but will be. We alone of all creation are built for that purpose, to be the Body of Christ --the Bride of Christ, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

    We are incomplete beings at present, I think. "Without me, you can do nothing" John 15:5
  8. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

    I think we have, through God, at least some of his supernatural powers, but there is something missing that only we have control of, and that keeps us from using those powers.

    Peter walked on water because he had the thing missing, faith, and the deciples and maybe others were, and maybe are today, able do healing and various miracles.

    It us supposedly, at least according to the following verse, relitively easy to have that kind of faith, yet is seems nearly all of us just can't seem to have it.

    Matthew 17:20, Jesus said, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    What a powerful verse, and it takes just a tiny bit of faith, faith to be more like God than we ever imagjned possible.
  9. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    Put very succinctly, it means we have a soul and are above the animals. They have a certain dignity as God's creations, but we have that plus the dignity of bearing God's image.
  10. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    United States
    In Relationship
    There's been a decent amount of ink spilled writing on this subject over the centuries; but in essence I would maintain it means that human beings were created to reflect God, to represent God in creation. New Testament scholar N.T. Write I think also is correct when he says that it's not just about reflecting God into creation, but also it's about reflecting creation back to God.

    If we read Genesis ch. 1 as a Temple narrative, where the creation of the heavens and the earth is God building the Temple in which He will dwell, it actually offers a lot of insight. The creation of human beings as the climax of the creation week is doubly: God installing His image in His Temple (the heavens and the earth), and man serving as priests in God's Temple.

    That man bears God's image, the capacity to love and have fellowship with God, to act as a moral agent in creation, to reflect God's goodness into the world and to bear the creation back up to God in responsive love and worship.

    We see the consummation and fulfillment of this in the vision(s) concerning the Age to Come, where God has come to dwell with His creation, the heavenly Jerusalem having descended down upon the renewed creation. People dwelling with God, and God with His people forever. The language of the Prophets speak of all nations coming to Mt. Zion, to Jerusalem and in Christianity we have come to understand this as reference to Christ, His Church, and the ultimate victory of God for creation. The renewal of all creation means the re invigoration and ultimate completion of man's good purpose as the image-bearing creature of God who cares for and tends to the world in love, and who loves responsively back to God.

    God's love and the response to God's love, as the rhythmic heartbeat of all creation.