God Created Mankind in His Image
Open Your Bible
Genesis 1:26-31, Psalm 8:1-9, 1 Corinthians 15:47-49
Scripture Reading: Genesis 1:26-31, Psalm 8:1-9, 1 Corinthians 15:47-49
When God created man, He scooped up the new dust of the new earth, blew the breath of life into it, and fashioned a man in His own image. Man is the only creation made in the image of God! It’s hard to know exactly what this means, because God is spirit and does not have a body like man (John 4:24). So bearing the image of God doesn’t mean we have His nose or His widow’s peak; it means we are eternal beings, worthy of worth, value, and dignity.
Each one of us, every human being—regardless of where we are born or whether we can do calculus—carries this worth, value, and dignity imparted to us because we are God’s image-bearers. You can hear David’s incredulity in Psalm 8 when he marvels, “What is a human being that you remember him?” (v. 4).
Paul perfectly articulates this tension between the glory and honor of being an image-bearer of God and being made from the gritty dust of the earth. We are both earthly and heavenly.
Indeed, it seems like all this glorious attention and honor is more than we deserve. In fact, it is. Since the fall of humanity, we have marred this gracious glory of being God’s image-bearers with our sin. Now we are tempted to use our dominion over creation to hurt and control instead of steward and love. Nevertheless, God’s image remains inextricably stamped on our very being, even in our fallen state.
In his sermon “The Weight of Glory,” C.S. Lewis reminds us of this enduring truth:
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit—immortal horrors, or everlasting splendors.
All our actions, friendships, feuds, sidelong glances, and grocery store checkout interactions have eternal significance, for good or ill. The fall of humanity did not eliminate either our worth or our responsibility as God’s image-bearers.
The glorious news of the gospel is this: the perfect glory of who we are supposed to be is not lost forever. We have the promise of perfection restored and made even more glorious in Christ. Adam, the first man, was made of dust. But the second Man, Jesus, came from heaven. He was not created, but is coexistent and coeternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit—together as the Holy Trinity, they always have been and always will be (John 1:1–4). If we are in Christ, we straddle the life of the first man and the second Man; we bear the image of both. And in the end, because God has been mindful even of us, we will one day bear His image perfectly, reflecting the glory of Christ for all eternity.
Rebecca Faires loves the gospel story and needs it every morning when she wakes up to her five little people. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree in German from Hillsdale College, and most recently worked as the managing editor and writer at She Reads Truth. She now works from her log cabin in the hills of Tennessee, writing and illustrating books with her favorite mountain man. There she enjoys porch-sitting as it rains, reading the Oxford English Dictionary, and getting in way over her head. She is expecting her sixth baby and her first book in February of 2019.