It’s been awhile since I have thought through some of the implications of being made in the image of God. God imaging. To be personal and specific, I am made in the image of God. I image God. I am a representation of who God is. If you want to get some kind of idea of what God is like then look at me. That will give you a clue. Truly God is Spirit and no man can see him, but when he decided to make his creation he thought it good to make the crowning accomplishment of his creation (man) in his own image, thus we are made in the image of God. We have some of his characteristics, attributes. The imprint of God is certainly on me. Now that is a sobering and far-reaching thought.
I revisit these thoughts as I have been doing a study on the Holiness of God the past few months. Part of that study is a re-read of Sproul’s book The Holiness of God. The following is a quote I rolled over a few days ago…
From R. C. Sproul’s book, The Holiness of God, page 116:
The slightest sin is an act of defiance against cosmic authority. It is a revolutionary act, a rebellious act in which we are setting ourselves in opposition to the One to whom we owe everything. It is an insult to His holiness. We become false witnesses to God. When we sin as the image bearers of God, we are saying to the whole creation, to all of nature under our dominion, to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field: “This is how God is. This is how your Creator behaves. Look in this mirror; look at [me], and you will see the character of the Almighty.” We say to the world, “God is covetous; God is ruthless; God is bitter; God is a murderer, a thief, a slanderer, an adulterer. God is all of these things that we are doing.”
I went ahead and changed the sentence that is underlined to a more personal “me” rather than the broader more universal “us”, which is what Sproul had. It seems to get down to it a bit quicker. “Yeah, look at me. You want to see what God is like? Well look over here. Gaze upon me for awhile. Watch. Study what I do and you’ll know about God. You don’t know God, you say? Then follow me around for awhile and you’ll quickly discern who he is. I bear his image.”
Umm…I think my preference would be for folks not to look at me. I’m a poor representation of what God is like.
But here is the real stunner. I know I’m a jerk, but the glorious truth is that God knows this too and he has made a way for me to change so I can give a more accurate representation. He killed his Son. He took all my unworthiness, all my sin, all my poor imaging, all my badness and dumped it on Christ and then killed Christ, thus removing my sin. Then he gave me his Spirit to empower me to walk in a manner that is worthy of his great name and image. He took my sin, killed my sin, gave me his Spirit, empowered me and gives me grace each day to walk a new way and has abundant mercy on me when I fail because I am his child. This is amazing to me. No, this is stunning. Yes, this is the gospel.