Summary: God created man on the last day of creation with his image. Although we have distorted the image of God, it can be restored through faith in Jesus Christ.
“I want to be pretty.” This is the title of a popular tv program that was airing when we lived in Poland. It was a reality tv show in which in every episode you follow the changes of two women who are the heroes of the program. Each of these women work with a team of specialists for six weeks. During that time they are cut off from contact with their friends and relatives as they undergo major changes in their physical appearance and also their self-image. Finally friends and family are invited to the studio where they meet them face to face with great drama.
An example was Gosia who said: „I was good looking all my life but I’m not able to accept how I look now….It’s not about being older. But it’s simply that I look different. Now I feel like an old used up slipper. I’m ashamed of myself in front of my husband. This has gone on for nearly a year. How long can he stand it?”
Does our life and happiness depend on our appearance? I’m sure Gosia was happier after her transformation but is she a better person? Is she a better wife and mother? Does the change of appearance change our character and make us better people?
This morning we are returning to Genesis 1 and looking at one more thing that God created from nothing – the image of God in human beings. Here God says that man was created in the image of God; in his likeness. But what does that mean?
Can we say that we physically look like the Lord God? The Old Testament many times describes God as a man. The Bible says that God has a face, ears, eyes, mouth, hands, feet, and fingers. God walks in the garden of Eden and sits on a throne.
These descriptions are called anthropomorphisms which means a way of describing God in a way that reminds us of a man. But God is actually Spirit and has no body. John 4:24 “God is Spirit.” He is not limited as we are. He doesn’t need eyes to see or ears to hear. So the image of God is not his physical appearance. The Old Testament uses the picture of a man so that we can better understand the actions of God. In fact any time people do see God, he is in the form of Jesus Christ: Col. 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God.”
The image of God in us separates us from the animals who were not created in His image. We are unique. And his image is about his character. What do we have in common with the character of God?
God can speak. In the third verse of this chapter it says „And God said…” and then the sixth verse: “And God said”. God spoke to Adam, to Abraham, to Moses, and to us. And we are still similar to God because we also speak – we communicate through words. And we don’t just speak among ourselves but we speak with God in prayer. Prayer is simply a way of communicated in our Spirit. Out of all creation, only people can pray!
God can write. What did he write? God used men to write the Scriptures but there are a couple exceptions: God wrote the 10 commandments. Exodus 31:18 And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.” Just like God, we too write. We write books, emails, notes, lists, because we are in His image.
Above all God is creative. He created the world in a beautiful, interesting, artistic way. Look at the person next to you – doesn’t that prove that God is creative and original. Who else but God could make a face like that? And so we too make all sorts of things: we paint, build, compose, create from fabric, from wood, from metal, from everything possible. And thanks to God we create new life – we are given the awesome blessing to bring new life into the world because we are in the image of God.
God loves. You can say that your dog loves you – but he knows that you are his master and that you take care of him and feed him. But God loves us without any conditions – he loved us when we were enemies of his. Often we use the word “love” in songs. We fall in love and get married. We love our friends, our children. All of this because we are in the image of God.
God has an eternal Spirit – he never ends. Man is not just body. But unlike animals, we have a soul and a spirit which are eternal and never end. Death does not end our Spirit and Soul but they continue on because we are created in the image of God.