Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Are we made in the Image of God?


THE IMAGE OF GOD - IMAGO DEI

Are We Made in the image of God (Genesis 5:1-3), remembering this was after the fall of man? A response to Mark Wagland.

Thanks Mark for the question.

You highlight Genesis 5:1-3 and this says:
1 This is the written account of Adam's line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man." 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. (NIV)

Genesis 1:26-27 says similar words:
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.(NIV)

In one word, I believe the answer is 'Yes', though lets delve a little deeper.

Origen wrote these words, 'And God said, "Let us make man in our image and likeness" (Gen 1:26). He then adds, "In the image of God he made him" (Gen 1:27), and is silent about the likeness. This indicates that in his first creation man received the dignity of the image of God, but the fulfillment of the likeness is reserved for the final consummation... The possibility of perfection given to him at the beginning by the dignity of the image, and then in the end, through the fulfillment of his works, should bring to perfect consummation the likeness of God.' So Origen was saying that the 'image of God' related to humanity following the Fall, and the term 'likeness of God' referred to humanity after its perfection when Jesus comes back a second time.

We see God destroying much of the human race from Genesis 6, with the story of Noah. God is pleased with Noah because he was a righteous man, but others were wicked and that grieved God (Gen 6:6). Why would God create human beings in God's amazing image only to destroy them afterwards? The answer really comes down to the idea of human free will, and the great privelege we have to choose the Creator, and to follow this God who loves us and wants to bless our lives. When we follow God and exhibit elements of the character of God (like Noah did), we witness the image of God being expressed in our lives.

This is a short answer. Feel free to comment (anyone), and continue the discussion.

God bless,

Pete.

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