Made in His Image (Part 1)
John D. Telgren

I remember the day each one of my sons was born. As I gazed on each of them for the first time, the thing I noticed about each of them is they had my nose. They have some features of both me and my wife. You can tell who the parents of our boys are. This reminds me of a rhetorical question God asked long ago.

"To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him (Isaiah 40:18)?"

In context, this question is a challenge to useless idols and would be gods. There is nothing like God in all creation. Is it any wonder, then, that God does not want us to make idols to honor him? Nothing we can imagine or fashion with our hands is even remotely like God. It is just as Hannah prayed, "There is no one holy like the LORD (1 Sam 2:2)."

However, there is a sense in which there is something "like" God in his creation. All the way back at the beginning, God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...(Gen 1:26)."

So, aside from Jesus who was the "radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature...(Heb 1:3), man is the only one in all creation that bears the image of God. Indeed, we are the "image and glory of God (1 Cor 11:7)."

However, sin corrupts the image of God. It is as if mud and filth were thrown onto a mirror so that it no longer reflects the glory of God. Jesus came to restore the image of God in us by first cleaning away the dirt by dying for our sins, and by transforming us through the Spirit. This is what it means when scripture says we have "renewal" through the Spirit (Titus 3:5). When we are renewed, we have "put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him (Col 3:10)." So, Jesus restores the image of God in us.

What is an image supposed to do? It reminds others of God, just as seeing my sons would remind someone of me. It also brings honor to God. It reveals something of God's nature. Since God is light (1 John 1:5), we are to reflect his light. Since God is love, we are to love (1 John 4:8). Since God is holy, we are also to be holy (1 Pet 1:16). Since God is righteous, we are to be righteous (Rom 10:3). And the list goes on and on.