Day 6: In His Image
The Bible opens in Genesis 1 with Creation:
God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness….” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:26-27, NIV)
What does the text mean when it says humans are created in the “image of God”? Does it mean we resemble God in our outward appearance? Does it mean that, like God, we are knowing, thinking, relational beings?
We resemble our Creator in many ways, but the Lord explains what He means by “image of God” in verse 26:
“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Humans bear God’s “image” in the sense that He has given us the ability to rule as He rules—the ability to exercise dominion over Creation and shape the world according to our will. We can cut wood, quarry stone, dig clay, mine ore, and fashion these simple materials into houses, tools, and machines with amazing abilities—vehicles that can travel to other planets, computers that can perform millions of complex calculations in the blink of an eye. We can harness the energy in sunlight, fossil fuels, water, wind, and the atom. We can splice DNA and manipulate genetic code.
Our God-given, God-like ability to shape the world according to our will holds incredible potential for good, but also enormous potential for evil. The next chapters of Genesis tell how humans chose to use their lordly abilities against God and against their fellow creatures.
The Bible closes in Revelation with a vision of the New Creation. John sees God on His throne surrounded by twenty-four elders symbolizing the Church.* The elders wear “crowns of gold on their heads,” signifying the dominion Christians wield as creatures in God’s “image.” John sees them “lay their crowns before God’s throne;” he pictures Christians voluntarily subordinating our will to God’s will (Rev 4:4, 10).
We are men and women created in God’s image—the many parts of His one Body, the Church. We have gathered at Point University to carry out the mission of “educating students for Christ-centered service and leadership throughout the world.”
—Dr. Chris Davis, Vice President for Graduate & Professional Studies
*The elders bear the white garment and harp elsewhere linked to redeemed saints, offer up prayers of the saints, sing the song of the saints, and play a priestly role similar to the 24 divisions of priests in 1 Chronicles 24 (Rev 3:4-5, 18; 4:11; 5:8-10; 6:11; 7:9, 13-14; 14:2; 15:2).
Let us pray that the Lord will guide us in taking captive every thought, every field, every profession, every academic discipline “to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). Pray that we will not only equip students with professional skills, but will also mentor them and challenge them to lay their “crowns” before God’s throne—to submit their will, their lives, their gifts, and their careers to Him, so that “the kingdoms of this world” will become “the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ,” who “will reign for ever and ever” (Rev 11:15).