- Joe Steenholdt
Genesis 1:26-27 - Imago Dei
Being made in God's image is much more than skin deep.
Read / Listen
Read Genesis 1:26-27
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 6
Q. Did God create people so wicked and perverse?
God created them good and in his own image,
that is, in true righteousness and holiness,
so that they might
truly know God their creator,
love him with all their heart,
and live with him in eternal happiness
for his praise and glory.
“You use your hands when you talk just like your dad,” or “you have an adventurous and spontaneous side just like your mom.” Maybe you have heard phrases where others have compared similarities that you share with a parent or relative. Or when a newborn baby is born, families like to play the game of ‘which side of the family does the baby look like?’ “Oh, he is a spitting image of his dad when he was three months old.” Children often share some likeness to their parents, whether in looks or traits.
Genesis 1:26–27 reveals that human beings were the pinnacle of God’s good creation because they were uniquely made in God’s image. Adam and Eve would reflect their Father in Heaven in who they were and what jobs He gave them to do in creation. The Bible tells us that God is a Spirit, so it does not mean that we look like God or that God has a body, but we do share characteristics and traits. Following God’s lead in the creation act of Genesis 1, humans were tasked to work and rest. Genesis 1:26 points explicitly to the ruling aspect over all the other creatures.
We can observe the difference between humans and other creatures in many aspects. Humans inhabit all the areas of the globe, and even in less hospitable places like Antarctica, we set up stations to study the ice, animals, and climate there. We may not have any cities under the sea, but we learn SCUBA diving and build submarines to explore the ocean depths. We even build rockets to explore outer space. No other creature shares these aspirations. A Kangaroo has no thought of finding a way from Australia to Canada. Sharks are not building land machines to see what life is like beyond the shore. Humans are unique in what we make, develop technology, communicate and use language, learn other languages, work in various fields, farm, plant, raise our own food, and so on.
Who you are and what you do are closely related. Heidelberg Catechism 6 narrows in on a remarkable aspect in which you are made in the image of God: “in true righteousness and holiness.” The essential part of what makes you unique is sharing in God’s righteousness and holiness—doing what is right and being distinct from the rest of the world.
When Paul speaks of being created in the image of God in Ephesians 4:24, he then goes on in the rest of the chapter to elaborate on what that implies. The likeness of God includes speaking in truth and grace, not being sinful in our anger, doing honest work, and forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you (4:32).
Godly living reveals a godly character and will show to others that you are a child of God.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Father God, you created me in your image.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that truth and grace may be evident in your life and that others may know you are a child of God.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Mark 12