In His Image
Created for personal relationship with God
By Jared Segerstrom
When God created humanity in his image, he didn’t just plan for that image to be on display for creation. He also created mankind in his image so that he could be in relationship with us.
God is a relational being. The three persons of the Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – have been in perfect relationship since before time began.
Jesus spoke to his followers about his relationship with the Father:
“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who lives in me does his works” (John 14:10).
“I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:4-5).
When God created mankind, he wanted to be in special relationship with them. He created men and women in his own image, and gave them the ability to be in relationship with him.
This special relationship is something only humans enjoy. Before sin entered the world, God enjoyed perfect fellowship with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. However, when Adam and Eve sinned, that relationship with God changed.
For every descendant of Adam and Eve, including you and me, sin has separated us from God. Ephesians describes just how sinful humanity is:
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also” (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Sin has distorted the image of God in humanity, but it has not destroyed it. Shortly after flooding the earth because of mankind’s wickedness, God tells Noah to put those who murder to death. Why?
“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans his blood will be shed, for God made humans in his image” (Genesis 9:6).
Even after Adam and Eve sinned, and after God flooded the whole world because of rampant sin, God still says that human life is valuable. Why? Because God made humans in his image.
God created humans in his image so that he could have a relationship with them. That is why God provides salvation for sinful image bearers like you and me. This special relationship between God and humans even makes the angelic world stop and stare with amazement.
“It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—angels long to catch a glimpse of these things” (I Peter 1:12).
Angels are amazing beings created by God to serve him, but even in all their glory, they do not have the relationship with God that believers enjoy.
What does it mean to be made in the image of God? The image of God means that humans are different from animals. It also means that we have authority over creation. And finally, the image of God means that we can have a personal relationship with the God who created us.