Sunday Thoughts: Image Bearers


Have you ever noticed the sameness in our world today? Trends today seem to homogenize everybody, and even the attention-seekers in our culture all seem to look, sound, and act alike.


Sometimes it’s easy to fall for the lie that we’re all just alike, and all of us do have plenty of things in common. But there’s one common thread that makes us all special — we’re imagers of God.

We’re all familiar with Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” But have you thought about what it really means? We have something special in our being that nobody can take away from us.

“The image of God is the special status that all human beings have as those made to reflect our Creator’s character and commissioned to carry out his purposes in the world,” explains the Lexham Survey of Theology, which adds, “Most theologians interpreted the “image” as the rational faculty of the human soul which makes it possible for us to think in the way God thinks.”

“Man was created in the image of God, in order that he might be fit for the presence of God, and prepared to enjoy fellowship with him and with other holy beings whom he had created,” wrote Charles Octavius Boothe.

Related: Sunday Thoughts: What Creation Reveals About the Creator

In his terrific book “Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions,” Greg Koukl tackles the implication of what that means (specifically in response to those who try to say that humans are just animals):


At the core of our beings lies a mark, an imprint of God himself — not on us, as if foreign and attached, but in us, as a natural feature built into our natures. This mark is part of what makes us what we are, who we are. We would not be humans without it, but only creatures. Because of this mark, we are not kin to apes. We are kin to the God who made us for himself.

There are moral, philosophical, and relational implications to that truth as well, as Koukl points out:

God's image in us is what makes abortion a homicide and sexual slavery a travesty. It is the reason we are not free to treat each other like animals. It is why certain "inalienable" rights belong uniquely to us. It is also the basis for our friendship with God. We are like him so we can be near him in an extraordinary, intimate way.

In a sense, it’s strange to say that a common thread that we all share makes us unique, but it’s true. “Because of the mark of God within our souls, we are each extraordinary in a way that no disfigurement — physical or moral — can ever change, no circumstance can ever alter, no thief can ever steal,” Koukl adds. “It is God's forever gift to humanity, his image on our being."

We’re so unique and precious to God that He loves and cares for us as individuals over and above everything else in His creation. Jesus reminded His followers:


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:29-31 (ESV)

The Apostle Paul reminded the Roman church that because of God’s imprint on humanity, people have no excuse but to turn to Him:

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Romans 1:19-20 (ESV)

What does it do for your everyday life to remember that you bear God’s image, His distinct stamp on you? How does it affect you to know that He cares for you uniquely? It shouldn’t drive you to pride or self-esteem, but instead, it should lead you to glorify Him. If that knowledge doesn’t point you toward worship, you might need to check your pulse.


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