Read: Ephesians 2:10
“10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”
So, what does it mean to be created in the image and likeness of God? That’s a great question, and I’ll offer my answer very briefly here.First, what is the image and likeness of God? I think that is answered most clearly in 1 John 4 where it affirms multiple times (vs. 8,16) that God is love. Above all, that best describes the heart of God, the character of God, and the way, word, and nature of God. I believe that human beings are created from love, with a need, a desire, and a capacity to love. We naturally respond to love. It’s hardwired into us, because God is our Creator and because God is love.
Second, there are other qualities that we have that contribute to what it means to be made in God’s image and likeness. For example, the capacity for moral reasoning. It is free will that allows us to choose good or evil. I know some people don’t believe that we have free will, but Adam and Eve (ch. 2) made a choice (to sin), and that ability to choose was allowed by God. The “forbidden fruit” that Adam and Eve ate, gave them the knowledge of good and evil. It is interesting that many people know what’s right and don’t choose it, and know what’s wrong but still do it. Nevertheless, humans have a capacity for moral thinking – and we share that quality with God.
A third and more recent awareness for me is this: We have been made in the image and likeness of God the Creator, God the Artist, and that means that we have a God-given creative streak within us. I see this very compatible with God as love, and with our God-given freedom; artists need both to explore their talent and their identity. Can it be that our Creator relishes seeing what we as free-beings create? Especially what we create out of love? Our creativity is a very good God given gift and part of what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God the Artist. What creative impulses or inspirations have you received? How have you honored them as movements of the Holy Spirit of God the Artist within you?I’ve named three qualities, perhaps there are more. What do you think?
Pastor Rob Nystrom