The Image of God – Gloriously
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV)
Humans are created in the ‘image of God.’
One of the most remarkable things about this is that the ‘image’ is never fully explained either in Genesis or in the rest of the Old Testament. Such a groundbreaking truth is simply stated as a fact, and we are left to guess at its dramatic implications.
Since the Hebrew Scriptures never directly address the nature of the divine image, the rabbis who lived between the testaments speculated creatively about its meaning. The consensus of their musings was nearly unanimous. To image God meant to replicate his most salient attribute – his glory.
We find the same reality in the New Testament. Every time Paul uses the Greek word for image, eikon, he does so in combination with the Greek word for glory, doxa, confirming that ‘image’ and ‘glory’ are mutually defining terms. To be created in the image of God is to reproduce the incandescent wonder of God’s own glory.
This presents a striking contrast to the nature of humanity espoused by many evolutionary biologists, who believe – for instance, in the words of Steven Hawking – that human beings are mere chemical scum, the accidental issue of natural processes and a whole lot of time, and hence devoid of inherent meaning and purpose.
According to the Bible, the meaning and purpose of our existence could scarcely be more exalted: we are made to image God’s glory!
Let’s not forget who we are.
According to socio-neurologists, the most important ingredient of personal identity is memory. As Christians, we must never be guilty of amnesia. We must remember what a glorious thing it is to be human, to be images of the glory of God!
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