What does it mean to be made in the image of God?

In this short essay, I want to highly encourage any feedback. The feedback should discuss further details as to what it means to be created in God’s image. Specifically, share your personal experiences of image bearing in line with scripture. What are some of your specific experiences of bearing the image?

Adam and Eve-Paradise by Lucas Cranach

There is an ongoing discussion of what it means to be made in the image of God; and that’s just it, an ongoing discussion. The Bible is not specific in Genesis what it means to be made in the image of God, rather, it only specifies that all of humanity is image bearers. But there are hints as to what it means to be made in the image of God found throughout scripture. Therefore, it cannot be denied that people are made in the image of God because humanity reflects aspects of God revealed in scripture.

God has certainly made humanity in his image, but the composition of the image is hidden. Genesis 1:26–27 is clear. God has made man in his image. There are no details as to what makes up the image of God. The only detail is that God is the one who has made them. But the meaning behind the image of God is easily reflected in the same verse and throughout scripture. God created mankind in his image, so that they can rule over the Earth and its creatures with him. This opens many paths as to what it means to be made in the image of God.

There are more than enough details to discuss what it means to be made in the image of God. When God gives authority to rule over the Earth with Him, He signifies a relationship can be had with Him and He with humanity. Humanity is given pointers as to what it means to be image bearers through expression of selves and communities that line up with God’s expressed Character in scripture. Some of these include: Being able to reason with God (Isa 1:18), the ability to be creative (Exo 31:1–6), and to have value affirmed by God (Matt 6:26). Surely these characteristics, plus many more, hardly scratch the surface of who humanity is, in relating to God, as image bearers.

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Collyn Dixon

Collyn Dixon

Student at New Orleans Theological Seminary. Philosophy, Theology, Christianity, and Phenomenology.