Image of God
What does it mean to be made in God's image? Learn more about the divine role of humans established in the garden of Eden.

Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion:

  1. Compare Genesis 1:24-25 with Genesis 1:26-28. God makes animals, patterning them after their kind. What likeness does God pattern humans after, and what does he bless them to do?
  2. Read Genesis 1:28-30 and 2:15-18. What does God want his image bearers to rule over? What does he want them to multiply?
  3. Let’s continue to follow the story by reading Genesis 3:1-7. How do humans forget about their identity as bearers of God’s likeness? How does the animal rule over the humans, and what multiplies?
  4. Consider again how God creates his living images to rule with him as you compare Genesis 1:27-28 with Exodus 20:4-5. What ends up ruling over humans when they create carved images for themselves, and how do consequences multiply through generations?
  5. Consider how Jesus—the exact image of God (Heb. 1:3)—chooses to rule. Read Matthew 20:25-28. To rule as image bearers like Jesus, what does Jesus instruct us to do?
  6. Jesus shows us the mindset we need in order to rule as images of God. Read Philippians 2:3-15 and describe the attitude of Jesus, the complete image of God. What is one way we can shift our mindset to be like him?
What does it mean to be made in God's image?

In our modern context, it can be difficult to understand what this phrase means. But in the ancient world, being made in the image of a god was a familiar concept. Most people in the ancient world lived under the rule of a king, and these kings proclaimed themselves to be a god's image on Earth, having the authority to carry out the will of the gods. These kings would also create idols—statues of wood, stone, or precious metal—that were also said to be the physical embodiment of gods on earth, or "images of god."

Jesus is the new human and the perfect image of God.

Thankfully, Jesus came to do what humanity could not do on our own. Jesus shows us what it truly looks like to live life as the image of God. Through his life, we see that living as an image-bearer means to serve and love others—no matter what they do to us. Jesus then confronts the evil and destruction that humans brought to God’s good creation, taking on the full force of the consequences of our sin when he sacrificed himself on the cross.

Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus showed us what it means to be created in God’s image, what it means to bear this royal calling. At the very end of the Bible, we see God’s ideal first introduced in the garden realized—a new creation where humans rule over creation and push the world forward as images of God with Jesus as their salvation and example.

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Read the Blog
What Does It Mean To Be Human?
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Podcast Series
Image of God
4 Episodes
Follow discussions between Tim & Jon as they prepare to write the theme video on the "Image of God."

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