What’s So Special About People?
Find out how and why we should live out the truth of being made in God's image.
Written by Olivia White
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Genesis 1:26
What does it mean to be made in the image of God? Why does it matter? Being made in God’s image means that he made us as reflections of himself. Some of the characteristics we share with God are our knowledge of right and wrong and our eternality.
Because we have a conscience and a soul, we do have knowledge, to some extent, of right and wrong and we therefore also have the ability to choose between right and wrong. We either have the choice of following Christ and living in a relationship with Him or not following Christ and following our own way. We will be held accountable for our choices. We will never reach a point where we cease to exist. Whether in heaven or in hell, we are going to live forever even after physical death.
When we see humans in this light, it should affect our opinions and decisions, on a number of issues. Here are some specific ways that this belief should shape our views of the culture in which we live.
Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide
An unborn baby is not just a clump of cells. It is a tiny individual human being whose life God has already planned out (Psalm 139:13-16). All humans, young or old, are more than mere physical bodies. Each of us has an eternal destiny.
For the non-Christian, the present life on earth is the closest to heaven they will ever be. Death does not put the unbeliever out of their misery; it carries them into eternal misery far worse than anything they ever experienced on earth. For the Christian, though death means being with God in paradise, we must carry out our mission that he has given us until he calls us home.
Racism and Immigration
Just as all humans were equally made in God’s image, all people are desperately in need of the gospel. The terrorist extremist, the wealthy businessman, and the impoverished widow are all dead in their sins if they are apart from Christ. Likewise, they are all offered forgiveness through the same gospel.
God does not look at the outward appearance but at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). We can’t evaluate people based on their nationality or the colour of their skin. Christ has called us to spread the gospel to all nations. Those who come to us through immigration represent a unique opportunity that is being given to us. However though the nations are coming to us, many refuse to minister to them as we have been called to do. We ought to show kindness and share the gospel with everyone.
Generation after generation our identity seems to become more insecure. Physical appearances unfortunately, can be for some, held as the determining factor of a person’s worth. Our culture has begun to realize this problem and has attempted to address it, yet it seeks answers in the wrong places. Most pop songs reflect how twisted our culture is. Even though the artists may wish to convey an uplifting message through their lyrics, they still predominately proclaim what society values, which is beauty and sexuality.
The Bible offers a better alternative. Men and women alike have value because God has made them. Our worth is not found in our sexuality or our appearance, but rather in the God who made us, redeemed us, and adopted us as His children for His glory.
How to live out the Truth of being made in Gods image
Being made in Gods image is a truth that should affect the way you live.
First, treat all people of all ages and ethnicities with respect and kindness.
A practical outworking of this, is volunteering at a nursing home or crisis pregnancy centre, or perhaps befriending a lonely person whom everyone avoids. Maybe you need to care more about your grandparents or another elderly person in your life. If we truly believe that all people are equally valuable, let’s show it through our actions.
Most importantly, share the truth of the gospel with as many people as you can. When Christ returns and judges the world, you won’t regret the times that you evangelised, rather you’ll be regretting all the times you didn’t. The good news of Jesus is the truth that sets souls free and now is the time to proclaim it.