Made in the Image of God: Choice

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Genesis 1:26

This week, we arrive at one of the most hotly-debated ways in which we image God: Our ability to choose.

Throughout the Bible, there are innumerable passages related to the will of God and His ability to do or not do whatever He wishes. Perhaps the one that most clearly states His sovereignty is Psalm 135:6:

“Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.”

There are literally hundreds more within the pages of Scripture. Isaiah 14:27; Luke 10:21, 12:32; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11-12; Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 2:4… this is just a small sampling of the wealth of passages referring to God’s absolute sovereign will.

There is nothing that falls outside of God’s will, according to the Scriptures. No word, no deed, no thought. Absolutely nothing. God is aware of all and in control of all.

So far so good, right?

Here’s where it starts to get contentious. [Read more...]

Made in the Image of God: Wisdom, Emotions & Morality

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Genesis 1:26

As we continue to look at humanity bearing the image and likeness of God, we come to the next way we image God: Through intellect, emotions and morality.

Wisdom and Knowledge

God is wise and full of knowledge. Several passages in the Bible speak to this truth, not the least of which is Isaiah 11:2, which says in anticipation of the coming of Jesus, “the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” Here God is spoken of (specifically God the Holy Spirit) as being the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, and of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Like God, we have the ability to have knowledge and wisdom (cf. Prov. 1:7). Solomon, King of Israel, was the wisest man ever to live (cf. 1 Kings 4:30-34). Jesus commends the dishonest manager for his shrewdness in using unrighteous wealth to make friends for himself, commanding His followers to be wise in using money as well (cf. Luke 16:1-13). So we can have wisdom, and we can know truth.

What we cannot know all things fully, nor can we fully understand God’s reasons for why He does what He does. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9). The Apostle Paul states, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). So while we cannot fully know yet, we are fully known.

[Read more...]

Made in the Image of God

John Calvin said, “We cannot clearly and properly know God unless the knowledge of ourselves be added.” Because humanity was created in the image of God, we need to understand what that means, and this understanding will in turn fuel our knowledge of God Himself.

A mentor of mine asked me, along with the other men he invests in, to build and define our understanding of what it means for humanity to be made in the image of God. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of the work I’ve done to this point, as an understanding of this topic is vital to our spiritual growth.

I hope you’ll join me here and also spend some time studying the subject for yourself.