By Marni Montanez
Genesis 1:27 - God (YHWH) created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them in the image of God
What does it mean to be in the image of God? What would God’s reflection look like in His people? Being in the likeness of God is to be like God in the Spirit.
It says in His word that “God is Spirit”, so this verse does not mean a physical manifestation. For us to be “in His image”, refers to the spiritual reflection of God. When He created us He wanted us to walk with Him just as Adam and Eve walked with Him in the garden; their communion was real and intimate. They were able to walk so closely with God because their spirit was the dominant force and represented God’s likeness in their behavior and attitude. That is until they sinned. The desire God had at the beginning of creation for His people to walk with Him in Spirit has not changed. He still expects this from us. We as Christians are the image of God. We are covered in the blood of Christ and anointed for His good works and when God looks at us He sees Jesus. In this mirror of holiness we reflect back who God is. It has become increasingly more difficult to look like God unless we have the Spirit of God within us.
The Hebrew word for image is tzelem. God’s character image is described in Galatians 5:22-23
New King James Version (NKJV)
22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness, and self-control.
As we enter into the realm of the Spirit and dwell there our character changes, our worldliness dies and we are transformed into the Spiritual character of God. In this process we begin looking more and more like our Creator. Although we walk around in mortal bodies, our reflection of God is seen in the spiritual realm and that is where our eternal life is. Much too often we strengthen our carnality when we give in to temptation or continue living in our “fleshy” nature. But we strengthen our spirit man or spirit being when we deny ourselves and dwell in God’s presence. The more we move forward in Him, the more we become the image He first intended.
I challenge you to challenge yourself and nurture your spirit man as you deny your flesh.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.