In Genesis 1:26-27, we read the account of God creating mankind. Before he began his creative work, he declared both the form and the function of man.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27
God decided that man would be created in his image and after his likeness. We were created unique from the rest of the animals on the earth. They were all created by God, but only man was created in the image of God.
The image of God speaks to the way that humanity represents God through their physical and personal characteristics. Because of the might of warriors, we can begin to see what it means that God is all-mighty. Through the tender care of mothers, we can begin to see the tender-heartedness of God. In the love we experience from friends and spouses, we can begin to see the love that God has toward us. Through our lives, the image of God is represented to the world.
Just as an image of the Grand Canyon does not convey the complete magnificence of the geological wonder, so we, even at our best, can only represent a taste of the magnificence of God.
After God declared the form of man, he also declared our function in the world. We we given the task of exercising dominion on behalf of God over all creation. This is not because God lacks the ability to steward all of his creation. Rather, he invites us to participate with him, cultivating and keeping his great creation. God has given us the right to exercise dominion and to care for the earth as his representatives.
We have been commissioned to represent God in the same way that an agent represents and athlete, or a lawyer represents a client. Our actions should represent the actions that God desires on the earth. Our words should represent the words that God would speak. We were not created to represent our own self interests and pursue our own pleasures, but to act as God’s administrators over the earth.
How Then Shall We Live?
When man rebelled against God, this image was marred (Genesis 3). We now reflect God the way that a broken mirror reflects a shattered face. Despite our brokenness, God still saw the value in those he created in his image. He sent his Son, Jesus, to give his life on our behalf so that he might bring us back to him. When we were broken and unworthy, Jesus sacrificed everything to save us.
Jesus was the perfect image of God. He perfectly represented God on earth (John 14:9). Because of his example, we can see how we should live our lives. Jesus gave his life to save people who could not save themselves. He stepped in on our behalf, when we couldn’t. This is the example we have to follow.
We should shape our lives after the model that Jesus gave. He brought life to those that were destined for death. This is how we have been called to live. We must fight for the lives of those that are destined for death. For the unborn child destined for abortion, we must speak up. As people, who have been created to represent God, we must protect the lives of those who cannot protect themselves.
What Can I Do?
There are several practical ways you make a difference and bring life.
- If God has gifted you to work in the political arena, you can use those gifts to advocate policies that protect the lives of the unborn as well as the lives of women in crisis.
- While you may never be a politician, you can speak to your neighbors about the value of human life created in the image of God.
- You may be able to work or volunteer in a pregnancy resource center, helping provide medical care, job training, child care, psychological care or a support system for women in crisis.
- You could open your home to a woman who has nowhere to go. Be willing to sacrifice for life.
- You can adopt, providing the promise of a safe family for a woman who is afraid for the future of her child.
- Pray. You could actually stop reading right now and pray that God would save the lives of the thousands of babies aborted every day in America, and the tens of thousands aborted every day around the world. Prayer makes a difference.