26 “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. 27 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 (ESV)
“In America and throughout the world, the church of Jesus Christ must rise up to defend the rights of all individuals—children in the womb and abused children outside the womb, kidnapped girls forced into sex trafficking, men captured and sold into slavery, and the aged, infirm, or unwanted murdered through euthanasia and genocide. Our triune God is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of life, He has bestowed dignity on every person, and He alone has defined personhood. The barbaric murder, abuse, and slavery of our fellow human beings ought to bring us to tears, to our knees in prayer, and to action on behalf of the least of these as we preach the gospel to the nations and fight for the life and freedom of all individuals so that they might live and hear the gospel of eternal life,” explains Pastor Burk Parsons.
Pastor Parsons stated that the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of life has bestowed dignity on every person and He alone has defined personhood. When did God give inherent dignity and personhood to every individual; born and unborn? He did so when He created man, as recorded in today’s text from Genesis 1:26-27.
I remind you that abortion is one example of a spiritual battle of worldviews. The Secular/Atheistic Worldview does not believe that people possess inherent value because they do not believe in the existence of God. Therefore, their rationale is that people do not possess inherent value because God did not create them in His image. God could not do this because they say God does not exist.
The Biblical Worldview says otherwise. The Bible says individuals are valuable, regardless of gender, intelligence, ethnicity, age, class, wealth, notoriety, or social position. God created mankind in His image. What does this mean?
The image of God, the Imago Dei, comes from the Hebrew word Sal-me’. The Hebrew word De-mut means model, shape or likeness. In Genesis 1:27, the Hebrew word Selem is also used for image. While the words “image” and “likeness” appear as synonyms, image refers to natural reason while likeness refers to original righteousness prior to the fall (Genesis 3).
God emphasizes the likeness of God in man. Man is not made in the likeness of other creating beings, such as fish, birds, or animals: domestic or wild. Rather, mankind is made according to God’s “kind” or likeness. “We possess the dignity of the divine,” says Pastor Parsons.
It is understood that the image of God in man is our ability to rationally think, express emotion, and to make conscious decisions. This is the essence of personhood. Whether the potentiality of personhood has been achieved following birth makes no difference. God has given inherent personhood, and value, to created man; born and unborn.
Therefore, “that image provides human beings with a unique ability to mirror and reflect the very character of God,” writes Dr. R. C. Sproul.
It is apparent that mankind does not always reflect the very character of God. Why? It is because of sin. Sin is the subject of our next article.
Have a blessed day in the Lord as you reflect the character of God because you bear His likeness; the Imago Dei.
Soli deo Gloria!
The His Word Today Weekly Podcast begins Monday, September 5 featuring expository messages from the Epistle to the Ephesians.