Ways You are Made Like God

Written by M. R. Conrad |
Saturday, June 8, 2024

From creation, God made human beings in His image for His glory. So, reflect your Maker in who you are and what you do. Represent Him well wherever you are. Glorify Him because He made you in His own image to reflect His likeness.

No, you are not omnipotent, and you never will be. You are not a god, and you cannot ascend to that level. That’s been tried, and the devil and his angels got condemned forever for it. Yet, God made you like Him. You bear the image of God.

Genesis 1:26 records how God created human beings: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’” By design, God purposely made us like Him. But how? What does it mean to bear the image of God?

Image and Likeness

The idea of an image is not complex or foreign. The Hebrew term refers to a statue or copy that represents the original. In 1 Samuel 6:5, the word image described replica mice and tumors that represented the real rodents and diseases that plagued the Philistines. God told them,

“You shall make images of your tumors and images of your rats that ravage the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will lighten His hand from you, from your gods, and from your land. . . . And they set the ark of the LORD on the cart, and the chest with the gold rats and the images of their tumors.”

That’s kind of gross, but the meaning is clear. When people saw the replica rats and tumors, they knew what they represented. No, the images did not have all the abilities of the genuine rats and tumors to spread disease and sicken people, but everyone could make the connection between the images and what they represented. The same is true for mankind.1 We are made in the image of God. No, we do not have all the attributes and abilities of God Himself, yet in how we are made, we reflect our Maker.

The word likeness is a close synonym to image. A likeness is a resemblance, a shape, or a pattern. Often a likeness is created using a mold which gives the object its shape and distinctive features. God patterned human beings after Himself. In some sense, we are like Him. But in what sense?

Attempts to Describe the Image of God

Substantive View: The Image of God is What We Are

According to theologian Millard Erickson, going back to the church fathers, Christians have considered the image of God to “consist of certain characteristics within the very nature of the human, either physical or psychological/spiritual.”2 This is called the substantive view. The image of God is what we, as humans, are.

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