IMAGE BEARERS     Dr. Joseph Stowell
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our Image.” Genesis 1:26
If you have wondered about “purpose” in your life, wonder no more. In I Corinthians 6:20 we read that we are “bought at a price” and therefore should “honor God” with our bodies. As the catechism says, it is the chief end of man to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” But what does that mean?
God makes clear that His primary purpose in creating us was to demonstrate His qualities and His glory through us. As Genesis notes, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26 NASB). So by divine design we are image bearers.
It is obvious that “in His image” cannot mean that we physically look like him. God has no physical properties. Nobody looks like God, because “God is Spirit” (John 4:24). To be created in His image means that we were created with the potential to reflect His qualities through our lives.
For instance, God has personality, will, and emotions. He created us with personality, will, and emotions so that we could connect with His and let His personality, will, and emotions flow through ours. His personality encompasses His character and attributes.
His will reflects His plans; and His ways and His emotions reflect how He feels toward sin, sinners, His children, and His creation. When His character and attributes are reflected in our lives, when His will is manifest in how we live, and when we love what He loves and hate what He hates, we are in the process of fulfilling His intended purpose.
Psalm 19:1 tells us that “the heavens declare the glory of God.” Romans 1:20 says that “God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen” in creation. But the fact that God is loving, righteous, merciful, and just can only be seen through us.
As those around us watch the personality, emotions, and will of God flow from our lives, we give visibility and credibility to God. That is what it means to “glorify God.” Image bearing is our privileged purpose in life.