Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Created In The Image of God

Human life is unique. The Bible reveals to us that after God created all non-human life, He then especially created humans. But even more importantly, God declared that He created mankind in His image. In Latin this is referred to as imago dei - the image of God. Only mankind bears the imago dei. We know that this does not merely mean our physical traits since God is Spirit and not confined to a physical body. So what does the "image of God in man" mean?

We know that mankind is uniquely endowed with -

  • An immortal (not eternal, since it is created) soul that defines our life (James 2:26)

  • Self-consciousness, we can ponder our own existence

  • Moral sensitivity with the ability to be altruistic and heroic

  • Aesthetic appreciation that admires and is captivated by beauty

  • Spiritual hunger that manifests in transcendent (beyond this dimension) worship

  • Curiosity about the past and the future

  • A need for intimate relationship especially with God

This is what makes us different from animals and very special in the eyes of God. It's also why in Genesis 9:6 that God condemns the unjustified taking of another human's life.

The imago dei of humans is not mitigated by a person's size, gender, race, skin colour, location, intellectual prowess, or ability to perform a task. Therefore, from conception (the smallest possible size of a human) even in a mother's womb (location does not determine whether a human is a human) or in a hospice care bed attached to feeding tubes, human beings are of unique worth. God has made no greater statement about this than when He sent His Son to die in our place so that human beings could be reconciled to their Creator.

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