Wendy Butz, RN, BSN
THEO 532, September 13, 2011
I was raised attending Baptist churches and have listened to many ministers talk about “man” being created in God’s image. I know we are created in God’s image because the Bible (Barker, 1995) tells us this in Genesis 1:26 - 27, (26) “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” (27) “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Ultimately the question is what does being created in God’s image truly mean? Are we like God in many different aspects, or does it simply mean we have some physical resemblance to God? Until taking this class, I never really formed a belief of my own or had a good understanding of how we image or are like God. This paper will discuss my understanding of what it means for humans to be created in the image of God, and the implications this understanding has for me as a nurse and serving others. Created In God’s Image
I believe that to be created in God’s image means that, like God, we are social beings with the ability to love. I know from scripture in the Bible that talks about the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that God is social. I agree with Hoekema (1986, p. 75) when he states that “man” should function in three relationships. The first, and most important relationship, is our relationship with God. The stronger our relationship with God, the more we devote ourselves to Him, the stronger our other relationships grow. The second relationship is one with our fellow “man”. Luke 10:27 says, “He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and will all you mind’, and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” The third relationship is that with and over nature. God gave “man” dominion over the earth just as God rules the heavens and the earth. I also believe that “man” has went through different stages of being like God since creation, and that man images God a little differently in each stage. In the beginning, when Adam and Eve were sinless they not only imaged God in their relationship with God, with each other, and with nature, but also with characteristics they possessed such as righteousness and holiness. After the “Fall”, “man” is still made in the image of God. He still possesses the ability to love, to be a social being and have relationships with God, fellow man, and nature. However, he is corrupted by sin and is no longer righteous and holy. Instead of having a relationship with God, sinning man disobeys God and even worships idols. Instead of loving his neighbor as himself, sinning man lies to, cheats, and even murders his fellow man. Instead of caring for and nurturing nature, sinning man exploits the earth. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God sent his son, Jesus Christ, the perfect image of God so that we may know Him and may be redeemed. There are many verses in the Bible that refer to Jesus Christ as being the exact representation of God (2 Corinthians 4:4, Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:15). Shelly & Miller (2006, p. 78) point out and talk about Jesus as being a relational being. He was born into a human family and community yet scripture clearly describes his relationship with God, as the Son of God. There are many verses that show us the characteristics and virtues that Christ possessed like righteousness, holiness, and the greatest of these, love (1 Peter 1:16, John 13:34 - 35). We see Jesus’ love for God and his love for man. Hoekema (1986, p. 22) states, “If it is true that Christ perfectly images God,...