New Apostolic Church USA

Made in God's Image

"Made in His image" Part 1 of 2 from the Summer 2019 Vision Newsletter

There’s a fascinating story in the Bible – one that is about us. It starts with these words:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

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

We may know these verses as part of the creation story, where God created Adam and Eve to be in fellowship with Him in the Garden of Eden. But this isn’t just about Adam and Eve – these verses apply to us; we were created in God’s image.

What does that mean? As human beings, the crown of His creation, God has given us godly attributes. Animals function based on what God instilled in them - instincts. But we are distinct from animals and the rest of creation. Humans have speech, the ability to reason, freedom, and with it, responsibilities, consequences, and the ability to love. All of these attributes are from God and are specific to us.

Just as God exists in relationship – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – He also created us to exist in 3 fundamental relationships:

With God: We can recognize His presence and hear His voice, we can pray to, worship, and praise Him, we can experience His love and respond to it with trust and obedience.

With each other: We were created for community, we depend on and support each other.

With the rest of creation: God commissioned humans to live in harmony with creation. To protect it, care for it, unfold it, and develop it.

When we live in fellowship with God, each other, and creation in this way, we experience it the way God intended. Just think of the description of the garden of Eden; Adam and Eve walking and talking with God in the cool of the evening, caring for and existing off of the beautiful environment that God had created for them.

But with the fall into the sin – everything was shattered.

With one catastrophic choice, all of the relationships were broken, and this we still experience today:

Our relationship with God went from intimacy to fear. Because of our sinfulness, we became remote from God and lived as prisoners to the evil one, with an unrelenting propensity to sin.

Our relationship with one another went from community to conflict. Though man and woman were still seen as equals in God’s eyes, they tried to rule over each other, which produced jealousy and hatred.

Our relationship with creation deteriorated from care and sustenance to toilsome labor. We have become enslaved to material things and greed to the point that we stop caring about our fellow man. We exploit the creation’s resources in a selfish manner without worrying about the cost of our behavior to others.

However, when the fall occurred, God promised Adam and Eve that a Savior would come to restore these broken relationships.

With the coming of Jesus Christ, everything changed.

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