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Whose Image?

By Paul Bawden

The various killings in the United States and other places in the world should cause all of us to stop and think seriously about who we really are. Why do I say that?

I say that for somewhere we have lost the value of human life. How can that be? Could it stem from the major idea in our culture today that our origin has evolved somehow from some form of animal, and we are just an extension of that world? Certainly animals are valuable, God created them. But they give very little value to human life, as they are here for a while and then gone. Could this be why babies are killed in the womb, humans murdered at will, with some promoting euthanasia?

Following the evolutionary theory, actually man is made in the image of animals, which results in man becoming his own god. The outcome is that man worships himself, for he is the final image. Since man is also here today and gone tomorrow, he has no lasting basis upon which to give true value to human life. Man is weighed in the balances and found wanting.

On the other side of the coin, there is the biblical viewpoint that we are created in the image (the likeness) of the eternal God (Genesis 1:28-30). This means that each of us has an immaterial (spiritual) part, a mind, an emotion, and a will like unto our Creator God. Of course, that does not mean that we are God. At the same time, God made us physically either male or female. This means that each of us is infinitely valuable, immaterially and physically. We have the stamp of the eternal and loving God upon us. That’s why we can think, reason, invent, plan, laugh, enjoy each other, and life itself. Yes, why we are not an extension of the animal world.

I realize that this viewpoint of the value of man is not accepted in the popular arena. Regardless, such a denial does not do away with the reality that we all are created in the image of the biblical God with His value.

At the same time, accepting that man is made in the image of God, why is there still the killing of humans in our society? Again the Bible provides us that answer. When man knew God, that is he had a personal relationship with God and knew he was made in the image of God, he turned from that understanding and started worshipping the creature rather than the Creator. This meant that man started worshipping himself – his own image, while rejecting being created in the image of God. A quick read of Romans 1:19-34 tells us that this rejection of being made in the image of the biblical God has led to a depraved mind that becomes involved in different sins such as immorality of all kinds, greed, murder, strife, deceit, gossip, slanderers, haters of God, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful.

This dire situation needs a solution beyond man’s limited life that’s here today and gone tomorrow. The only solution I know of is the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of the God-man, Jesus Christ. For someone has to pay the penalty for sins that man has committed against the biblical God, provide forgiveness for each person, plus life that never ends. This is what Christ did through His death, burial and bodily resurrection. The person who believes in Jesus Christ as one’s Savior, receives God’s forgiveness, and eternal life, which is really a new spiritual nature. Now the believer can display, relying on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the image of the biblical God – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Only as individuals encounter the risen Christ, and live by faith in Him, will the killing stop in our culture, along with the hatred and unrest, and the true image of God will be displayed through each person. How about you? Does your life display your image or the image of the biblical God?

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