In the Image of God

New City Catechism. Week Seven Q&A: Q. What does the law of God require? (A. That we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves.) The question for Week Eight is: “What is the law of God stated in the Ten Commandments?”

Karen and I are having a wonderful time memorizing the questions and answers of the New City Catechism. The catchy little songs that accompany each Q&A never fail to evoke an emotional response from both of us. We can’t help but visualize our own grandkids singing the lyrics, and in the process committing those precious truths to memory. If you’re not taking advantage of the New City Catechism yet, you’re really missing out on a weekly blessing.

It’s Q&A number four that I want to talk about this morning. “How and why did God create us?”  Answer: “God created us male and female in His own image to know Him, love Him, live with Him, and glorify Him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to His glory.” John Piper wrote one of the commentaries created for this segment and it’s the way he explained why we were created that struck me so powerfully.

Piper explained that God made us in His own image so that we would glorify Him. He said when an artist makes an image of someone “he wants to image forth something.” If that artist made a self-portrait, he would want people to think not so much about the painting, as about himself. And he would want to make the painting show something specific about his character. Therefore, if God made us in His own image, He did so to image something, and that something is Himself. Let’s not let this get too complicated. God made us to be an image of Himself--that means that were supposed to look like God. When others look at us, we’re supposed to help them see what God is like. And if we’re sincerely seeking to live our lives in joyful obedience and gratitude for the way that He has recreated us (from the disgusting images of our inborn sinful nature), that image will glorify Him.

The image is not the original, so of course, it’ll be flawed. We all know that we’re flawed images of our Savior and Lord, but the glorious part of this metaphor is that, in this case, the creator is able to project Himself perfectly even through flawed images.

Piper closes the lesson with this prayer: “Maker of all, let us not lose sight that we, and every human being that you have made, are created in your image. Never let us doubt this about ourselves.  Never let us doubt this about any other man or woman for to do so denies you the glory that is due to your name. Your likeness glimpsed in us testifies that we belong to you, body and soul. Amen.

Take just a minute, right now, to listen to the song. You’ll be blessed.

Written by Jim De Horn