I’ve written extensively on man being created in the image of God and how this impacts the discipleship process. The Father’s design of man is foundational to understanding the worth of every individual. His love extends to every man, woman, and child based on His created likeness in them (Gen 1.26-27).
Value #6 – The dignity and value of every person.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Even in Adam’s fallen state, God still holds man’s likeness to Him in high regard. It was the image of God that exacted a bloody punishment for the blood of another bearing the same image (Gen 9.6). Sin had corrupted the man but could never diminish the love God had for him (Jn 3.16, Rom 5.8, 1 Pet 3.18). From the beginning, God had a plan to rescue us from ourselves and His wrath (Gen 3.15). When Jesus died, He died for all sin, past, present and future. And all who would accept this gift would inherit eternal life (Jn 1.12, 3.16).
The fact that God views us this way should have a huge impact on the way we view ourselves and others. But our rebellious nature pervades even with this knowledge. Some would still stubbornly reject this gift of love and ignore the eternal consequences (Ps 10.4). Others would be so bold to advise God that they were not worthy of such a gift and choose to remain unforgiving in their own misguided pride and self pity (Rom 9.20). And the greatest offense is when we who profess to understand His grace and mercy in our own lives do not extend the same to others (Mt 18.35). These 3 gross abuses have tragic consequences.
So, how should we respond? First, we need to repent of any self-sufficiency. We must completely embrace the person of Jesus Christ as the only cure to our hopeless condition (1 Tim 4.10). Secondly, we must see others as our equals in both sin and need for God’s forgiveness. No matter what scale man has designed to elevate himself one above another, we are the same (Rom 3.23). And finally, we need to extend the same love Christ has shown us to others (1 Jn 2.1-11).
Note: God’s love does not cancel His Justice. Without Christ we are left to pay for our own sins.
So what do you think? Leave me your input in the comments below.
© 2008, 2009 Following Jesus by Chuck Wood All Rights Reserved