What Does "Made in the Image of God" Mean?

          imago_dei

by Dick Staub

All our lives we've heard that we're "made in the image of God." It's a nice thought, and probably one we've clung to when we need a reminder of our own value. But have you ever stopped to think about what it really means? "Made in the image of God" is an audacious claim—and one that probably carries some responsibility with it. We all know we are not gods—though if we're honest, we know we often think we are the god of our own lives, even if we'd never admit it. The truth is, you are not God. But you are godlike.

Our confusion about whether or not we are God arises from our godlikeness. It's described in the first chapter of the Bible. Genesis 1:26-27 reveals, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness' … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

So, what does it mean to be created in God's image? The Hebrew root of the Latin phrase for image of God—imago Dei—means image, shadow or likeness of God. You are a snapshot or facsimile of God. At the very least this means humans occupy a higher place in the created order because we alone are imprinted with godlike characteristics. Your godlikeness is the path to your greatest fulfillment. You will feel the greatest pleasure and wholeness when who God made you to be is fully developed and expressed…

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