One of the great teachings of the Bible is that human beings are created in the image of God. I think this truth often gets overlooked because the focus of the discussion is usually on what part of us bears the image of God. Is it our creativity? Is it our free will? Is it our spiritual nature?
That may be an interesting discussion, but it misses the main point about being created in the image of God. The point that we are to understand is that we are to bear God’s image in this world. Just as a statue bears the image of the person it was made to honor or a mirror reflects our image, we are to show the world what God looks like. It is not a complete image, but it provides people with an idea of who God is.
This is why God said:
“Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:28; NLT)
From the beginning God gave people the responsibility of being good stewards over creation. To be good stewards requires us to reflect God’s loving, gracious, and wise rule into this world. We are responsible for God’s good creation.
If we were created to be good stewards, what happened?
Rather than following God’s plan, people have continually sought to do their own thing.
Rather than taking care of this world with wisdom and treating each other with love, people have dishonored God by abusing His creation and taking advantage of each other.
Sin prevents us from living out our original design.
The only way we can overcome the problem of sin in our lives is to trust Jesus. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17; NLT)
Through Jesus our sin corrupted life is gone and we are enabled to once again live as God’s wise loving stewards in the world.
The death and resurrection completed the difficult part, the part we could never do on our own: restore us to our original design. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have a part to play in our transformation. God still expects us to live as good stewards and to faithfully follow Jesus.
Consider what Paul wrote in Colossians 1:9-12:
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. (NLT)
In order to be the good stewards that we were created to be requires us to live with wisdom and understanding.
We receive this wisdom through the Holy Spirit. It is His job to lead us into truth and to guide our lives.
The primary source material that the Holy Spirit uses to provide us with wisdom and understanding is the Bible. The Bible is God’s written word to us, and therefore it contains the truth that God wants us to know. What the Holy Spirit does is take the wisdom found on the pages of Scripture and then provides us with the insight on how that truth applies to our lives.
The only way we can live lives that honor and please God is follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
It is through the guidance of the Spirit that our lives are transformed and our hearts are healed. If we want to make in difference in our lives, then we need to commit to following the leading of the Spirit.