The opening chapter of the Bible tells us a very important truth about humanity.
Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
To be created in God’s image means that we are designed to demonstrate His character in this world, to rule with His love, grace, and wisdom (here is the Bible Project video on the Image of God).
How are we able to do that?
To correctly bear God’s image in this world requires that we are connected to Him. We need God’s wisdom, love, and grace coming into our lives so it can influence the choices we make and the things that we do.
This is why God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden. That was essential for Adam and Eve to live out God’s image in their lives.
The problem is that sin severs that connection we have with God.
Through our sin we declare that we have the ability to define what is good and bad, what is right and wrong, on our own and in the process we turn our back on God.
This is why we need to be rescued.
God needs to pursue us and make a way for reconciliation, a way for our connection to Him to be restored, to happen. All the different covenants we read about in the Bible remind us that God is making it possible for us to be reconciled to Him.
Jesus opened up the way for us to be reconciled to God. Through him we are able to once again experience the life God created us to live.
John 15:5 (NLT)
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
Jesus is not saying we can do nothing useful apart from him. We constantly see people who are not followers of Jesus do things that are useful, loving, and gracious. What Jesus is saying is that we can’t fulfill our work for the Kingdom apart from him.
In order to bear God’s image we have to be connected to Him, like a branch is connected to the vine, so we can receive His life.
What is the source of life that we need from God?
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Look at the description of the fruit the Spirit produces in our lives. To live guided by the Spirit means that we are empowered to bear God’s image in the world.
This is one of the main themes of Scripture: to restore humanity to our original design. That can only happen by repenting of sin, trusting Jesus, and being guided by the Spirit.