In my last post, we considered God’s intent for placing limitations on sexuality, marriage and gender. We clarified that God’s intent for limitations and boundaries is that “all may go well for us.” I think it is essential to address the question “Is God good?” before coming at the question “Is God’s design of gender good?” As Christ- followers it is important to begin where the Bible begins–in the Garden of Eden, prior to the Fall. It is here we see the picture of manhood and womanhood before sin entered the world. Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons, yet distinctly different from each other.
Genesis 1:26-27 NLT
26 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.”
27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
The Hebrew word for “image” is צֶלֶם (tselem, “image”) used frequently to describe statues, models, replicas and images. The word דְּמוּת (dÿmut, “likeness”) is an abstract noun; its verbal root means “to be like; to resemble.” In the Book of Genesis the two terms describe human beings who in some way reflect the form and the function of the Creator. The form is more likely stressing the spiritual rather than the physical. The “image of God” would be the God-given mental and spiritual capacities that enable people to relate to God and to serve Him. God designed us with these capacities, so that we would live in His created world in relationship with Him and others within His boundaries, and have a long and satisfying life.
Dr. Tom Constable’s notes (soniclight.com) on these verses include John Sailhamer’s “Exegetical Notes”:
“First, God’s deliberation shows that he has decided to create man differently from any of the other creatures—in his image and likeness. God and man share a likeness that is not shared by other creatures. This apparently means that a relationship of close fellowship can exist between God and man that is unlike the relationship of God with the rest of his creation…..“Secondly, in Genesis 1, man, the image bearer, is the object of God’s blessing. According to the account of creation in Genesis 1, the chief purpose of God in creating man is to bless him.” Dr. Constable states that “image and likeness are essentially synonymous terms. Both indicate personality, moral, and spiritual qualities that God and man share (i.e., self-consciousness, God-consciousness, freedom, responsibility, speech, moral discernment, etc.)”
The theological and Latin term for the image of God is Imago Dei, which fundamentally means two things: first, we each have a responsibility and capacity to reflect God’s own nature to others. Second, God gave us the gift of spiritual and moral reasoning so that we can live in healthy relationship with Him and others.
Why is it important that we are made in the image of God?
What impact does that have on our sexuality, our gender, and our relationships?
Does it make any difference to you that you, personally, are made in the image of God?
How does it impact your sense of self and value?
Take time to list what aspects of God’s image and likeness are reflected in your life.
How do men and women reflect God’s image the same and differently?
Thanks for following my Journey.
I look forward to your comments.