Imago Dei

Recently I was on a KCC conference called Nextgen. Every year, over two weekends, a heap of people who are in, or will be in, youth and childrens ministry go away. Over the course of a few years, we learn how to do exegetical, biblical, and systematic theology, as well as being challenged and encouraged in our faith and character.

This year, I was doing strand 3 – systematic theology. We had to pick a topic or theme, after learning a basic model, and then went on to develop a systematic theology of that topic. At least as much as you can in the timeframe we had. I thought I’d share what I had a look at.

Imago Dei – The image of God, in humanity.

  • Humanity, alone of all created things, is made in the image of the triune God. [Genesis 1:26-31]
  • The likeness of God means to BE LIKE, or to represent and reflect God [The usage of the word].
    • Any Likeness or similarity to God that man has, is the image of God.
  • God differentiates between man and creation with special roles and characteristics, in which we are to represent Him. [Genesis 1:26-28]
  • Power, reponsibility, purpose, work, will, reason, conscience. (Possibly the spiritual, eternal reality)
    • As a result, we are expected to image forth God in the conducting of these duties [Ephesians 4:24].
    • When we fail to faithfully represent God, we are failing to bear God’s image properly.
      • This means that in the fall, and in all sin, the image of God is distorted (but not completely lost) [In the fact that it is redeemed and perfected in Christ].
  • Implicated in God’s image are God’s dignity or glory; we are to respect man out of honour for God’s image in him [James 3, Genesis 9:5-6, 1 Corinthians 11:7].
  • Christ himself is God, and the image of the invisible God. This means the image of God is redeemed in sanctification [Romans 8:29-30, Colossians 3:10, 2 Corinthians 3:17-19, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:1-4].
  • This redemption will be completed when we are made perfect in resurrection of the dead. [Romans 6:5, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, Philippians 3:20-21].
Obviously this is just the tiny scratch that I managed with my limited time – it’s something that has been debated a lot over the centuries, and I am interested to read historical interpretations. But I was quite interested by even what I found. I hope you found it interesting too!
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