I decided to respond to the “Carnival of Beauty” challenge to post something on “The Beauty of Being Made in the Image of God”. I ran to several good sources I know. The first excerpts come from R.C. Sproul in his book, Now That’s a Good Question, and a couple articles in His Tabletalk Magazine. The last contribution comes from my brother’s blog, The Temple.
R.C. Sproul – Now That’s a Good Question
The basic call to a person in this world is to be a reflection of the character of God. That’s what it means to be created in the Image of God. Long before the Sermon on the Mount, God required the people of Israel to reflect his character when he said to them, “Be holy even as I am holy.” He set them apart to be holy ones. The New Testament word for that is saints.
From Tabletalk June 2003 – Imago Dei – Sproul
An image cannot reflect something utterly dissimilar to it. Rather, an image is a likeness of something beyond itself. It is not the original, but it mirrors the original.
…That we bear the image of the God of glory is an unspeakable blessing. But with this elevated status comes a weighty responsibility. We were made to glorify God – to reflect the character of God and that duty comes with a divine mandate “You shall be holy, for I The Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2)
” Thinking God’s Thoughts” – Wayne Kenyon
Among created things, human beings are unique, for they are made in the image of God. As rational creatures, we are able to know God and , in a finite manner, think like Him.
For this reason, we have the great privilege of thinking God’s thoughts after Him. Also, as volitional creatures, we are able to reflect His excellencies in the manner in which we live and exercise dominion. This is our great responsibility.
…All of creation is also “for him”. With man’s great privilege to think God’s thoughts after Him comes the responsibility to take that which we receive and give it back to God in an act of worship. The God who is knowledge is worshipped by our knowing Him. The pursuit of knowledge is good. The only wise God is worshipped when His creatures are wise. This is done when we have the noblest of ends (i.e.,God Himself) and employ the most effective means of exercising dominion over His world. The God who is love is glorified when appreciative love for God is the motive from which we act. The God who is truth is worshipped when we “practice the truth” (I John: 1:6). God is worshipped when we model our lives after Him in loving obedience.
Finally from Steve at The Temple, a post on holiness. I’m including this because it personalizes holiness so well for me. Is what I’m doing the beautiful thing, the holy thing? Am I reflecting God’s image in me? Now in Steve’s words:
I wrote this in my journal some time ago:
“Holiness is doing something beautiful as opposed to not doing something ugly.”
I chose the words beautiful and ugly purposefully because they are not usually used in conjunction with holy behavior, and yet I think that they are wholly appropriate, and challenging. We are much more attracted to behaving beautifully, which may be defined as the most good. Beautiful is related to a word much closer to holiness: beatific. Being holy, being a holder of beauty. I like that correlation, it is an inspirational definition.
This perspective also hits the core issue in successful Christian living. What God wants from us is not simply the absence of evil acts, not even that we stop wanting to do bad things. God wants us to love to do the beautiful thing, the holy thing, the right thing. With regard to our speech, that is also the goal. So many of us, self included, have seen it as a matter of Christian freedom to use an occasional “strong” term, that was ultimately ugly. I am striving now to have only things of beauty as my expression in life, to the glory of the Beautiful One.
ht: Tabletalk from Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul – June 2003