"You have been created in Christ's image." Kinda cliche, isn't it? Something we hear alllllll the time in Sunday School. It's a way of confirming our identity. Genesis 1:26,27 is where this first comes up. "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." From the beginning of the human existence, we have been the image of God.
But what does this really mean?
This doesn't just have a literal meaning, but
a spiritual meaning. We are commanded to
“be holy as [Jesus] is holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) Jesus is a holy and perfect God. We are sinful humans. However, we
are not to match Christ's holiness by becoming gods, as we are merely the image
of Christ, but rather we are to reflect him in every aspect of our lives. Let me say that again, we are to reflect Christ in every aspect of our lives.
When you look at a photo of say, a dog, it's wrong to say that it is a dog, as it is not a real, physical dog.
It is only a picture of a dog, because cannot be the dog. It's just an
inanimate object. In reality, it is the same with us and
Christ. Christ is the creator, the original, the real deal, and we are simply images of Him, inanimate without Him, the creation, so we cannot be Him. But with being an
image Christ, we have all the same characteristics of Christ in us--love, joy, peace, and all that--however not to the
same degree as He did. Saying that we’re
created in the image of Christ is daunting and a heavy burden on our shoulders;
something hard to live up to. But it is
our purpose, and we cannot deny our Creator what he destined us for.
Being created in the image of God, commanded to be holy as Christ is holy...this is some pretty hefty stuff! I mean, seriously, this is scary hard to do! I know I've already explained this a few times, but we shouldn't forget how this command is not an easy one to follow. It's not meant to be easy. We were not promised an easy life, but an amazing reward of eternal life.
So let me ask you this, how are you going to react to being made in the image of Christ, the GOD who CREATED you? What does "being holy as Christ is holy" mean in your life? What are aspects of your life that you need to improve so that they reflect Jesus? Don't be afraid of how people will react to seeing your character change, because they will react. Don't be afraid of failing, because we can't be perfect, but we can be obedient. We are Christ's creation, children of the Most High God.
We are called to reflect Christ. We are made in Christ's image.