– Genesis 1:27
The Image of Justice
Even children seem to have a sense of justice by frequently saying “that’s not fair,” but God is the just Judge of the universe. He rules in perfect justice, for He is perfect in every way. Our justice might be skewed or tilted if it benefits us, so our decisions might not be perfectly fair. In the courts today, it seems the most powerful and most expensive attorneys win, regardless if justice was served or not. Most of us are upset when a criminal gets away with something on a technicality, but in the end, no one will get away with anything, as God says He “has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). That also shows a bit of God’s image in us, as we like to see justice done.
The Image of Love
There is no greater love than God’s, which was displayed on the cross by Christ (John 3:16). In fact, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8), and “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:10). We also love and many of us would die for our family, but God died for us while we were still His wickedly sinful enemies (Rom. 5:8, 10). But the love we have is part of our being made in the image of God.
The Image of Family
God includes God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, so they are relational like our families are but in an infinitely different way. When we get married, we leave one family to become a new family and then have children in that family. The image of God is that of a relationship between others. We are meant for relationships with one another and with God. Christianity is not about religion; it is about a relationship with God through Christ.
The Image of Dominion
God gave dominion over the beasts of the field and, in fact, all the created things, as it says in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Having dominion over something is like God, Who also has dominion, but His dominion is over everything and everyone.
Of course, we fall infinitely short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23) and are hopeless to restore any relationship with God because our sins have cut us off from Him (Isaiah 59:2). But it was for our sake that God made Jesus to be sin for us so that when the Father sees us, He sees us as having Jesus’ own righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21), and that’s enough for God to let us into the kingdom of heaven.