Created in the Image of God

Created in the Image of God: Finding Identity in an Ever-Changing World

“Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.”
Isaac Newton’s first law of motion.

“What controls our lives is the concept of identity. It doesn’t matter what’s true, it matters what you believe. You have a set of beliefs that control who you are.”
Anthony Robbins

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Romans 12:1-2, The Message

In our previous blog post, titled The Shift in Blasphemy: From God to Man, we delved into the inherent limitations of human existence and the significance of recognizing the sovereignty of God. We emphasized that our identity stems from God’s divine influence as the one true God. We live in a world that is constantly seeking to define who we are and what gives our lives meaning. Media, social platforms, and cultural voices shout labels and categories at us from every angle, each trying to mold us into a particular image. Our beliefs and perceptions about ourselves profoundly impact the trajectory of our lives. Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion is a practical and illustrative reminder that we often remain stagnant or conform to societal norms unless an external force compels us to change.
In this blog, we will explore what it means for our identity as Christians to be rooted in the unchanging truth that we are made in the image of God. A reality that stands in contrast to the key challenge we face in society’s constantly morphing expectations that seek to define who we are.

The Imago Dei: Uniquely Crafted with Significance
Scripture reveals our core identity is found in bearing the imago Dei – the image of God. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 (ESV; draw a parallel with Genesis 5:1-2 and James 3:9) powerfully affirms that God intricately fashioned humans in His likeness, setting us apart as His sacred masterpieces. To be made in God’s image does not imply physical likeness, but rather possessing attributes that uniquely reflect our Creator’s nature and attributes. Bearing the Imago Dei means we are set apart to uniquely mirror Him and are called to steward creation, cultivate community, dispense justice, and extend Christlike love through how we live. Our purpose and significance flow from fulfilling this high calling to display God’s glory through our lives. Humanity alone bears the imago Dei, the image of God, which distinguishes our inherent worth and purpose. Therefore, we find our deep meaning and purpose when we express God’s glory through living out the virtues and gifts imprinted upon our souls. God intricately shapes each person, as Psalm 139:14 proclaims, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Distorting the Divine Image
Tragically, sin has deeply marred this identity. Genesis 3 records the tragic disruption of this identity. Sin ruptured humanity’s relationship with God, resulting in brokenness and distortion. Rather than finding fulfillment in communion with our Creator, we seek out counterfeit identities in misaligned values and false sources of meaning. Unfortunately, our present society tends to label and categorize individuals, reducing us to mere superficial identities, identities shaped by values antithetical to the imago Dei. Individuals increasingly succumb to cultural voices competing to label, categorize, and conform people into superficial identities. We often accept these labels without question, defining ourselves based on external perceptions. However, when we allow our beliefs to be squeezed into society’s mold, we lose sight of the unchanging truths that form our secure foundation. Identity cannot be universally measured or confined to the limited frameworks imposed by various philosophies. When we allow our self-perception to be shaped by these cultural philosophies, we lose sight of our true significance and purpose. We are engraved with the sacred virtues and attributes of our Creator. Our sense of self and life’s meaning flows from fulfilling this high calling to reflect God’s glory, not chasing the ever-shifting trends of the world. As image-bearers, we must anchor our understanding of who we are in the stabilizing truth that we are crafted by God and called to display His nature.

Clothing Ourselves in Christ
Nonetheless, redemption awaits! God’s grand narrative charts the journey back to our intended design through Christ’s redemptive work. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) promises, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This radical renewal in Christ means reclaiming our true identity in Him. Scripture reveals that grasping our identity in Christ allows our truest self to emerge, regardless of cultural tides.
So what does Christ-centered identity look like in an evolving culture? Ephesians 4:24 calls us to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (ESV) while Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV) urges us to “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Our life purpose flows from fulfilling the good works God prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10), not chasing society’s fleeting ideals. As image-bearers called to radiate God’s glory, we have the hope of being remade into Christ’s likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18), allowing our truest selves to emerge by embracing who God created us to be. Our intrinsic worth and personal significance are rooted in Christ, shaping our self-understanding despite shifting society.

God’s Masterpiece
With our identity firmly anchored in God’s truth, we gain eternal perspective to navigate pressures discerningly rather than conforming to trends and we are positioned to fully embrace the immeasurable worth and value of each person. Renewed discernment empowers us to engage culture rather than seek society’s acceptance. Our identity in Christ brings security, clarity, and purpose as beloved children of God even amid fluctuating cultural trends. Though we engage the world, we must remain grounded in God’s unchanging Word, evaluating cultural norms through scriptural lenses. Identity in God is an unchanging foundation for navigating contemporary issues wisely.
Wholeheartedly embracing our sacred identity as God’s image-bearers brings freedom from performance-based acceptance and clarity of purpose as His beloved children. We discover life’s fullness when our lives wholly align with Christ, boldly living out our calling with assurance because of who He says we are. Embracing our identity in Christ empowers purposeful living rather than seeking acceptance by worldly conformity. Our identity in Him brings clarity of purpose and the security of being beloved children of God. As we wholeheartedly embrace our Christ-centered identity, we are ushered into the fullness of existence and equipped to live out our divine calling with bold assurance.
May we bear God’s image well, our lives illuminating His glory, craftsmanship, and divine intents. May we faithfully journey as image-bearers who illuminate God’s magnificence in the world around us. May we tenaciously embrace this Christ-centered identity, allowing its essence to thoroughly permeate every aspect of life. As we live faithfully as image-bearers, may we illuminate God’s magnificence in our sphere of influence to His praise and glory.

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