he Collegiate Letter   

The Collegiate Letter Made in the Image of God

By Dave Breese

Right now, these words are being read by a person of near infinite possibility. So much is this the case that it’s safe to say that you are a person of destiny. Not one of us is here to live an ordinary life. We are not here merely to plan the next party, to dream, or to sink down to shapeless nothingness. I am so convinced that this is true. I have seen it work out in so many lives so that I think we ought to take a moment to talk about it. The possibilities within any one of us as human beings are breathlessly large. They are wonderful beyond description. We are not here to be cheap, ordinary, colorless, and mediocre. No, indeed! We are here to produce a life of which this world is not worthy.

By this time, I am sure that you have asked, “How do I know this?” “How can an ordinary person such as I produce a result which is that wonderful?”

Made in the Image of God
You are certainly right if you suggest that these words cannot be spoken out of empty air like other inconsequential things. They must have substance behind them. Fair enough! What is the substance, the solid reason why we can allow for the greatness within our lives? The answer to that question is the most solid reason of all. It is that each of us—you, me—each of us was made in the image of God.

That statement, when we think of it, is simply staggering. Behind this universe is a magnificent Being who put in place the sun, the stars, the moon, and everything else. He, therefore, must be powerful beyond description and intelligent to a level which we cannot imagine. How dare any of us claim, therefore, that there is something about us that resembles God?

We dare to do this because this is exactly what the Bible says about each one of us. It speaks to us in the following words; “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

So it is that four times in two verses from the Bible come the staggering announcement in our direction. We were made in the image of God.

We do well to take just a bit of time to imagine what that means. It means that our hearts beat in harmony with His. Our eyes see, our ears hear, our brain thinks in a fashion similar to those qualities on the part of God Himself.

Suddenly we realize that we are not simply the results of an imagined evolutionary process. We are not another form of an animal, nor are we natural brute beasts. No indeed, we are creatures with a soul which is made of a divine substance. This being the case, we can be sure that we are also creatures with a divine destiny. It is unimaginable that God would have made profoundly complicated beings such as we are and do it all for nothing. Pity the poor quasi-thinker of this world who claims the gorilla for a grandfather and the crocodile for a mother. To have invented anything so preposterous is to insult human intelligence. This is foolish because the superiorities of man are presented in the Bible as being beyond the capability of any other living thing. Therefore, God says about man, “replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat” (Genesis 1:28-29).

A Picture of Creation
God then surveyed the marvel of His creation. Having done this He made a pronouncement: “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31). Here we have the picture of creation. Reading this, we can be sure of the magnificent speciality of man and the bright destiny that is before him. Reading this, we should say to ourselves, “I am not a nothing, I am something! I will live up to the bright purpose for which God has made me.”

By so saying, you are risking a superiority complex, but the risk is worth it. For indeed, the knowledge of the amazing destiny of man is not a complex. It is true.

There is a second reason why we can be very sure of our immense value to God. It is this. We are redeemed by the blood of Christ. The Bible teaches that the time came shortly after creation in which our parents, Adam and Eve, made a terribly foolish decision that was to affect us all. God spoke to Adam and Eve and said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

The frightening sequel to this prohibition was that Eve and then Adam did in fact eat of the forbidden fruit. They allowed a pernicious commodity to come to pass in the world. It is called sin. About this, the Bible says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

Here is a frightening short version of an awful thing that took place that ruined the potential of the human race—the advent of sin. Sin brings death and that is precisely what happened to the human race. It became spiritually dead. What now could be done? We have heard in the years of our lives many suggestions as to the solution to the problem of sin in the world. We are told that man must live up to a new purpose. He must work to do more good than he has done bad. He must promise that he will never do it again. So these and hundreds of other actions have been touted by men as to the solution of sin.

The Gift of God
All these are erroneous, of course, because the wages of sin is death. How then can man be delivered from death, both temporal and eternal. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). If we are to avoid death by sin, we must receive with gratefulness the great gift that God has offered to us. Yes, the only way for the salvation of man is to receive an absolutely free gift, the gift of God, life eternal. When a person realizes that he is a sinner and comes to Christ for salvation, he is delivered from the terrible penalty and power of sin. This is only possible because of the blood of Christ that was shed on Calvary’s cross for our sins. The result is marvelous indeed. It is that we become redeemed from sin by the blood of Christ. We can see ourselves as very special in the eyes of God because first of all, we were made in His image, then we were redeemed by His blood.

There is something else that happens when we accept Christ. It is that we become inhabited by God. Yes, amazingly, God the Holy Sprit comes to live within us. So it is that the Bible says, “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9). Imagine that! The Spirit of the living God comes to live within the life of the believer when that believer truly accepts Christ. He becomes inhabited by the Holy Spirit, thereby producing a condition, a relationship which is the greatest thing in the world.

The Eternal Family of God
At this point, amazingly, we become possessors of a great eternal destiny. The Bible says concerning Jesus Christ, “For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10). Imagine for just a moment what that must mean. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ did what He did. He went to the cross and died in order that He might bring many sons into glory. This is the occasion in which we move from earth to heaven and become obviously a part of the eternal family of God. Many sons will be delivered from the way of death and brought into glory because of the work of Christ on the cross of Calvary.

Therefore I make you a promise that is the greatest of all. You, as a creature of eternal destiny, are bound for glory. You, because Jesus has become your Savior, will live in heaven where joys go on forever. God has promised rich rewards for those who serve Him and ivory palaces for those who are true to His name. Becoming a child of God has implications that reach out into the wideness of eternity. We should be thrilled beyond description every day at the status which is ours because of Jesus Christ. Everything—the world, the universe—everything belongs to you and to me because we have become children of God, creatures of eternal destiny. Take the time to thank God today for the gift of eternal life more wonderful than can be described.