The pinnacle of creation week was man and woman, created “in [God’s] own image.” There’s some sort of mystery involved in God’s assertion that he created us in his image, but it certainly means that we are so highly valued. All of us, regardless of ethnicity or gender, of intelligence or accomplishment, are loved and honored by the God of heaven and earth. Many implications flow from this fact, affecting our views about ethnicity (racism, discrimination, etc.), gender (gender inequities, gender relationships, etc.), as well as our identity (who are we? what’s most important about us as human beings?).
The image of God in us has long been referred to as the imago dei, and when we understand it we recognize how not fully believing it is the source of so many of society’s problems, as well as our own individual struggles.
The imago dei in us has been distorted through the fall, but the Spirit’s work in us as Christians is one of reshaping that image–what Scripture calls sanctification. God is conforming us once again into his image, and we must commit ourselves to submitting to his sanctifying work and engaging the world in ways that help them see the imago dei in us . . . and in every human being.