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Is being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) enough to insure that man will act according to that image in a manner that proclaims and shines forth the image he was created in?

Before answering that question, consider what and who the Triune God of Scripture is, not what He does (though this will come into play later in the article).

God is infinite and eternal and self-sustaining, needing nothing outside Himself to be perfectly good, and perfectly satisfied, according to His character, which is so transcendently good that man cannot even stand in the presence of that glory He is without being struck dead (Exodus 33:18-20); moreover, in His perfection, God dispenses both His mercy and His justice as He sees fit within Himself to do, without any being able to call such into question (Exodus 34:6-7; Job 38:1-2; Daniel 4:34-35; Romans 9:14, 20).

Therefore, the God of Scripture – the Triune God we who are His are able to know to the degree to which He has revealed Himself – is, by dint of His very nature, incapable of doing wrong, acting in injustice, and cannot, in validity, be questioned as to what He does or does not do by man.

Now, man was created perfect, and in the image of God, which God declared, along with the rest of the perfect creation He had made, “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

The fact that God created man in His image does not mean that man was created as an infinite, eternal, always existing being, self-sustaining in himself, as, by definition, man was created, and so finite, while God is uncreated (Exodus 3:14), yet determined to make Himself known to His creatures in myriad manners, of which we read to the church-nation Israel, was both through special revelation and the connect to their Patriarchs (Exodus 3:15-14:31).

Getting to know the Triune God of Scripture as He presents Himself in it, is a most important truth, for though the Father, Son and Spirit share the same infinite, eternal, uncreated essence, there is subjection in the Triune God according to the manner in which He works within Himself: the Son is subject to the Father, and the Spirit is subject to the Father and the Son.

Thus, we have God, perfectly content within Himself, loving Himself, needing nothing. This is important to note, for in creating, God, who has no needs outside of Himself, is seen not to have created to fulfill any need He has, since all such are perfectly, infinitely, satisfied, within His nature, and the divine relations of the Persons of the Triune God. Thus, as stated in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 regarding our Triune God, in Chapter 2, Of God and of the Holy Trinity, we have:

Paragraph 1. The Lord our God is but one only living and true God;1 whose subsistence is in and of Himself,2 infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be  comprehended by any but Himself;3 a most pure spirit,4 invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto;5 who is immutable,6 immense,7 eternal,8 incomprehensible, almighty,9 every way infinite, most holy,10 most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will,11 for His own glory;12 most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,13 and withal most just and terrible in His judgments,14 hating all sin,15 and who will by no means clear the guilty.16

1 1 Cor. 8:4,6; Deut. 6:4
2 Jer. 10:10; Isa. 48:12
3 Exod. 3:14
4 John 4:24
5 1 Tim. 1:17; Deut. 4:15,16
6 Mal. 3:6
7 1 Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:23
8 Ps. 90:2
9 Gen. 17:1
10 Isa. 6:3
11 Ps. 115:3; Isa. 46:10
12 Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36
13 Exod. 34:6,7; Heb. 11:6
14 Neh. 9:32,33
15 Ps. 5:5,6
16 Exod. 34:7; Nahum 1:2,3

Existing as He is, completely other than, unique, and needing nothing to add to His completeness, yet He willed to create first one, then another, creature; the first in His image, the second after the image of the first (1 Corinthians 11:3), according to the infinite, eternal order of the three divine Persons within the Triune God, but without His absolute autonomy and total completeness, for these created, finite beings were to be willingly dependent upon Him.

I would refer the reader also to paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Confession in the chapter:

Paragraph 2. God, having all life,17 glory,18 goodness,19 blessedness, in and of Himself, is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creature which He hath made, nor deriving any glory from them,20 but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things,21 and He hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever Himself pleases;22 in His sight all things are open and manifest,23 His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent or uncertain;24 He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works,25 and in all His commands; to Him is due from angels and men, whatsoever worship,26 service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and whatever He is further pleased to require of them.

17 John 5:26
18 Ps. 148:13
19 Ps. 119:68
20 Job 22:2,3
21 Rom. 11:34-36
22 Dan. 4:25,34,35
23 Heb. 4:13
24 Ezek. 11:5; Acts 15:18
25 Ps. 145:17
26 Rev. 5:12-14

Paragraph 3. In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit,27 of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided:28 the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father;29 the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son;30 all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on Him.

27 1 John 5:7; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14
28 Exod. 3:14; John 14:11; I Cor. 8:6
29 John 1:14,18
30 John 15:26; Gal. 4:6
This section of the Confession shows the submission of, not inequality (since all three divine Persons, or “subsistences,” share the same essence completely, as put in the confession), of each divine Person, without changing the fact that God is One in essence.

This is where it gets confusing for those who do not know what the Scripture teaches about man, as he was first created, and as he was to operate, and how in Adam, all humanity was being tested – there are those today who deny this cardinal doctrine of original sin resulting in the fall of the race, who think they can live a life of sinlessness, and this is from a fundamental ignorance of what took place in the fall.

Such is usually from being taught the Scriptures, or teaching one’s self, without the benefit of the Spirit of God being the one who teaches, and if done purposefully, is the height of arrogance against God, resulting in such a misunderstanding of His Holy Word that it leads many astray into a Pharisaic legalism, and the Lord addressed this, during His first advent, directly: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15 – ESV)

To God alone be the glory – Bill Hier


About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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