One Image – Reflections on Our Unique Callings – June 15, 2021

One Image

by Naomi Schmidt

Ongoing Discussion – One Image – June 15, 2021
Listen as this spiritual conversation is taken to a deeper level in today’s ongoing discussion.

See series: Reflections on Our Unique Callings:Men, Women, and the Body of Christ

God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crawls on the earth.”
God created the man in his own image.
In the image of God he created him.
Male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1:26-27, EHV)

It is so helpful when God says things twice.

In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” The repetition draws you to linger over the truth of God’s image given to humanity.

Then, in Genesis 1:27, God says it twice again, “God created the man in his own image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them.” He makes his point pretty clear.

One man, one woman, one image.

After six days of creating galaxies, living creatures, and rhythms of sustenance, the moment came for the crown of God’s creation. The Triune God consulted with himself, crafted the first human being in his own image, and gave Adam the breath of life. The image gifted to humanity was a spiritual relationship where God’s thoughts, desires, and knowledge would be reflected in the single, precious race of humanity.

The image gifted to humanity was a spiritual relationship where God’s thoughts, desires, and knowledge would be reflected in the single, precious race of humanity.

Then, in his infinite wisdom, God led every wild animal and bird of the sky to Adam. As Adam named each creature, his need for a companion and counterpart was clearly evident. Adam experienced what God already knew: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). The interdependent partnership of humanity was not complete until God designed woman from the side of man—and gave her his image. When God was done creating, humanity was complete. “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

One man, one woman, one image.

And then they fell into sin, and the one image was shattered.

The precision and repetition of Scripture leave no doubt about God’s original and perfect design for humanity. In the sinless beauty of creation, Adam and Eve had a holy need for one another. God wanted each of them to be unique not just for marriage or procreation but because he knew that male and female together is “very good.” Men and women were fashioned to benefit all of humanity together. God wants us to embrace and celebrate the interdependence of male and female as part of his holy design. So as the Holy Spirit works to strengthen our faith and restore God’s image in our lives, what can we expect? A glimpse of the Garden.

One man, one woman, one image.

The harder question is, “What does that look like in a fallen world?” We yearn to understand and struggle to find the best way to reflect God’s one image as uniquely restored men and women. But God’s Word is clear—it is one image. First and foremost, it is the image of God: loving what is pure and right; desiring all things that are holy; thinking only about what is lovely, admirable, noble, true, and excellent. As we grow closer to the restored image of God, our lives will look more like those first moments in the Garden. Distinctly male. Distinctly female. Distinctly holy.

As we grow closer to the restored image of God, our lives will look more like those first moments in the Garden. Distinctly male. Distinctly female. Distinctly holy.

Spiritual growth does not move us toward a diminished distinction. Rather, it moves us toward the design. In that movement we intentionally live in spiritual unity and interdependence with some unique callings that are masculine or feminine—but always holy. We labor together serving one Lord with one faith for one purpose. We honor the Father of all who revealed his plan in perfect wisdom and holiness. We are the created beings who bear the image and design of the Creator.

One man. One woman. One image.

For Further Reflection

Meditate on or write about Christian character and/or the spiritual qualities that make it easier to embrace the unique designs and interdependence of men and women.

Closing Prayer

Lord God, the majesty of your creation is a mere glimpse of who you are—but it reveals you as a master designer and displays your love for humanity. You designed man and woman to bear your one holy image, and we humbly pray that you would strengthen us toward that goal. Help us understand when your image is to be uniquely displayed in men and women, and make that the desire of our hearts. Increase our wisdom and encourage us with the gospel as we reflect your loving image in a world that does not know you. Amen.

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Reflections on our Unique Callings is brought to you by WELS Women’s Ministry.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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