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
We are made God’s Image. There are many implications of this simple statement but I want to focus in on what it means to us as creative artists. Here are a few of my thoughts on the implications of the image of God in us.
No Other Image Needed
It was God’s intention in creation that man should be the image of God on earth. We have no need to make an image of God because God is imaged in us. This is perhaps a strange and possibly even heretical sounding concept when you first hear it. I know it was to me. But as you think about it, it makes sense.
God is spirit so it would be impossible for man to comprehend God. God even forbade man to make any images to represent Him. But that does not mean that God gave us no way to picture Him. He placed His image in us so that we have no need to create another image – we are that image.
Christ Is the Perfect Image
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
The image of God in man was corrupted by the fall and man continues to try to make God into His image instead of making himself to image more of God. And so God sent His Son as the perfect image of God. When we see Jesus, we see God.
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9
Jesus is now the perfect image of God and the more we become like Jesus, the more we return to our original form as creations in the image of God.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
We Are Sub-Creators
As imperfect images of God we are limited not only by our sin but also by our finite nature. Where God is the Creator of all, we can only be creators in a much more limited sense. We are limited to reorganizing God’s creation to form new designs. We really cannot create anything without borrowing from our Creator. Yet what we create can reflect the beauty of our Creator to those around us.
We Are Mirrors
As sub-creators made in the image of God it is our task to mirror that image to those around us. We are to reflect the image of God in all we do but especially in our creative actions. In our artistic endeavors we have the opportunity to most powerfully reflect the image of our Creator.
Glorify the Creator
Finally, as reflectors of the Great Creator, our art should bring glory to God and not us.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Part of the fall of man is our constant desire to become our own little gods instead of being images of God that reflect His image to the world. As artists this is displayed in our desire to be noticed and praised for our art rather than taking joy in pointing people to Jesus the perfect Image of God.
So in summary, you are the imperfect image of God. As you become more like Christ you will better reflect the image of God. As an sub-creator it is your task to reflect this image of God in all you create so that people are drawn to and glorify the Creator.
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory
Worship Director at Crosspointe Church.