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Being in the Image of God from a Christian Perspective

Describe the Article for "To Be In The Image of God".

The Christian view proposes the gentle, loving and caring nature of the Christ and expects these virtues or qualities from the humans. To be in the image of God primarily talks about the goodness and the loving nature of God. According to “Genesis," the Almighty created both male and female to peacefully live in this universe and nurture their abilities to think and do well[1]. The Christian view of being in the image of God tells about the selfless and sacrificial nature of the God. The Christian life is marked by love, generosity, kindness and sympathy for others and the preacher of God, Jesus himself is the true example of self-sacrifice and universal love that is the guides the Christian life. Christian life believes in living life with deep faith towards the Almighty and hard work that will eventually lead to a happy life. The “Gospel” tells that Christ is the divine power that saves all humans from any sufferings and pain. The Christian life, is also based on the theory of resurrection after death and with this principle, they live their life[2]. Resurrection after death is only possible if the person does some good deeds during his lifetime. The Christians are not much bothered about the idol worship of God and believes in the universal presence of God. However, the "Protestant" does not believe in idol worshipping at all and thereby the Protestant churches do not have any idols. They mainly believe in simply praying the Almighty with deep faith and purity of soul. The Christians are the true believers of Christ and bore a deep notion of love, faith, and respect for the Almighty. However, many Christians become a nun to serve the society and lead a life of self-sacrifice and find themselves more close to the Almighty. To be in the image of God necessarily refers to the likeness or similarity of God and compassion here is an important point since the Christian life inspires people to have the virtue of compassion. To identify and acknowledge the sin is also a Christian way of living since this helps one to rectify his faults and move ahead.

However, the essay further discusses the importance and the meaning of to be in the image of God. The essay brings forward several perspectives of the image of God, the message of God and the Christian way of living. Along with this, several important theories as mentioned in the “Bible” are also put forward in this essay. The essay in details highlights the important perspectives of the Christian life and their ideals and views that closely associate them with the Christ.

Importance of Goodness, Selfless Love, and Compassion

Noll, in his book writes about the presence of the Christ in our day-to-day life and his influence on the lives of the humans. The reference is important in the context of this essay since it narrates the life of Christ, his approach towards the humanity. The book was published in the year, 2011 and gained much popularity with the masses. The book gives greater insight to the Christian life and shows how the message and preaching of the Christ can be incorporated in the lives of the humans.

The main objective of this essay is to narrate about the image of God and thereby provide an insight to this topic in a broad way. Salzer, in her review talks about the creation of Adam and Eve, which is directly connected with the easy since it is from the creation of Adam and Eve the whole universe, is created and the whole humanity came into existence. The review tells about the Jews way of life and the innocence and purity of the children who are all very close to the Almighty. This reference is important in this context, which proves that the humans are in the image of God, and has the capabilities to nurture their abilities further.

Anderson, Greg, Riverdale Baptist Church, and Yukon Whitehorse. "Lead Us Not Into Temptation And Deliver Us From Evil." Genesis 3 (2014): 1-15.

According to Anderson temptation is the cause of the downfall of humans since with temptation comes sin. This reference adds to the importance of the image of God since the image of “God” is free from all sorts of temptations. Jesus Christ himself faced many temptations in his course of life but he moved ahead, leaving aside those temptations. This teaches the true way of life and the importance of being morally upright. Anderson’s view in this aspect plays a major role and necessarily supports the perspectives of this essay.

The journal written by Azadeh Sharif and Faiz Sathi Abdullah is important in this context since it represents the ideals and principles of Mother Teresa.  The way Mother Teresa addressed the social issues and worked towards the development of the society truly reflects the image of God. The journal highlights the social services done by Mother Teresa for the helpless and the destitute. However, this reference provides the essay a new meaning and perspective since according to Christ doing noble work is the best way of living.

Different Perspectives of the Image of God

Zachary in his book, “Reading Blake’s Songs” describes the coexistence of innocence and experience which positively reflects the image of God. The book was published in the year, 2015 and created a huge impact on the readers. This reference is important here since the essay also focuses on the evil side of human existence. Evil goes hand in hand with good and this side of human nature generally remain embedded. However, the poems in “The Songs of Experience” are apt to define the wrath as well as the goodness of the Divine power. In this context, this reference helps to identify the dual nature humans and the scopes of improving oneself from evil to good.

Michael in his journal writes about the disease of Dr. Hyde, the main character of the novel, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” which was published in the year, 2015. This may seem absurd in this context but it has its practical implications in this essay, which shows what evil can do to the humans. It is due to the greed of power, Dr Jekyll chooses to lead a double life but that brought about his destruction and death. However, this very reference necessarily shows the result of excessive greed, which does not reflect the image of God.

This reference is necessary in the context of this essay since it describes the Christian way of life and shows how it helps the humanity to do good for others. Generosity is an important point here, which is the basic principle of Christian life that guides all the Christians. The focus of the essay being, the image of God and the likeness of humans with the Almighty, the virtue of generosity automatically come in the discussion and refer to the fact that being generous is being like God.

Garret in his paper, “Meaning in Life” talks about the importance of human life and the reason of our existence in this world. It is only through the good deeds and thoughts that the humans receive a greater meaning and value of their existence. In the context of this essay, this reference is perfectly apt since it narrates the meaning and value of human life and shows the right path to follow to reach the Almighty. To be in the image of God is also about understanding the meaning and value of life without which proper actions and thinking is not possible.

References from Various Sources

To be made in the image of God reflects the simplicity and godliness of the almighty. The grand and elevated qualities of God are expected to be in every human that will make the universe, a beautiful place to live in [3] .The essay primarily represents the different perceptiveness of the image of God and discusses the Christian view of God and life. God is not an entity but a presence that can only be felt. God can be found in the good work we do, in the smiling flowers, in the waves of the ocean and so on. To be made in the image of God is the best way of living in this universe since it reflects the abundance of good thoughts, good works, good service to the humankind and so on. God is the superior power that guides human in their journey of life and rewards them for their good deeds. God is the savior of all humans and takes care of the whole universe. The creation of Adam and Eve by the Almighty also comes in the discussion in this essay. The Christian view of God is holistic and has a sympathetic approach towards the humankind. The Christian believe narrates that all humans are made from Adam and Eve and through humans, God wants to spread the message of love and peace. The paper represents an in-depth discussion of the importance and presence of God in our lives and how it is to be in the image of God. 

According to the story of Genesis, God told about creating humans in their image and thereby, the humans are expected to reflect the goodliness and love of God [4] Humans, unlike God, has a body of flesh and blood, but their soul or heart is the place where resides the Almighty. God created man as a rational being with sense and logic. It is when a man produces something materialistic whether it is an art, a construction, a book or music, it evidently reflects the fact that humans are made in the image of God. All humans according to the book of Bible are born innocent, and with time as they gain experience, they understand the difference between good and bad. It is when the man chooses the right or the lawful way of life, and it is proved that humans are made in the image of God. A perfect example to cite here is a newborn baby, who is just the very representative of God. A baby is said to be "God" since the baby is as innocent, meek and mild just like the Almighty. The smile of a baby truly represents the holiness and the loving nature of the Almighty, who loves all humans, irrespective of their caste, creed, and color. Apart from this, the natural beauty that comprises of the rising of Sun, the singing of the birds and the flowing of the rivers reflects the presence of the Almighty.

Resurrection, Good Deeds, and Generosity

The book of "Genesis" talks about the association of man with God. In Eden, Adam and Eve were in close association with God and the same applies to all the humans as well[5]. Humans are social beings, and they cannot survive alone hence, they associate or mix with their friends, relatives and other society members. This association is also a form of bonding and a way of spreading love or showing generosity to the fellow humans in the society that the Almighty strongly advocates. The social relation and bonding are a proof of the fact that humans are necessarily made up in the form of God. The bonding of love between Adam and Eve is a universal example of love, which the Almighty wants to spread in this whole universe. According to the story of Adam and Eve, it can also be said that the liberty of the humans to make a choice is also about reflecting the image of God. The Almighty created Adam as a righteous man but Adam’s decision to disobey the order of the Almighty made him suffer. He was further banished from the Garden of Eden to the earth. Thus, the choices the humans make and after that, the consequences that they face necessarily prove that the humans are a reflection of Gods principles and universal laws. The evil is also a part of the good and in this universe both evil and good coexists. Therefore the Almighty not only reflects the idea of good but also the idea of evil. A person who is engaged in something evil also reflects the image of God since from evil come repentance and from repentance comes purification of the soul. Evil is something temporary and the person doing so is necessarily a child of the God as told in Bible and that very person will eventually find out the right path of life with self-learning and understanding. To be in the image of God is always not about being good and generous, it also shows the negative sides of life and the learning that follows.  

To be in the image of God also puts forward the concept of innocence and experience that can be found in the poems of the famous poet, William Blake. Blake through his poems propagates many of the theories and concepts of God. His “Songs of Innocence” represents the calm, meek and generous sides of the God. For example, in the poem, “Lamb” the lamb can be stated to be the ultimate image of God, who does not have any knowledge of evil or experience and is as innocent as the Almighty [6] .The lamb in the poem symbolizes God or a spiritual entity that is far way from all the horrors and terrors of the world. The lamb is also interpreted to be the Christ, who is the symbol of universal love and peace and it truly defines that the lamb is made up in the image of God. William Blake in all his poems of “Songs of Innocence” represents his deep faith in the Almighty or the divine power. Blake’s “Songs of Innocence” and "Songs of Experience" are two contrary states of human existence and represent the idea of the "paradise" and the "hell." Blake's poems like “The Echoing Green,” “Infant Joy,” “On Another’s Sorrow” and so on represent the very image of God. In this prospect the creator of such beautiful verse, keeping God as his central figure can also be said to be in the image of God. In the poem, “Infant Joy” the very gentle, happy and innocent image of God is represented, whereas the generous and caring nature of the Almighty is represented in the poem, "On Another's Sorrow." To be in the image of God is thereby an approach to have a close association with the divine power.

Temptation and Evil

The perspective of forgiveness can also be brought in this discussion since Jesus who is considered to be the son of the Almighty also forgave his punishers. Forgiveness is indeed a virtue according to the Christian Bible, and it makes a person great and more humane. Jesus was brutally crucified on a cross by his enemies and still, he asked for the forgiveness of his enemies from the Almighty [7] .This needs a great heart and a human exhibiting this quality can be said to be made in the image of God. Sin is also an important perspective here since sin is an essential and an unavoidable part of human life. It is only when a person commits sin, they understand the virtue of good, and they regret their action and from regret comes repentance. It is only when a person, truly repents that they receive the mercy of the Almighty. According to the Bible if a person truly understands his sin and wishes to rectify it he receives, God's compassion[8]. Temptation also forms an important perspective here, and the story of Christ's temptation is known by all. The story narrates how Christ rejected all the temptations that came his way while he was meditating in the Judean desert. Similarly, temptation can come in the lives of all humans, and it is how the humans handle those temptations and move ahead. Greed or temptations can divert a person from his aim but whether the person gives in the trap is an important question that decides the fate of the person. At some point in time, humans are allured to do something bad and evil in return of some money, position or treasure, but Christ through his example showed that it is not the right path of life. Therefore, to be in the image of God is also to stay away from temptations and to have a mighty soul to forgive people. This principle will help in making the universe a beautiful, loving and a peaceful place to live in.

Therefore the different perspectives discussed in this essay about the likeness with the image of God vividly talks about essential virtues that the humankind should posses and thereby work towards changing the society and making it a beautiful place to live in. To be in the image of God also brings forward some great examples of the true Christian life towards the whole universe. Mother Teresa was given the title of “Saint” for her huge and selfless contribution towards the betterment of society[9]. Being a Roman Catholic, she grew with the values of generosity, love, and compassion. She can be said to be made in the image of God since she helped the deprived, the helpless masses of society. She left her home at an early age and came to Calcutta, in India where she spent the rest of her life. She worked for the poor, underprivileged people of the society and gave them a new life. All acknowledged her message of love, compassion, humanity and her great social works. The Christ preaches the message of love and unity and whosoever follows his message can be said to be made in the image of God.

Reference:

Acs, Zoltan J., Mary C. Boardman, and Connie L. McNeely. "The social value of productive entrepreneurship." Small Business Economics 40.3 (2013): 785-796.

Davies, Michael. "Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611–2011." English Studies 93.4 (2012): 497-499.

Dwivedi, Amitabh Vikram. "Meaning of life." Social Alternatives 34.2 (2015): 26.

Gardner, Stanley. Blake's' innocence'and'experience'Retraced. A&C Black, 2014.

Lloyd-Jones, Sally. Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. Zondervan, 2012.

O’Connor, Kathleen M. "Stammering Toward the Unsayable: Old Testament Theology, Trauma Theory, and Genesis." Interpretation 70.3 (2016): 301-313.

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