“Be imitators of God as dear Children.” Eph 5:1
When God created Adam, the bible says that He made him in His image and after His likeness. In other words, God created Adam to be just like Him. If I were to go to a painter and ask him to paint an image of myself on the canvas, what would you expect to see when he is done? You would see a picture of me. If the painter was good, then it would be unmistakable for anyone who would see the picture to know that it was a image of me. The same thing was true for Adam. When all the angels of heaven looked down to see the last creature that God had created, I am sure they said to themselves: “He looks just like God!”
Contrary to some beliefs, God has a form. All spirits have some kind of form. They are not physical forms, but they are forms nonetheless. If spirits did not have forms then it would be impossible to see an angel. But we know that people have seen angels because the bible tells us so. Angels are spirits (Heb 1:14) and God is a Spirit (Jn 4:24). God has a form and it is the same form that man has. In other words, God has arms, legs, a body, a head, etc. There are several places in the bible that tell us so. One notable place is when God appears to Moses after Moses’ request to see God’s Glory:
“And he (Moses) said, ‘Please, show me your glory…’ But He (God) said, ‘You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand as I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” Exo 33:18-23
So we can see from this passage that God has a face, hands, and a back – just like us – or, rather, we have it just like Him.
While this is all interesting, I believe that the fact that we look like God doesn’t reflect the true depth of what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God. God doesn’t want us to just look like Him, He wants us to be like Him in every way. This is why Paul says, “Be imitators of God.”
What father does not want his son to be like him? If the father enjoys a certain sport, how much more enjoyable to enjoy it with his son? If the father enjoys a certain type of food, how much better to eat it with your son?
Adam was God’s son (Luke 3:38) and loved him as such. He created him so they could enjoy one another in the ways that they were similar: God is the ruler of the universe and holds dominon over it all. Adam was given dominon over the earth to rule it. God has a creative mind and created a vast number of amazing animals. Adam gave creative names to them all. God loves to fellowship, and He gave Adam the same ability of language so they could talk with one another in the cool of the day. Adam was just like God.
We also are like God in many ways. However, since the fall of Adam, we have regressed from our former glorious state. Sin has caused man to be less and less like God. Although our form is still like His, we have come to be less like Him in the more important aspects of life. We don’t love like Him, we don’t forgive like Him, we don’t care for others like Him, and the list goes on. But all that can change. The forgiveness that comes to us through Jesus’ death and the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling us gives us the ability to be restored to that former state of glory. If we cling to Christ, allow His words to live in us, and if we walk in the spirit, then we can begin to be transformed into the image of Christ – who is the perfect image of God.
Let’s look closer to how Adam was like God:
He was made to dominate. We also were made to dominate. We aren’t to dominate over each other, because we are all equals and equally made to dominate, but we are to dominate over the things of this world. Paul the apostle said that should ‘reign in life (like a king – Rom 5:17),’ and John said that we have been made kings and priests unto God (Rev 1:6). Jesus is the King of kings. We are the kings that He is King of!
What are we to rule over? We are to rule over our emotions. Fear should not dominate us or control us. Depression, worry, ungodly sorrow, loneliness, discouragement, can be things of the past. When we are walking in Christ we are walking high like a king. We are to rule over the circumstances of life. We are to rule over the power of the devil. Jesus gave us authority over all the power of the devil. We can resist him and cast him out. We are to walk all over him (lk 10:19)! Remember how God told Adam to rule over all the creatures of the earth? God made sure to mention that the snake (Satan) was also a ‘beast of the field.’ Adam was to rule over him!
He was made to create. God told him to be fruitful and to multiply. Adam was to be a creator like God was a creator. God wanted him to procreate other human-beings, but that is only the beginning of our creative ability. What other creature on this earth can design and build skyscrapers, airplanes, submarines, and beautiful monuments? The pyramids of Egypt are a such a marvel that some modern people can hardly believe it could have been these ancients who built them!
We are also called to create. Create in the field that God has called you to. Has He called you to business? Create companies and jobs. Create new and marvelous products; create processes and ideas. Has he called you to the arts? Create beautiful works of art. Has he called you to a certain vocation? Build houses, plant fields, create relationships, build up people. The Creator of all lives on the inside of you!
He was made to fellowship. Here is the most important one. Man was created with the intelligence enough to be able to communicate with God on His level. Just like a father enjoys being with and talking with his son when he is old enough to communicate with more than a ‘da da,’ so God wants to communicate with us. Oh, what a shame it is that so few Christians know how to pray. They are robbing God of what He enjoys most! Remember how in the book of revelation that God has before Him the sweet incense, which are the prayers of the saints? (rev 5:8). God loves so much to hear from His people. It is His chief desire to hear from you and to fellowship with you. Look throughout the bible, what it has to say about the famous men of old. David, for example, although he committed terrible crimes, is considered one of the greatest men of the bible. Why? Because he was a man after God’s own heart. He wrote many psalms, of which were only a fraction of his devotion to God. Daniel was also a great one, of whom the angel said ‘oh man greatly beloved!’ This was a man of prayer, who prayed three times a day to our God. And we shouldn’t forget Jesus, who often withdrew himself to pray, and on some occasions spent all night in prayer to God. Why do we so often neglect this chief purpose to which we were made? We are missing out on joys unspeakable.
God has made us to be like him. The first Adam fell from that glorious state, but the last Adam (see 1 Cor 15:45) has provided a way back. He has opened the door for us to enter behind the veil, to the most holy place, that had been so long forbidden (Heb 10:19). There we may, like in a mirror, behold the glory of the Lord and be changed into that same image from glory to glory – by the Spirit of the Lord.
God has invited you to be like Him. Moreover, He commands you to. Put away the things that hinder you and the sin that so easily trips you up. Don’t delay. Seek Him now, while He may be found. Amen!