The Importance of the Image of God in Man

One truth that certainly emerges from Matthew 5:21-26 (see recent sermon) is that God really cares about how we treat those made in his image. We are not to murder those made in God’s image (Genesis 9:6), nor should we even be sinfully angry with people or speak evil of them. James 3:9-10 further says,

“With it [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” (NASB)

Any thought or action that devalues other people is necessarily an affront to God’s own honor since God made humans as his image-bearers and under-rulers (Genesis 1:26-27). By contrast, properly revering God means respecting all those made in God’s image—whether those persons look or act deserving of such respect.

Questions to think about:
1. Do we think of all others as deserving of respect for God’s sake, or do we make exceptions?
2. What implications does the image of God have for issues besides anger, such as prejudice, lust, or church unity?
3. How would regarding even our enemies as image-bearers of God change the way we think about and behave towards them?