Ok. So Genesis is the place to be if we want to understand a right self image (1:27).

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Three points about self image flow naturally from the text.

1. God created you.

You were God’s idea. He made you, and he did it because he wanted to. You’re not an accident. You’re not a cosmic mistake. Every detail of your being is God’s good idea.

2. You are an image bearer.

You are not original art. God didn’t come up with a new idea when he put your existence together. No, you’re a photocopy of God. Here’s what that does not mean:

  • It doesn’t mean you are god.
  • It doesn’t mean you are unaffected by sin and the curse.
  • It doesn’t mean that God is limited in the ways you are.

Here’s what it does mean:

  • It does mean that your fundamental existence is in many ways modeled after God himself.
  • It does mean that you are an eternal being.
  • It does mean that you are different to and superior to all the animals and all other created things.

3. Your gender is part of God’s image in you.

Someone has said that the reason it takes the whole church to accurately reflect the glory of God is that no one person can reflect all of the many facets of his glory. An all male humankind would not do the job. It takes all of the differences of gifting, personality, and yes, even gender, to reflect the many aspects of who God is. This is why in Scripture we see God alluded to both as a father and as a mother. “Male and female he created them” and that was on purpose.

So what does this do to you?

There are several things that should naturally follow when we understand these truths.

  1. Your existence is full of purpose and meaning.
  2. That meaning will only be found in the knowledge of the prototype being.
  3. God made you to reflect his glory in ways that no other human being can.

One application

Someone has pointed out that the way to have a right view of self is to have a right view of God. A very insightful point and it makes sense when you understand that we are made in God’s image. The more we understand about who God is and how he works, the more insight we will have on who we are and how we were created to function. That’s why A. W. Tozer said “All our problems are theological.”

But all of this leads to a dilemma. What do we do with all that depravity of man stuff then? Isn’t man a rebel at heart? That’s where I’ll try to pick up next time.

this is part 2 of 3 in the series
Self Image

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About Jason Harris

Dr Jason Harris is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has a PhD from James Cook University as well as degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007 and serves as pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@jasonharris.com.au.


  1. Alen 17 December, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I’m confused by your conclusion. Well, at least the way you worded it. Are you basically saying “Since we are made in the image of God, this brings up the problem of depravity of man”?

    If so, could you clarify why that would be a problem ( I am probably missing something obvious :P )

  2. Mel 17 December, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    That dog house video is so cool, just wondering how you found it Jay?

  3. Robert Apps 18 December, 2008 at 7:06 am

    The nuggets are cute.

  4. Jason Harris 18 December, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Sorry I was not clear.

    If all we looked at was pre-fallen man made in the image of God, it would seem that the depravity of man somehow contradicts this self image. Are we image bearers or are we depraved creatures? Is there any contradiction between the two?

    Can’t remember. Some other blog no doubt. It’s been a whole week you know!

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