In Christ’s command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27), we find an insight into the nature of God and the nature of humankind. Implied in this command is our ability to love, as well as God’s ability to be loved in this manner. In this text we find a fuller understanding of what it means to be created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26, 27).
Being created in this imago Dei means that we have been created with heart, soul, strength, and mind. It signifies that we have been created with emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental faculties. It also suggests that these attributes are what connect us to the likeness of God—He also is an emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental Being.
When God created the human race, He created it in His likeness. Furthermore, He created it with the ability to further grow into His likeness. The thought is almost beyond human comprehension! Adam and Eve were perfect when they came forth from the Creator’s hand. They were perfect physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental beings. However, God purposed that the longer they lived, the more perfect they would become. God granted them the ability to develop in capacity as well as in vigor. Not only were Adam and Eve able to receive larger quantities of physical, mental, and spiritual blessings, but they were also able to accept even better qualities of these blessings.
The creation narrative implies that if the pair had remained loyal to God, this ability to grow in capacity and intensity would have been theirs forever, affording them the privilege of discovering newer and better insights into the wisdom, power, and love of God. Moreover, in these discoveries, the holy couple would increase in knowledge and happiness. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27).
In asking humanity to reflect His own image, God gave the human race an eternal objective to accomplish. Also, by making them in His own image, He equipped them to accomplish this objective. No greater and more fulfilling goal could have been given than for perfect human beings to mirror the awesome image of a God who Himself is perfect in wisdom, power, and love.