“What is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:4
This is a personal testimony, and I share it because I believe with all my heart and soul that is true for every person. Please prayerfully read it and let God speak to your own heart.
I’ve always believed there was nothing good in me, nothing of value. That’s been a persistent feeling for most of my life. The thought comes to me and I just accept it and agree with it and take it as part and parcel of my identity. Recently, that same old impression came to me – “There is nothing good in me – nothing worth redeeming.” Then came the thought, “No – that’s not entirely true.” So I went to God in prayer and posed a question. “God what is the truth here? You saved me through the cross of Christ – but why? What did you see in me worth redeeming?”
I wondered, is it some innate gift or talent He’d given me? I’m a pretty good writer and teacher – maybe that is what He saw. I’m generous and loyal (sometimes too loyal) and helpful – those are good qualities worth redeeming. I have a heart for God and His Word – that has to mean something. But I knew that all these were not the answer. And then God painted a scene in my heart that was a true revelation to me.
Go with me, back to the beginning to Genesis and creation.
Genesis 1 tells the story of the creation of the universe, the heavens and the earth, plants and animals and God’s premier creation: man. Please take a moment and read Genesis 1:26-27. Both verses record the creation of man in the image of God, the Imago Dei. What does that mean?
Without trying to delve into much deep theological theory, the creation of man in the image of God can be understood as a certain essence of God imbued in man at the time of creation. “The image is something in the very nature of humans, in the way in which we were made. It refers to something we are rather than something we have or do.” “The image of God is what makes us human” Humans are created as body, soul and spirit. It is within this trichotomy that we bear the image of God. How it works, I cannot tell you – theologians and scholars have debated it for centuries, but the Bible says that it is part of every human. Consider Deuteronomy 6:5 which says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart [spirit] and with all your soul and with all your strength [body].” We share a body – a physical shell – with all creation. The body houses the soul – the seat of reason and emotion. But what truly sets us apart from all other creation is the spirit – the part that enables us to commune with God – it is somewhere in the realm of the spirit that the most distinctive image of God is found. However, while the Scriptures tell us that we are made in God’s image “there are no direct statements in Scripture to resolve the issue.” This is one of God’s mysteries and we can only accept it and rejoice in it, for this image is what God sees in man that calls out to His heart for redemption.
God saw His image – the Imago Dei in me, and that was worth saving. So He pursued me – me, who’s never been pursued in her life – and drew me to His Son. He saved me through the cross of redemption, through the blood of His Son and in saving me He imparted His Spirit to me,  and His Spirit brought my spirit to life.  He brought Image and Spirit together to create a perfected being – perfected, meaning completed, as Hebrews 10:14 says – “by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Perfect – teleioo – to perfect, complete, finish, to reach a goal, be fulfilled, made complete.) He restored me to God’s original design – complete in Image and Spirit.
Now God sees in me His completed design. He does not see my faults and failings, my shortcomings, my weight, anxieties, character flaws, temper or impurities – because of Jesus – He no longer sees my sin. He does not see this worthless perspective I’ve always held of myself. He sees a completed, beautiful and whole person. I don’t know what that means to you, but it means the world to me. In Christ I am made complete.
Ah, but that’s not all there is! There is coming a day – a grand and glorious day – in the resurrection when I will receive my spiritual body, and the total transformation is gloriously accomplished and I will be fully perfected – body, soul and spirit.
This can be your testimony too. You were made in the image of God and the redemption of Jesus Christ is available to you – just receive this wonderful gift – it is given freely. Will you be complete in Christ?
Holy Father, I don’t pretend to understand all of this with perfect knowledge, You left it a mystery. But one thing I know – “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing” (Psalm 16:2). But with You I have everything-I am made complete!
A word of thanks to Rev. Michael Shockley for his theological assistance. Love you “Dad!”
 Millard Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, 2nd Edition, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 176.
 Gerhard von Rand as quoted by Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, 171.
 See 1 Thessalonians 5:23
 Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, 175.
 See Luke 11:13, John 7:39, Romans 8:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16,
 See John 6:63, 1 Corinthians 6:17
 1 Corinthians 15:35-54