Notice the Story of God does not begin with sin. The Story doesn’t start by telling us how bad we are. The Scriptures begin with a resounding declaration of the unique dignity of all men and women as special bearers of God’s image. This is enormously important. If we were made in the divine image of God, then sin is tragic. If we are dogs and we act like dogs, then it’s no big deal. It’s expected. But if we are not dogs and yet we act like dogs, our actions are tragic.
God made all people in his holy image. And we could debate all day what that means. It means we have free will. It means we have some level of power over the rest of creation. It has something to do with living in community and living forever. It means a lot of things.
Maybe it can be summed up by saying we have a capacity to be like God. The Creator has put it in all of us to reflect his glory, to share his nature and characteristics. “Be holy because I am holy” — I think that’s in here. That impacts how we view ourselves and how we conduct ourselves.
Being made in God’s image confers on all people a certain dignity. And that impacts how we treat people. All people. All men and women, created by God, in God’s image. That gives all people a dignity we must respect. And honor.
And it entrusts us with responsibility. The Creator gives us the responsibility to rule and have dominion over and subdue the earth, not for our own benefit, but for the sake of the world, for the sake of others. It’s a holy responsibility to bless and manage. We bear God’s image, we represent him, we partner with him in furthering his purposes for his Creation.
All of us start out perfectly made by God. Sinless. In righteous relationship with him. You and I were both created “very good.” That’s Act One, that’s how the drama begins. And it should shape the roles we play and the lines we say while we’re on stage.