Introduction

  1. Text: Gen. 1:27.
  2. In the familiar story of the Prodigal Son in Lk. 15:11-32, Jesus made an interesting statement when He said that, having wasted his inheritance, the young man “came to himself” (Lk. 15:17) and decided to go back home.
  3. This young man changed his course of action when he changed his thinking about himself — that is, when he learned to see the truth about who he really was.
  4. The question “Who am I?” is an important question for every human being.
    1. We are greatly affected by the way we think about ourselves: our self-concept, our sense of personal identity.
    2. If we are to have a quality relationship with God — and hence a quality life — we are going to have to answer the question “Who am I?” in a way that is true to reality.
  5. If we are serious about the question of who we really are, the place to begin is the beginning: we must come to grips with the fact that we are nothing less than God-created beings — made in His own image!

I. The Question of Identity

  1. The Bible affirms that we are made in God’s image: “​​​​​​​​So God created man in his own image, ​​​​​​​in the image of God he created him; ​​​​​​​male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27).
    1. God is a personal being — and so are we.
    2. We are not merely things, or even animals — we are persons.
    3. The difference between us and the animals is not merely quantitative — it is qualitative.
      1. We are not merely a more complex organism — we are of a different order of being altogether.
      2. To murder a human being is a fundamentally different act than to take the life of an animal – Gen. 9:6.
    4. God also made us male and female — we are not just generic persons, we are men and women.
  2. Since we have been created in God’s own image as personal beings, the central concern of our existence is our relationship to the God who created us – Eccl. 12:13,14.

II. The Question of Personal Worth

  1. To say that we are persons created in God’s image is to say that we have personal worth.
    1. We are worth more than any of the lower creatures.
    2. “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Mt. 6:26).
  2. But as equal bearers of the divine image, no person is worth any more or less than another!
    1. Every human has a deep need for two things:
      1. Security – the confidence that we are unconditionally loved and appreciated.
      2. Significance – the confidence that we matter, that what we do counts for something good.
    2. Having been created in God’s image each of us has an equally full opportunity for both security and significance.
      1. Security – Rom. 5:8.
      2. Significance – 1 Cor. 15:58.
    3. We need to feed our minds not only God’s love for us, but on the steadfastness of His love.
      1. This does not mean God will not punish me if I persist in sin.
      2. It does mean that God will never quit loving me — He will be there waiting for me as long as life lasts.
  3. But here is another thing: although each person has equal worth as a person, each person is uniquely significant!
    1. Equality does not mean sameness.
    2. In the human race, God has created a wonderful blend of equality and uniqueness.
      1. No two people are exactly alike.
      2. “Strengths” imply corresponding “weaknesses” — each person has a unique combination of both.
      3. We never seem to be satisfied with what God has given us as individuals — and we waste a great deal of time wishing for someone else’s unique combination of qualities. Cf. 1 Cor. 12:14-20.
    3. God cares equally and deeply about every detail of every person He has ever created! Cf. Lk. 12:7.
  4. Our value as persons is intrinsic value — it is inherent in what we are: creatures in God’s image.
    1. It will do us good to keep focused on what we are worth as persons.
    2. The “internal gyroscope” of eternal worth as God’s creature is vastly better than the ever-changing “social mirror” on which we sometimes base our self-concept.

III. The Question of Responsibility

  1. In thinking about who we are as persons, we need to think “with sober judgment” about ourselves – Rom. 12:3.
  2. As persons, in God’s image, we are “free moral agents.”
    1. It is an awesome “responsibility” to be endowed with a free will.
    2. We have been given the “ability to respond” — we are accountable for how we respond to God – Heb. 4:13.
    3. Nothing I can do can lower my value, but what I do may waste my value and throw it away.
    4. My eternal destiny depends on what choices I make about myself as a person created in God’s image.
  3. The ultimate question is: what am I doing with myself, the person God made me to be?

Conclusion

  1. Augustine said: “Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts find no rest until they rest in Thee.”
  2. We were made individually for fellowship with God.
  3. God wants each of us to be all that He created us to be!
  4. When we’ve done our deepest thinking about who we are and what we are worth, it’s not likely that we will improve on the song we learned as children: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Gary Henry – WordPoints.com

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