Go ahead and be thinking to yourself: “In what ways are humans like God and not like God?” What does it mean that we were created in God’s image? Did God fully make us like Him? Can we fully become like Him? Did He share everything true about Himself partly with us? Can we become more like Him if we’re already in His image?
Satan just loves to twist and distort the truths of God, so he has deceived some people into thinking heresies (false truths). Mormonism will tell you that the goal is to become a God. Liberalism will tell you that the goal is to become more of a good person. But what does the Bible tell us? Should we become God, a good person, or like God?
What we’re talking about here is God’s attributes (aka – His characteristics or what He is really like). God’s attributes can be separated into two groups: His greatness and His goodness. The greatness of God speaks of His transcendence (glory) over creation. The goodness of God speaks of His immanence (involvement) with all creation. God’s goodness is compassionate. The more we understand God’s greatness, the more we will appreciate His goodness. Let’s take a look at the goodness of God.
Read Psalm 145. The Psalmist writes of both God’s great qualities and His good qualities. The goodness of God can be thought of as His active attributes with His humanity:
Holiness: God never sins because He is completely set-apart for all that is evil and sinful. Righteous and Just: In everything God does, He always acts and judges rightly. Truthfulness: God always is and speaks what is true. He cannot lie or be deceitful. Faithful: God always keeps His covenant promises to His covenant people. Love: God is eternally loving within the Trinity. He loves all people, especially His own. Wisdom: God always applies His perfect knowledge into perfect action. Glory: God is awesome when truly thought of, looked at, beheld, worshipped, etc. Sovereignty: God is always ruling. He never tires, sleeps, or stops His ruling activity. Happiness: God is eternally joyful within His Trinity. He also rejoices over His creation.
Now that we have gone over both the great and good attributes of God, which attributes would you say that we share with Him? Some would say that He has created us to share in His good attributes, but He has left His great attributes to Himself. I honestly don’t agree with that. Let me explain. God has created us as humanity in His image to reflect His likeness while we rule over the rest of creation (Genesis 1:26-28). I believe that God has shared everything about Himself with us, but also that we can never acquire any of His attributes fully since He is infinite in all attributes and we are finite. God has created us in His image to share in many of His attributes now: God is Spirit so He gives us a soul/spirit, God is holy so He creates us to be holy like Him, etc. Also, God has created us in His image to share in many of His attributes in eternity (Christians only): God is glorious and we will be glorified for eternity, God is eternal and we will rule with Him for eternity. God has created us to image Him both now and eternally.
There is one major problem with all of this though. After humanity was created in God’s image, humanity fell into sin which kept but distorted the image of God within us (Gen 3:6). We are like a broken mirror that poorly reflects the true image. But God has made it possible to be restored in His image again. He sent His Son, Jesus, who is His exact divine image to also become fully human. Jesus lived sinless and perfect. He died a sacrificial death with our sins bore into Him, and He rose from the dead three days later. Now, God has revealed His overall will as to why He created us, “Those whom [God] foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” God created us to be conformed into Christ. Jesus was the reason we were created. Grow in godliness by becoming like Jesus. God desires us to follow, worship, and obey His Son.