Let’s Fix ItPreface: The gospel is logically linked to the Creation story because our Creator God uses His power to create a new heart in us (2 Cor. 5:17). Thus God’s image is renewed in us and our relationship with Him is restored.
Humankind’s quest to perfect the image of God can never be found in himself, for the degradation wrought by sin is beyond human ability to fix (Jer. 17:9). It requires divine intervention and the big question we face is how to fix this marred image.
The best place to begin in this process of repairing the marred image is to recognize, understand, and appreciate that we are sinners and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). At best our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). Only when we come to a realization of the shattered image of God in us will we be able to see the need for restoration. Ellen White says that “the Lord Jesus is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of His mercy and abundant grace. He is effecting transformations so amazing that Satan, with all his triumphant boasting, with all his confederacy of evil united against God and the laws of His government, stands viewing them as a fortress impregnable to his sophistries and delusions.”1
The restoration of the image of God in humankind requires re-creation and not merely a patching up (Ezek. 11:19; 36:26). In order to reflect fully the image of God, humanity must experience the change of heart that the prophet Ezekiel envisioned.
Renunciation of that which helps to disfigure the image of God in humanity is the next step to take. When Adam and Eve where created, it was obedience that kept them within God’s image. This is not anything like legalism, for obedience is simply faith exercised in taking God at His word. Diet is cardinal to the physiological make up of humankind, and therefore a perverted appetite is detrimental to qualitative life, which leads to a deficient spiritual life. Ellen White further states that a close connection exists between the physical and the moral nature.2
Obedience to God in our dietary behavior is fundamental to the restoration of God’s image in us; for we are what we eat and drink. A human being needs a clear, energetic mind in order to appreciate the exalted character of the truth. Good dietary practice will avail much in shaping our minds to be ennobled by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Eating and drinking and dressing all have a direct bearing upon our spiritual advancement, and therefore positive reform in this area will go a long way in maintaining the image of God in humankind.
In a nutshell, to restore the image of God in humanity, we need to realize the state from which we have fallen (Rom. 3:23), how desperate our situation has become (Jer. 17:9), and how we can do nothing good of our own (Isa. 64:6; Rom. 7:24). Then we can look for help from God (Rev. 2:5).
1. Ellen G. White, God’s Amazing Grace, p. 222.
2. White, Ministry of Healing, 129.
Justin Chapuswike, Somerset West, South Africa