Why Should I Love My Enemies?
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth."
So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female.
God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth." - Genesis 1:26-28
Wreslting with Day 6 of the Creation account, we learn that man is made in God's image!!
Here are a few ways that the author of Genesis points to the massive importance of this statement using literary tools:
The author uses more time in the creation account to write about Day 6 than any other day.
Using the repetition of God saying "and it was good," the author informs us that after day 6, God deemed that day "very" good.
The author uses poetry rather than narrative to accentuate this days activities.
The author uses repetition to highlight that man was made in God's image (3x).
Rather than stating "let there be a man..." as utilized in other moments in creation, the author clarifies that God declared, "let us make man in our image."
Rather than stating man was created "according to its own kind" as in other moments in creation, the author declares man to be created "in the likeness of God,"
Nowhere else in the creation account does a living creature have identified that it is made "male and female." Therefore, gender must matter and be important to humanity.
What does it mean to be created in the likeness of God?
In Wayne Grudem's "Christian Beliefs," he asserts, "To be in God's image means to be like God and to represent God. As God's image, man is the pinnacle of all creation, more like God than any other creature, and the only one appointed to rule over the rest of creation as God's representative."
Our responsibilities as being made in God's Image:
We are representatives on the earth
Replicating God's image across the earth demonstrates all the places where he reigns and rules and bring Him the glory he deserves and desires
We take care of His land (taking care of His Kingdom is a way of honoring Him)
We help restore His people and land to how they were supposed to be
Grudem adds, "We have a great hope and respect for all people - regardless of their state. They, like us, are the culmination of God's infinitely wise and skillful creation. They have potential to return to the beauty of Jesus Christ...by turning away from their sin and turning to their Creator."
We should love our enemies because they are made in the image of our Creator and therefore have value in His eyes. We are called to love them and help restore them to how they were supposed to be, in giving God the glory He deserves!
Let us pray for our enemies, even if it is difficult:
If they are Christians, remember that you will have restoration and reconciliation with them eventually (whether here or in heaven). Why not reconcile now so that you will not spend your short time on this earth burdened by a conflict with a brother or sister in Christ?
If they are not a Christian, may you have compassion on the fact that they do not know forgiveness the way that you have experienced it through the blood of Jesus Christ. Love them, and pray that they are restored to how God intended them to be, and that one day we can call them brother.
"For God was pleased to have
all His fulness dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace
through the blood of His cross -
whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him - if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from thehope of the gospel that you heard." - Colossians 1:19-23