How Shall We Be Like God?

This question isn’t merely academic.

Fundamentally, while we are made in the image of God, it remains the case that we are not God. One of the ways that we differ from God is that God determines the difference between right and wrong; our place is to recognize and accept the determinations that God has made.

 

Ponder a paradox with me.

In Genesis 1, we learn that God creates humanity in his own image and likeness. Exactly what that means has perplexed theologians for literally millennia. Some say being made in God’s image means that we have a mind, will, and emotions. Some see the image as referring to our ability to have a relationship with God and with others. Still others understand God’s image to be related to his command for Adam and Eve to have dominion over the rest of the created world.

It isn’t necessary for our purposes to solve this debate. Suffice it to say for now that God has, in certain very important ways, made us like himself.

It is interesting, then, that when Satan tempts Adam and Eve in the Garden, he says, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

I find this striking: Adam and Eve are made in the likeness of God, and yet Satan’s foundational temptation to them is to be like God. Why does Satan’s offer tempt them at all if it is something they already have?

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