Gen 1:27 says, “God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them, male and female he created them”. It is important for us to understand that human beings are the only living things that are created in the image of God. We bear God’s image. This means that we are like God; when you bear an image, you’re like God. To understand what sin and the Curse have done to us, we have to understand what is given to us by image-bearing.
Gen 2:5 says, “No shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth, and there was no one to work the ground. But streams came up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” God forms man and then he breathes into him. God’s breath is what gives us life. When I look at my children, what I see a lot of times, as my children are growing, is my father on their face for awhile, and then my mom, and my wife, and me, and the uncles and aunts, and as they grow older, you can begin to see them morphing into different people in the family. You see the genetics. But what I see more than anything is Sue and I. And what I’m struck with, is I gave them life. Now, God is the one who gave me the power to give them life, but I brought them about. Sue and I made them. They bear my image.
The first idea of image-bearing is that we belong to God like my kids belong to me, and so the first thing we’re given in image-bearing is a family name. When you read the Old Testament, you’ll see that names mean something. In my family, the Cepin name means something. There are a lot of things that it means, but when I look at my brothers and I, and what we do, and I look at my parents, I realize that for the Cepin name, one of the things that it means is hospitality. All of us are very hospitable. We always have an open door, and people are always at everybody’s house; the same with my parents. And the other thing is, the Cepin family name means you take care of people. I’ve seen my parents do that, I’ve done that, my brothers have done that. But also, it means that you look at baseball stats in the newspaper. If you think about your own family, there are things that your family just does. It’s passed on to you. We get a family name from God: he breathed life into us. Now what God's name gives us is holiness. See, God can’t walk with his creatures if they’re not holy, so one of the things that comes with being part of God’s family is being holy. Now, holiness a lot of times is hard to explain, because we don’t go around saying, “Hey, I’m holy” or “He’s not very holy”. That’s not how we use our language.
Number one, holiness means sacred. So if something is holy, it’s sacred. Number two, a holy thing is right, it’s not wrong. Third, holiness is the definition of sanity. This all means that we’ve inherited from God a rightness, a sacredness, and a saneness. That’s what came with the family name. So the first thing we get from image-bearing is a family name.