I want to start off today’s post with a quiz question.
Which of the following were created in the image of God?
a) a plant
b) an animal
c) human beings
The correct answer is c) human beings.
Since the God is the Creator of everything, of course it could be argued that all of creation reflects His image, but when it comes to possessing His attributes, humans reflect and have the potential to reflect God’s character and attributes more than anything else in God’s creation.
Recall Genesis 1:26:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So general mankind was created in God’s image, and the people who God has chosen (Israel and those grafted into Israel) are commanded to be HOLY.
But how is that accomplished?
What actions or behaviors do we have to adopt in order be HOLY?
What does being HOLY look like anyway?
I would say when human beings mimic the attributes of God, they are being HOLY.
That’s the first point I want to make.
There is a connection between mankind being created in God’s image and how His HOLINESS is reflected when humans mimic His attributes.
The second point I want to make is to define what the “image of God” really means.
I would say the image of God is the totality of all of God’s attributes.
And since man was created in the image of God, he is supposed to reflect those attributes but unfortunately doesn’t due to his sin.
Believers, since they have been redeemed and set apart for God, are especially expected to reflect God’s attributes due to their set apart status.
Usually when pastors or Bible teachers talk about the “image of God”, they come up with these fuzzy and unclear ideas that revolve around the idea that image of God is the spiritual part of the Lord that resides in men and Yeshua is the physical part that is in men and since God is eternal we should be eternal blah, blah, blah…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Let’s keep things simple and clear.
God created man in His image which is just another way of saying that God created man in a way that reflects His attributes.
In fact, humans are the only LIVING BEINGS on the planet with the potential to embody and express God’s attributes.
Understand that God’s attributes aren’t about what classification or kind of being the Lord is scientifically like whether He is physical, spiritual or eternal etcetera.
I’m talking about those invisible qualities that make up His character, things that have to do with making moral choices and discerning good from evil.
God has given us the ability to create, to forgive and be merciful, to bless others, to be truthful and faithful, to display heavenly enlightenment, to be righteous and to judge.
I would say every one of those things I just mentioned are attributes that ONLY men have because they have been created in the image of a God who fully exemplifies those attributes.
When we display those attributes of God in our lives, we are BEING HOLY.
Now let’s connect all this to the title of today’s post: What does it really mean to do something in the Lord’s NAME?
Understand that in Hebrew culture, a person’s name was not just a title of identification.
A name referred to a person’s ATTRIBUTES.
So to go to someone in God’s name means to go that person displaying the characteristics of God which are love, mercy, forgiveness, discernment, truthfulness, and righteousness etcetera.
It is much more than just going to somebody in God’s authority.
When a believer who publicly claims allegiance to Yeshua and HASHEM acts in a manner that does NOT reflect God’s attributes and character like participating in MOLECH worship, that is most definitely a form of profaning God’s Name.
Whenever you come across the word “name” in Scripture, mentally erase it and replace it with the word “attributes” or “characteristics”.
Biblically speaking that’s much more what the word really means.