Our Bodies Are Designed to Image God

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At the heart of transhumanism, and even postgenderism, is the question, “Is the human body sacred?” In other words, how far are humans permitted to travel along the path of biological alteration and enhancement? For those of us who oppose these worldviews, it is futile to focus our arguments and attention on the question of whether contemporary sex-reassignment procedures mutilate healthy tissue or increase health risks. This is because science is advancing such that we may soon be able to safely reprogram the body on a genetic level and transform our sex organs with a minimal degree of invasive and reconstructive surgery. Instead, we must appeal to a higher and unchanging standard for determining our moral authority.

As Christians, we can appeal to no higher authority than God. What then does God say in His Word, the Bible, about our physical bodies and our authority to design our sexuality? The defense of our worldview must be rooted first-and-foremost in our understanding of God and in His purpose and design for humanity.

Our theology determines our sexuality. According to the Bible, we as human beings are unique from the animals in that we have been created in the image of God. Precisely what is involved in serving as imagers of God has been greatly debated by theologians throughout the centuries, but the fact that we are imagers of God in undisputed because of the clear teaching of Genesis 1:26–28:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (emphasis added).

The Hebrew word translated as “man” is adam and means “human being” or “the human race.”[1] Thus, Genesis 1:27 reveals that God made humans in His own image, and that humanity was created as consisting of male and female sexes/genders. Somehow our sexuality—the fact that we are gender-based creatures—is an integral part of our being created in God’s image.

Clearly, our sexuality is not the only aspect of being imagers of God because most animals are also created as sexual creatures, being male and female, but they are not created in the image of God. It is precisely because of the similarities between human and animal that so many theories exist regarding the image of God. Some have argued that just as God consists of three distinct Persons, so also, we are comprised of three—being body, soul, and spirit—and yet we are one. There are several other theories, but all of these theories are based upon deductive reasoning.

As far as our physical design is concerned, the one and only aspect of being created in God’s image that can be derived from the Genesis creation account is the fact that humans were created as sexual beings. In other words, God’s only explanation of what being created in His image constitutes in our physiology is that He created us as male and female. Interestingly enough, because God Himself is neither male nor female, and because male and female are quite different from one another both physically and emotionally, the image of God must be most complete in the complimentary nature of the two. In this sense, the image of God is greatest when male and female complement one another in unity. This unity is known as “marriage” and is described in Genesis 2:23–24: “Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Regardless of whether we fully understand how this can all be true, we are compelled to accept that our being created in God’s image includes our sexuality because it is the clear teaching of God’s Word.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Baker, Warren and Eugene Carpenter. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament, H#120, 15. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2003.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.