Understanding How God Progressively Restores Imago Dei Through the Evangelical Church

In Genesis 1 and 2 we read that God created mankind in the “Imago Dei” or “image of God.” In Genesis 3, we read that Adam and Eve decide to disobey God by touching and eating the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God’s first people therefore marred their God given image by attempting to become their own deities. From Genesis 3:15 through the rest of the Old Testament, Scripture tells the story of a Messiah that is to save humankind from sin. God’s Messiah will bring all who believe back into a relationship with God the Father. What is most compelling is that God chooses to work through human beings to restore them into His image. Not only did He work through human beings by His coming to humankind through the God man Jesus Christ, but He continues to restore humankind today by working through His people through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Since God uses human agency to restore humankind to the original version of Imago Dei in preparation for eternal life to come, this paper will discuss the biblical foundations of God’s redemptive work in humankind. Second, this paper will address how the church is the vehicle that God uses to bring redemption to the masses and why. Third, this paper will also attempt to examine why the church seems to falter in its calling to restore people.

This paper will make a case for the most effective methods that the church needs to consider in maximizing God’s redemptive work. For instance, based on the biblical historical narrative of God’s people in the Old Testament, this paper will show how God uses Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as part of God’s plan to redeem humankind. Second, this paper will illustrate how Jesus modeled how to forgive and to restore people who are far from God. Based on the biblical models of redemption, this paper will show how each Evangelical congregation can improve in accepting, helping, and restoring people who seem marginalized. This paper will also show how the Evangelical churches can empower believers to understand and live as image bearers of God. Overall, the discussion will emphasize how Jesus brings the church back to His example and explain why and how to apply what He demonstrated.

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