Truth for Young Believers: The Image of God / Our Morality

As the foundation chapter of Scripture, Genesis 1 is key in shaping our concept of morality. A naturalistic worldview that rejects male and female having been specially created in the image of God teaches that our bodies are essentially accidental consequences of a mindless evolutionary process. And if our bodies are accidental, then what we do with our bodies is incidental.[1] But when God created male and female in His image, He gave them different bodies, and expected them to be stewards of those bodies. At the very outset of their life together, Scripture outlines for them a sexual ethic. In every NT list of moral vices, sexual sin is listed – and it is normally listed first, and is sometimes described by more than one term. Morality relates to much more than sexual behaviour, but in contemporary culture, that is one particular aspect of morality where a biblical worldview is going to make you distinctive.

If the accusation of narrowminded bigotry is thrown against you, remember their problem is not really with you or with “the Christian religion” – their problem is with the Lord Jesus. When they tell you that you just can’t possibly still believe what you believe about marriage and sexuality, they are basically telling you that you must stop following Christ – because Christ embraced the foundational truth of Genesis 1-2 concerning gender and sexual morality (check Mark 10:6-7).[2] What gives the culture, or anyone within it, the right to challenge the Lord’s teaching on morality? Since Christ died for you and rose from the dead, you are wise to side with Him – on this issue and on any other. On issues of morality, you are not merely holding to a religious code – you are holding on to a Person.

Highlighting the Lord’s teaching concerning marriage does not mean that singlehood is a lesser way of bearing God’s image. Both Adam and Eve already bore God’s image during that brief period of time prior to their marriage. Neither marriage, nor sexual activity, is essential to your Christian calling of being renewed in the image of your creator God (Col 3:10). “In our hypersexualized contemporary culture … sexual activity is viewed as the most direct path to personal fulfillment and self-realization – to being truly human and alive. So deep seated is this belief that most people today think that to deny yourself sexual experiences is to undermine your own humanity.”[3] But again, the culture is trumped by the glorious life of Christ. “He is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15 ESV) – God’s perfect representative. No human life was ever as fulfilling as His, and He did so in singlehood and moral purity. While the culture sticks the word “self” in front of realization and fulfillment, the Bible speaks of self-control and self-denial. And the Christ who displayed ultimate self-denial – His death on the cross – strengthens you in your journey of self-denial today. Keep your eye on Him, for “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2Co 3:18 ESV).


[1] Allberry, Sam. “7 Ways to Navigate a Sexually Shifting Culture.” The Gospel Coalition. Podcast audio, September 21, 2018.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Wilson, Todd. Mere Sexuality. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017), p.49.