june 4

The Priestly Calling

By: Pastor Dennis Yim

Key Passage: Genesis 1:26

26 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.”

We’re all made in God’s image (the image dei). That simple phrase has such rich implications of

what it means to God’s people. All of creation – in one way or another – reflects the image of

God – they reflect either His glory or one of His many great and perfect attributes. But humanity

is special, we were created to image God by being like Him in every way a creature can be like

Him. Ed Welch captures this well in what it means for us to be made in God’s image:

We experience a likeness or kinship to God that uniquely qualifies us for a relationship

with him. We can represent him to the world, we can participate in his purposes, and we

can imitate him. Of all creation, we share the closest kinship with God, so we alone can

know him and be known by him in the most intimate of ways. We alone can have back-

and-forth communication that is reserved for personal relationships. Our connection is

more intense. We, distinct from all else, can know his love and love him in return. We

alone have the capacity to live in God and he in us – a reality that became central to

apostle Paul’s teaching.

But imaging God is more than simply relating to Him, but it is also participating in His

redemptive purposes. We are called to be God’s priests in His created world. What this means is

that we are called to bring life into a dying and decaying world. Adam and Eve were called to

expand the Garden of Eden, they were to expand life to all of creation. Our mission as priest is to

imitate Christ and represent Him on earth. We are called to mirror His glory by trusting and

resting in our union with Him. But reflecting God’s glory requires us to bring life; it means we

must care for all of creation, all cultures, all that belongs to Christ (which is everything!), as

Abraham Kuyper once beautifully said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our

human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

The Great Commission is a summary version of God’s call for expanding life in all of creation

by reflecting the life of the Life-Giver, Jesus Christ. Heaven comes to earth through us, through

Spirit-wrought love. In the midst of faithfully participating in God’s redemptive purpose as His

priests, we enjoy fellowship with Him. We were given both a heady and noble calling, but it’s a

calling that requires experience and maturity. As we continue to participate in His purposes, God

will help us by preparing us through grace-saturated testing and training. May we continue to

participate in God’s redemptive purpose as His priests.