Image of God
Humans were created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26) and is the identity a believer is renewed toward through faith in Jesus (Eph. 4:24). This means that we are intended for God’s glory and that certain attributes God possesses, he shares with humans (Col. 3:10). We reflect God in our rationality, creativity, justice, and the like. As such, all human life is believed to have a sanctity about it, and is to be respected and honored (Jas. 3:9). This “true self” is one of the many promises of the Gospel given through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
Humanity as male and female
God created humans male and female. While given different roles and functions at creation, both are equal image bearers of God (Gen. 1:27). When God was finished with his creation, he said it was good, except he said it was not good for a man to be alone, so he created the woman as a “suitable helper” (Gen. 2:18). As such, men and women are not created to be interchangeable in function, but rather complimentary. Christian marriage is meant to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship with the church. A man and a woman come together in mutual submission (Eph. 5:21) whereby a woman expresses supportive respect to her husband (Eph. 5:22-24), and the man exercises headship in his family in such a way that he sacrifices himself and his desires for his wife in order to love her as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25-33).
The makeup of human nature
While humans were originally created good and as bearers of God’s image, Adam’s sin corrupted our entire race, and as such, we are born with a sinful nature (Rom. 5:12). In this nature, we are separated from God (Eph. 2:12) and completely incapable on our own power to redeem ourselves from this condition (Rom. 3:21-23). It is necessary for us to understand our spiritual destitution, otherwise the Gospel does not seem good, and it is news we could care less for.
Purpose, meaning, and destiny
The purpose of humanity, as God’s image bearers, is to reflect his glory. It is this purpose which is restored by faith in the Gospel of Jesus. In this purpose, we find our complete satisfaction and meaning in life (John 1:1-4; Isa. 9:2; Eccl. 2:24-26). The life of faith and pursuit of Christ is where our sense of identity and ultimately our destiny is found and how we experience eternal life (John 3:16-17). Without Jesus, our faith is not sustained or sealed, and we are destined for an eternity of death, suffering, and separation from God (also referred to as Hell) (John 3:18-20; Rom. 5:15, 6:23).