Snatched from the Fire
If you were to ask me, "What is the highest view of our human existence in the hands of a loving and caring God (the imago dei)", I would say it is the view embodied in the sermon of Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," where God is coming against the sin nature of man, not man himself, with graphic imagery. Imagery such as, "God's bow is bent and His arrow is aimed at your heart, and the only thing that keeps that arrow from being released and plunging into your heart, is the mercy of His hand on the string, just as the only thing that keeps you from falling into the pit of divine wrath is this slender thread that you're hanging on like a spider over the fire." You can't give a reason as to why God did not let you fall, but for His amazing grace.
All I could think of in reading Edwards' teaching was the grace of that hand that was keeping me from falling into the pit. That is a high view of our human existence in the hands of a loving and caring God. But many would ask how can you call that such a high view of man especially in this day and age when you talk about man in terms of his radical corruption? It is not politically correct. Edwards goes on teaching about what a tragedy it is that man is totally depraved in this life even though we were created to mirror and to reflect the holiness of God. And when we sin, God takes that sinning very seriously because when we sin, we desecrate the sanctity of God Himself and ourselves as well. We have no fear of God then. When we neutralize our fear of God and bring God down from the heavens and say that God is not that important to us, the immediate consequence is that we exalt ourselves. The lower the view we have of God, the higher the view we have of ourselves. But God reached down and snatched us from a burning fire because of His great love for us and His abhorrence to the sin nature of man.
Do you see the love relationship that God has created you to have with Him? Do you practice faithfulness to the Word of God as it represents to us a God who not only has our benefit in mind, but who in Christ Jesus has redeemed us from ourselves, and certain destruction? As a father's passion for his son is great, look then how great is the love that God has for you.