The command to unite in the image of God is explicit in the bible, especially in verses such as:

For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
(Leviticus 11:45 ESV)

And also:

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
(Matthew 5:48)

However it is in Deuteronomy 6 where the link between the oneness (unity) of God and the requirement to unite in him is clearest. Deuteronomy is Moses’ retelling the law of God to Israel before they go to take the Promised Land. Moses begins his recounting of the law by stating that God is one. This is simultaneously a statement of God’s unity and headship (supremacy). Setting out the context and purpose of the law, a command for Israel to unite under his headship (reflect his image in unity). This is why the statement of God’s oneness is accompanied by the command to obey the law in everything they do, including accurately teaching the law to their children. In this way the image of God would be consistently transmitted from person to person through time (in theory).

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

It should be noted that Moses is talking to all of Israel, not just part, making it a command for human unity in God (and Abraham) while acknowledging the place of the individual (e.g. bind them on your hand).

As previously discussed, the basis of human unity is the family. In family each new child (member) is born into relationship as either a son or daughter and possibly brother or sister. However as a family grows the number of relationships multiply. One man could be a father, son, brother, uncle and cousin at the same time, or a woman could be mother, daughter, sister, aunt and cousin (depending on who they are relating to). Therefore the role and responsibility of a person in any given circumstance is determined by who they are relating to. In any union there is a right and wrong way of relating, depending on the distinctive roles fulfilled by each member at any given time. Acting in the wrong way (e.g. disobeying parents) is indicative of no unity at all (disunity).

Every nation on earth has a variety of laws that command and manage a range of relational situations, from murder to being too noisy late at night. Both human laws and the law of God seek to manage relationships and command consistent behaviour for good community. However human laws are incapable of commanding true (God like) unity because they are not based on any absolute standard of relating (God); often seeking to acheive competing goals. Only the law of God perfectly commands unity (good relationship). Therefore the law of God:
• Contains the requirements for the conduct of good relationship (unity) between God and man, within humanity and between humanity and the rest of creation.
• Perfectly reflects the absolute standard of relationship in unity that is God:
o It does not command behaviour that is contradictory and can therefore be thought of as a single unified law.
o Commanding perfect unity in a single head (God), (i.e. in his likeness).

While the requirements of the written law encompass the unwritten standard of unity that existed in the beginning, other requirements exist purely because mankind is not in union with God and need to relate to God in disunity. If unity/good relationships (in God’s image) existed then the written law of God (especially human law) would not be necessary. Instead people would naturally reflect God’s image in relationship (unity) all the time, perfectly relating to one another, God and creation.


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