Sunday, November 2, 2008

Not Made in God's Image

Not Made in God's Image
Oct 13, 2008

Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness....""

I look at my own sons and daughters and wonder how to fully shape their lives and character. They are all so young and impressionable; I fear they may learn things I do not want them to learn. I see things in them that I wish I could change about my own character and wonder if I was the one who put it tin them. Will they turn out all right? If they are made in God's image, shouldn't they turn out just fine? If I am made in God's image, doesn't that mean I'm OK, too?

Not necessarily so. The Bible says that when God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His own image. They were created perfect and, like God, had no sin. Adam and Eve were "born" Godlike. Then Adam and Eve met Satan and decided to bring sin into their lives. After Adam and Eve had sinned, they had their first child (130 years after God created them). Genesis 5:3 says that Adam "had a son in his own likeness, his own image" [italics mine]. Remember, this was after he had sinned. Adam had a new image and it was not the original one he started with. The first child born of man was made in man's image, not God's. Man's image was sinful. Therefore, you and I are born, not in the wonderful image of God but in the horrible image of sin.

But there is hope. The ENTIRE Bible is a story of God's redemptive plan to get us back to our original image; the image of God. Fast forward 2000 years and you find Jesus Christ, the role model of a human being who actually achieved the living status of a human made in the true image of God. But of course He achieved it, He was God. This is impossible for us. But because of Jesus' work on the cross, we can be new creations. Once we become Christians, we are actually born again and are now made into the image of Christ, the original image we were intended to have.

This leaves something for all of us to do. We must be transformed into the image of God through the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. After we are saved, we must allow Christ to permeate every area of our lives in an effort to become more like Him. Don't stand in the mirror and try to see the facets of Christ in you; a mirror simply mocks what is there. Rather place a picture of Jesus in your mind and look at yourself in an overlay of that picture. You'll be able to identify the areas of your life that are not Christ-like. Trust me, there are plenty of them. And as you are conforming yourself in the image of Christ, it is your job to help others do the same, especially the people in your immediate life. In doing this, you will not only look like Christ, you will reflect God's own glory.

1. Are you being conformed to the image of Christ on a daily basis?
2. Identify three people in your immediate life that you can be an example for?

Additional Scriptures for Study: Gen 1, Gen 5, Rom 8:29, Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 3:12-18, Col 1:15

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