Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Through a Mirror Dimly

In Genesis 1:26-27 we are told that the Triune God created us in His image. There of course has been a lot of discussion as to what that image in fact entails. One thing is for sure, it is not a mirror image, at least not yet. That is not to say I believe we shall be like God someday, but rather as we grow and mature in the faith, and as we enter into His kingdom in fullest measure, we shall more completely understand what bearing the image means.

I suppose this is partially what the Apostle Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 13:12 when he writes of us not seeing a clear reflection in the mirror. Now we only know in part, but someday, when we see the Lord face to face, we shall more fully understand. But, even though our understanding may be dim at the moment, I believe we can still know, and live out, at least portions of that Image. We are called to be conformed to the Image of the God's Son, Jesus, and that conforming work is to take place in the here and now. We are created as Image-Bearers, but in order to bear that Image well, we must know what the Image looks like.

Last week, in my sermon, "The Human Condition" I dealt with the issue of sin as brought forth in the third article in our Statement of Faith, which says,

We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.

I focused upon our condition as sinners, but is must be noted that this declaration of our human condition is bookended with statements regarding our former and later condition as God had originally deemed them to be. (To read some thought about "deemed" see my Shepherd's Staff article, "Re-Deemed") Those bookends remind us that our present human condition as sinners, is not what God had in mind for His creation, and that God has set in place, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the way in which His original design can be restored.

Thus, this week I am going to be focusing upon the Image of God in us. What is it? How are we to live it out? So, without giving away too much of my own thinking I would like to poise the question to you, the readers of this blog. What of God's Image is placed in us, and how do you see that borne out in our daily lives?

I will do my best to respond to your thoughts, and of course, Lord willing, you can hear them sometime next week via our website.

What an awesome reality to bear the Image of God in us! What an awesome responsibility!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pastor,
I know that the triune God is spirit..we have not seen God except through Christ as He took on humanity in order to redeem it.
We FEEL the spirit often...though we cannot SEE Him...nonetheless...we are told we are made in THEIR image...I don't know all of the theological data on this subject but I can think of a couple of things about we humans that are the image of God, As God is triune..so are we. We are body, mind and spirit...
As God is eternal...so are we..although not Pre-existant as God, we ARE eternal..in that our souls will spend eternity SOMEHWERE...our choice!

God is love...He has placed in US the ability to love...not as perfectly...not as uncondionally at times...but we CAN love....especially as He helps us in that area.

God needs love and fellowship...so do we...we starve for loving fellowship.

God's heart grieves...as does the human heart.

God the creator of beauty has given SOME humans the ability to create as well....

God forgives....He has placed within humans the ability to forgive ...maybe not as thoroughly ...but He knew it would be necessary in order to live on this earth with other imperfect people.

God comforts...He has given special gifts to people in order that we too might comfort those about us..in various ways.

God heals...He has given special abilities to the scientific world of medicine to bring about healing to we humans...when He chooses to not outright perform miraculous healing.

I'm sure there are dozens more facets of the image of God that He has made available to His creation.

The most endearing to me is that He loves ME so much...that He devised a plan to redeem ME so He could have fellowship with ME...forever! Ruthie

Pastor Randy said...

Thanks Ruthie,

Those are great thoughts, and your words reminded me of some of those aspects of the shared image, especially that of being eternal.

It seems we carry so much of the Image of God, but in tainted form. Maybe we don't even realize the image in us because of the tainted-ness brought on by our sin. As you said, we do as God does, as in forgiveness, though not with His perfect. I guess that gives us something to look forward to, eh?

Peace to you.

Anonymous said...

This is a hard one or else I am just having difficulty avoiding
complicating a simplistic truth.

Since God is spirit obviously being ''conformed to His image" has nothing to do with physical attributes.

The first word that came to mind for me was the word ''holy'' because God is holy yet Jesus said "They will know you by your love for one another" NOT, "They will know you by your holiness."

Christ's one short statement covers a lot of territory though because if we love one another, we will walk in holiness BECAUSE we love one another.

Being conformed to His image to me means that the more we yield to the Holy Spirit within us, the more we will produce the fruit of the spirit and the more good fruit is produced, the more we will bear a spiritual resemblance to our heavenly father.

The goal is for us to become perfect like our Father in heaven always remembering that he is the potter and we are the clay. We believe and He sculpts.

gentledove