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created-in-gods-image

[Each year the third Tuesday in October is the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity.  It is a day to remember the sanctity of all life, especially that of an unborn child.  It’s a day to remember and reflect.  However, we know that every day should be a day to remember and thank God for the precious gift of life.  Let’s understand why all human life is precious and is also sanctified (set apart for God). Let’s take a stand to protect the lives of those in the womb. Read also “Who Can Tell Me?”]

Question

What does it mean to be created in the Image of God?

Answer

The answer lies…”in the beginning..”

Genesis 1:27  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Man was created to bear the image of God, to reflect who He is, and to magnify His glory.  We know that Adam was created with a body and soul.  The body being a tabernacle that “houses” the soul, and also “houses” the heart and mind.  Remember that Jesus said, to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).  Jesus said that we are to love God with ALL that we are.

The soul can be understood as the essence of one’s being. It is the transcendent self, the immortal part of us that will never perish. The organs of the heart and mind will perish, yet, I suggest, that the consciousness of both lies in the soul, which is eternal.  How can I know this?  I base it on what I’ve seen.  A friend received a heart transplant in 2012.  The organ of his heart was removed and replaced with that of another, yet the essence of his being did not change at all.

The Spirit

The Bible is clear that the Spirit is the breath of life.  We are told that God breathed life into Adam:

Genesis 2:7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Man’s body was formed from the dust of the earth, but his life came from the breath of God. Adam’s soul was “quickened,” or made alive, and “became a living soul.”  This is the life-giving work of God, by His own breath,  the Holy Spirit.  When God breathed into Adam’s soul, he became a tri-partite being–body, soul, and spirit–created in God’s image.

This triune nature of Adam reflects the image of our Triune God.  The Holy Spirit, of course, is understood as spirit.  God, the Father is understood and revealed as the essence of God, the Great I AM, the soul.  And Jesus, as we know from Scripture, is both the “brightness of His glory” and the “express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3).

Both the Father and the Spirit are invisible, similar to man’s soul and spirit.  Jesus, we are told, is God made “manifest in mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11), therefore similar to our earthly bodies.

The Architecture of Man = Created in His Image

…the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Just as the Godhead shares perfect communion among themselves, Adam was created in perfect communion with God.  With life having been breathed by God into Adam’s soul, the Holy Spirit was present with him. That is until he sinned and broke his perfect communion with God.  The presence of the Holy Spirit was no longer with him in the same way it had been and his triune nature was now changed.  He no longer was body, soul, and Spirit.  The life breathed into his soul, in which he was to live eternally, no longer kept him alive and his body began to die.  The Holy Spirit left man, which explains why, in our salvation, the Lord gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Loss of Image

When Adam sinned, his triune nature changed.  He was no longer body, soul, and Spirit.  The life breathed into his soul, the life in the Spirit, in which he was to live eternally, no longer kept him alive and his body began to die.  When the Holy Spirit left Adam, his image changed. From that time on, every person has been born in the image of Adam.  We are told this with the birth of Adam’s son Seth:

Genesis 5:3  And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image [no longer in right relationship with God; no longer having the breath of God in him]; and called his name Seth:

So, while it is absolutely correct to say that man was CREATED in the image of God, it must be understood that ever person since Adam has been BORN in the image of Adam — in the image of fallen man.  Everyone is born with a body and a soul, as well as a spirit of man. But all are born without the quickening, life-giving Spirit of the breath of God  that was breathed into Adam.  That is why we must be born of God (1 John 5:1).  When sinful man repents and trusts in Jesus, God is faithful to save him and regenerate his soul with the quickening power of the Holy Spirit and the precious gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Restoration Already. . . But Not Yet

This is a restoration of shalom.  It is a restoration of the peace with God that God intended for mankind.  It is a restoration of the Holy Spirit’s quickening power in the soul. And yet this is not a full restoration to the image in which Adam was created.  Remember, Adam was created without sin.  While redeemed and regenerated man has been forgiven of his sins, he still has a sin nature and he will continue to sin.  Salvation has saved him from the penalty and power of sin, but not from the presence of sin.

Glory to Come

As born again Christians, we are now in right relationship with God and we enjoy communion with Him. However, we must remember that we are not completely enjoying the glory of perfect communion with God.  The full restoration of perfect shalom will only take place when we die and leave our earthly tabernacle, our fleshly bodies.  When we go to be with the Lord in glory, we will then be saved from the presence of sin and from the possibility of sinning. And then one day in the promised bodily resurrection, we will receive a glorified body likened unto the Lord’s glorified body.

Philippians 3:21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

In that day, we will be perfected and totally restored as His image bearers and we will reflect His glory forever and ever.

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Read also  “Who Can Tell Me?”

“Who can tell me where I came from?” The little boy would ask.
His question was a good one, Yet he faced a trying task.
Each man had different answers, As he was soon to learn.
This brought him great confusion, And it caused a deep concern.
He first went to his schoolmates. . .
CONTINUE READING “Who Can Tell Me?”

 

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