63 of 100: being renewed in knowledge after the IMAGE of its creator as Jesus who is the IMAGE of the invisible God

Introduction

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:27 KJV)
God created men and women in his own image and likeness. Physically we look similar to angels (heavenly beings) but the difference is that the bodies of angels are glorified and immortal. When men encountered angels they were sometimes unaware that they were angels because they resembled men.
In the visions of of God seen by the prophets the Almighty is featured thus:
“And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings. And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance.” (Eze 1:25-26 ESV)
The physical appearance of God is beyond the scope of the post, so we will stick with appearance of angels. But we are not superior on the basis of the physical but because of our intellectual that is we can communicate with God and vice-versa.
God created mankind different from that of animals in that animals were not created in his own image. This then allows man to manifest God and for God to be manifest in mankind.
Since man can think above the animals and is gifted with higher intelligence he often uses it to glorify himself and disregards his creator. Men have known in history to self declare themselves as God. They forget that they were created to bring God glory.

Significances of being created in his image

1. A call to reflect the Father’s image

Being created in the image of God, the  purpose of mankind is then to reflect the image of God in one’s life:

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Col 3:9-10 ESV)

That is the human goal is to become divine in reflecting his glorious image.

How so?

put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledgeafter the image of its creator.

  • New self: Commitment
  • Knowledge: Word of God

Being created in God’s image (and not in the image of an animal) humans posses an inherent potential to serve God in holiness and truth. But humans have been created  with an independed mind therefore they often choose to behave like animals:

“Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” (Ecc 7:29 KJV)

2. A world of brotherhood and peace

The significance of creation of mankind in his own image is that men and women ought to respect each other. We ought to be a world free of caste and racism – a world of brotherhood and peace.

All humans have been created in the image of God and should respect one another. The perfect unity of the church is brought about in this saying:

“A person is no longer a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a male or a female, because all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28 ISV)

Self control, tolerance and restraint is key to achieving this unity and thereby reflecting his image in our lives:

“but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (Jas 3:8-10 ESV)

To reflect God’s image

1. In the Physical

In the physical sense we have mortal and perishable bodies just like the animals, so in the physical we cannot reflect God’s image in our present state. We are humans. But this will change at the resurrection. Since Jesus has overcome death and opened the way to eternal life we can at his return reflect his image physically because we will then be clothed with immortality like the angels. Our bodies will be immortal.

Jesus is known as the first human (first born) to attain this state of physical glory. Jesus was born with corruptible flesh but by the resurrection he was clothed with the incorruptible:

“The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. “ (1Co 15:47-53 KJV)

Jesus in the physical form was described as:

Isa 53:2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

While same may racially glorify the body of Jesus with Blue eyes and blonde eyes in line with superior race thing, the word of God is void of such philosophy rather:

Isa 66:2 For my hand has made all these things, and so all these things came to be,” says Yahweh: “but I will look to this man, even to he who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.

2. Jesus the IMAGE of GOD

While he was in the human form he perfectly reflected God’s image only in the spiritual realm.

Jesus Christ reflected or manifested God in the spiritual realm in two major ways:

  • A. By living a life perfect in faith and obedience – hence he was living in the image of God. He reflected God’s will in his life. In Jesus we see how a man ought to live life so he or she can reflect the image of God in their lives – i.e. shine the light of God in their lives by way of living
  • B. He reflected God’s image as one who repressed God to the people. Jesus was a mediator of God to man like Moses had reflected the image and glory of God to the children of Israel. (Jesus gave God the glory and therefor brought full glory to God, while Moses on occasion failed the glory of God)

Moses reflected God’s glory on account of receiving instructions for holy living and was only chosen for such a task because he reflected God’s image in the spiritual i.e. was obedient to his word. Moses was appointed to deliver God’s word to the people. Moses was made special by God to his people and God had exalted him above his brethren.

mosesfacemountain-632

So, Previously the Jewish race had experienced the glory of God in the face of Moses (which they unfortunately preferred veiled):

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.” (Exo 34:29-30 ESV)

But Jesus supersedes the prophets in his expression of the Father:

Col 1:15 who is the image of the invisible God,

He is the IMAGE of GOD because:

  • Jesus was specifically created to be the begotten son of God to represent him
  • Jesus was the long foretold Messiah/Christ come true.
  • Jesus was given the spirit without measure to represent God
  • Jesus fulfilled the will of his God

‘Image’ is not physical (as already seen – as in the physical Jesus had a corruptible body and was not comely to behold) but in the spiritual. Jesus was in the spiritual realm the image of God.

Jesus testified that he had accurately represented and taught about God and also lived those teachings in how own life:

Joh 8:28  Jesus therefore said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things.

Jesus was chosen and proved himself because he was found pleasing with God:

Joh 8:29  He who sent me is with me. The Father hasn’t left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”

  1. Jesus was ‘taught’ by God and that he reproduced the teachings to the people as a mediator of the word of God (like the prophets of old)
  2. His way of life and attitude was pleasing to God (Abel, Abraham, Moses had also made positive impressions on the Father, But Christ exceeded all in his life.)

When Jesus told Philip about seeing the Father in himself, Jesus was speaking of spiritual things not physical appearance:

Joh 14:8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you such a long time, and do you not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, ‘Show us the Father?’

Joh 14:10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works.

Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

What does it mean then for Jesus to be in the Father and the Father to be in him?

Jesus prayed:

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.(John 17:11 ESV)

that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.(John 17:21 ESV)

It is obvious from Jesus’ prayer that the Father be in us and we in the Father is a relationship of intimacy that was core to Jesus’ desires. Jesus was not physically in God but only in the spiritual. Disciples are then expected to achieve the ‘in God’ relationship. This relationship of God in Christ was experienced by the disciples.

Paul testified:

“but Christ lives in me” – Gal 2:20

Is Paul Christ? Paul is Christ and Christ is Paul?

We need a spiritual eye to discern these things!

3. Called to reflect the image of God

We are also called to this task i.e. having read about the life of the son in the gospels and the writings of the apostles we also ought to reflect the image of the son and thereby reflect the image of God in our lives just as the son had done. Jesus was the human example of the image of God manifest on earth for his disciples to mimic.

God is glorified when men reflects his glory. God’s glory in the spiritual realm is in his character i.e. He is a God who is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth yet merciful, forgiving and just:

Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, “Yahweh! Yahweh, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth,keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin; and who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the children’s children, on the third and on the fourth generation.” (Exo 34:6-7)

We have been called as christians to conform to the image of Son:

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom 8:29 KJV)

We start to reflect God’s image in our lives when we show the characteristics of God in our lives.

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Col 3:9-10 ESV)

Does, ‘have been predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son’ prove you are going to be a member of the trinity?

The christian purpose of life is to reflect the image of God through Jesus i.e. Jesus is the example of how this may be done:

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Co 4:6 ESV)

The above verse means that Jesus was chosen to give us knowledge of the glory of God (character of God as revealed to Moses).

Trinity will not cross your mind if you understand how previously God had already shone the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Moses. The point of Paul’s writings is only to show how superior Jesus is compared to Moses and the Prophets.

The exhortation is that the LIGHT has entered our hearts because we have obtained knowledge of the Father in the face (teachings and life) of Jesus the Messiah.

Eph 4:21  if indeed you heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus:

Eph 4:22  that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit;

Eph 4:23  and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

Eph 4:24  and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.

Humans attain the likeness of God by their way of life:

  • New man – commitment
  • Living in truth – righteousness and holiness

Our hope is that we will share in the glory of Christ as we continue to renew ourselves in the image of our maker:

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.

1Jn 3:3  Everyone who has this hope set on him purifies himself, even as he is pure.

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One thought on “63 of 100: being renewed in knowledge after the IMAGE of its creator as Jesus who is the IMAGE of the invisible God

  1. Pingback: 69 of 100: Reasons why Christ did not Pre-exist his birth | Yahweh is our God. Yahweh is one.

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