Mankind: Image of God

Mankind: Image of God

 

We have studied “Revelation”, how do we know what is true?

We have studied God as Trinity and the implications. 

Now, we ask the question, “Who is man?”. 

 

Why did God make mankind?

  1. John 17:5, 24 God did not create man because he was lonely or needed fellowship.
    1. John 17:5 (ESV) And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
    2. John 17:24 (ESV) Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
  2. Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 1:11-12; 1 Corinthians 10:31 God created us for his glory.
    1.  Isaiah 43:6-7 (ESV) I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

 

Did the fall into sin destroy the image of God in man?

  1. Genesis 9:6 (ESV) Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
    1. God’s image was broken in us, but not destroyed.

 

Does Jesus repair the broken image of God in us when he saves us?

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

 

What does it mean to be made in the image of God?

  1. The fact that man is in the image of God means that man is like God and represents God.
    1. Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV) Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
    2. Image – to shade; semblance
      1. If God cast as shade, it would be us…distinct from, not the same, but like.
    3. Likeness – similar 
      1. Carrying similar traits.

 

How do we image forth God, and what exactly is Jesus renewing in us?

NOTE: This is an impossible task to do justice to. 

 

NOTE: Start with Genesis 1:26 to set the definition, then move to Jesus as our example of what it looks like. 

 

We are Vice-Regents or Representative Manager-Rulers

  1. Genesis 1:26-28
    1. Mankind images God in his created function to rule over and care for creation. 

 

We are Ethical (Morals define “good and bad” as distinguished by cultural norms. Ethics defines what is “right and wrong” based on a standard outside of cultural norms.)

  1. To be ethical is to look to a fixed standard of what is right and wrong. 
  2. John 14:30-31 (ESV) I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
    1. Jesus standard of ethics is the Father’s word to him. God’s word for Jesus is the standard. 
  3. We even have a created code of ethics revealed in our consciences which is God’s word imprinted on a human’s soul. 
    1. Romans 2:14-15 (ESV) For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

 

We are Spiritual

  1. John 4:24 “God is spirit…”
    1. We are similar to God spiritually. There is an immaterial nature to man. 
      1. We are souls. (how that soul is divided up is not clear) 
      2. We are not merely biological creatures that can be merely biologically manipulated. 
    2. We are immortal. We will not cease to exist. 
      1. Therefore where we spend eternity matters. 
    3. We have deep and complex emotions such as joy, sadness, anger, fear, etc. 
      1. These can be broken, and these can be abused, and these can be used to hurt others as well. 

 

We are Intellectual

  1. Genesis 1:26-28 “Let us make man in our image” is a thought out and reasoned plan. 
    1. God thinks. God reasons. 
  2. We can reason and think.

 

We are Relational

  1. John 17:3-5 (ESV) And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
    1. Trinity: God is in relationship with himself. 
      1. We are made in this image. 
      2. We are then capable of proper self-relationship.
        1. How do you view yourself? This is often ground zero for spiritual warfare.
  2. We are capable of multiple levels of relationship: to God, individuals, marriage, and family. 

 

We are Physical

  1. Genesis 18:1-2; Daniel 3:25; Isaiah 6:1-3; John 1:14
    1. It may be said that the Eternal Son of God exists in John 4:24 like reality as the one in whose physical image we shadow. 
  2. We will have a renewed and resurrected body forever. 
    1. 1 Corinthians 15:51-55
  3. Whether God himself has a physical body that we are a replica of or not is debated. 
  4. What is not debatable is that our physical existence has a holy image bearing component to it, and our physical existence is to be nourished, cared for, preserved and even laid to rest in a manner fitting for the kingdom of God. 

 

Our bodies therefore have been created by God as suitable instruments to represent in a physical way our human nature, which has been made to be like God’s own nature.

 

Application

 

We have the ability to manage created order as vice-regents of creation. How we approach creation says something about God. 

 

We have the ability as the church to be ground zero for the ethical standard of what God says for the whole world. 

  1. The church as ground zero of new creation has the cure of ethical ambiguity. 
  2. We can be a city on a hill for ethical righteousness. 

 

We have the ability to think and act as though the physical is not the final say as we consider spiritual realities in our worldview.

  1. How we care for ourselves (what unseen realities do we allow access to ourselves?).
    1. How much spiritual warfare is affecting my current state?
  2. How do I please God before I set my heart to please man?

 

We have the ability to be thinkers, planners and creators.  

  1. There are no mere mortals. Everyone is an immortal capable of amazing things.
  2. Everyone can be good at applying order and thought to their work and practices. 

 

We have the ability to be in relationship with God, with the local church, and with the world. 

  1. We have a fight on our hands as daughters and sons of God to relate rightly to ourselves and each other and the world. 
    1. Begin with yourself. You are not the sum total of Satan’s accusations (either through people who sinned against you or even your own self-accusation).  
      1. Zechariah 3:1-4 (ESV) 1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. 4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”

 

We have the ability to care for humanity’s physical well being. 

  1. We are to protect and defend life. 

 

We have the ability to represent how God feels about and cares for humans. 

  1. Matthew 5:44-45 (ESV) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

We have the ability to glorify God. 

  1. We were made to glorify God. Our greatest and highest joy is to find our fulfillment in Christ making much of him. 
    1. Lose yourself in Christ. 
    2. Think less of yourself and more on Christ. 
    3. Sing!!!
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