Man In The Image Of God
Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well-balanced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. His thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But through disobedience, his powers were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love. His nature became so weakened through transgression that it was impossible for him, in his own strength, to resist the power of evil. He was made captive by Satan, and would have remained so forever had not God specially interposed. It was the tempter's purpose to thwart the divine plan in man's creation, and fill the earth with woe and desolation. And he would point to all this evil as the result of God's work in creating man. (SC 17)
To whom was man likened when he was created?
"And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Gen. 1:26
What was the original nature of man before he fell into sin?
"Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." Eccl. 7:29
What happened to man after they sought out many inventions?
"Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions." Psa 106:39
Did man change the image of God in him? what is the extent of this change?
"And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things... Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Rom_1:23 ,25
Note:-- Therefore the changes of an image refer more to the character, as also implied in 1Cor. 15: 49 "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
So, man changed the truth! What is truth? How does the Bible define it?
"Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth." "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth."- Psa_119:151, 142
Note: Clear enough the law is truth.
Does righteousness have something to do with the truth?
"Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings." -Isa. 51:7
Note: Therefore, righteousness is the law, the transcript of Christ's character. And the image of God was lost in man due to his apostasy from the truth!
What else happened when man apostatized from the truth?
"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." - Isa_59:2
How far is the distance that separates God and man?
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isa 55:8,9
"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." -Luk 16:26
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" -Rom 3:23
In this sinful state of man whose side is he with? To whom did sin originate? And what was God's action to save man from death?
"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1John 3:8
How did Jesus destroy the works of the devil?
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;" Heb_2:14
What kind of death?
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." -Php. 2:8
Does the death of Christ draw man back to Him from being separated?
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
This he said, signifying what death he should die. -Joh 12:32, 33
While Jesus is doing His part in drawing man back to God, what is man's part in response?
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. -Jas 4:7,8
Does it mean that man needs to cooperate?
"...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Php 2:12,13
What else could man get if he cooperates with God?
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Rom 5:1, 2
What is the main reason? Why did God do all of these for mankind?
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." -Joh 3:16
Is there anything that can separate those who believe from this love?
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." -Rom 8:35-37
What great love! How did God call those who believe?
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." -1Jn 3:1
How did Jesus call the believer?
Heb_2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Why does God want man to be conformed to the image of His 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
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." Col. 1:16,18
Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts, exclaiming with the psalmist, “O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97. And the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.