Image of God
Candida, a 32 year old schoolteacher from Houston had her identity stolen. She went to the bank to obtain a loan and found that she had a terrible credit rating. Investigation revealed that two years prior a woman had stolen her social security number and obtained two credit cards in her name. The crook ran these to the limit and made no payments. She used the stolen identity to get a job, a driver’s license, a mortgage, food stamps, and medical care for the birth of her two children. When confronted, the crook claimed she was the real person and that the school teacher had stolen her identity.
The only thing that could not be stolen was her citizenship. The teacher was greatly hampered in living her life and getting her identity recovered.
The Christian’s true identity in many if not most cases has been stolen.
Stolen by false teaching, failure to understand and teach it, etc.
The first reformation freed believers from bondage to Rome, but left them in bondage to law.
The second reformation beginning ~1830 saw a return to the Bible and identity teaching.
The teaching of the Christian’s true identity was understood and taught for ~150 years.
A number of factors have led to the theft of the believer’s identity, including factors like higher education, the exaltation of human reason, skepticism, and mass evangelism which left many born again believers without solid teaching.
THE REAL YOU:
Over the next few weeks we will seek to recover your true identity.
We will start with some background foundational material.
If you are an alien your identity cannot be stolen – you don’t have one
So to be clear I am addressing those who have an identity
– those who have been born again
– those who have believed in Jesus
– those who have a heavenly citizenship
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; … God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”” Genesis 1:26,27 NASB
I THE IMAGE OF GOD
In order to know how man is made in the image of God we need to know what God is like.
The first verse in the Bible informs us a lot about the nature of God.
God is eternal – before the beginning – outside of time
God is all powerful – made the entire universe from nothing
God is a triune God (One God three persons)
This is the universal declaration of Scripture
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Elohim – the plural name of God
The Spirit of God (verse 2), the Word of God (God said – verses 3, 6, etc.)
II THE IMAGE OF MAN
Body only: God made the seasons (Genesis 1:14)
Plants have a body with biological life.
Body and soul (Hebrew ‘Nephesh’ Genesis 1:20, 21, 24)
God gave the animals instinct (Jeremiah 8:7)
Animals have a body and soul, the ‘Nephesh’ (Hebrew) or Psyche (Greek),
but their soul is neither eternal nor as complex as a human soul.
Body, soul and spirit: (Genesis 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Man has a body, soul, and spirit made in the image of God. (1 Thess. 5:23).
MAN IN THE IMAGE OF GOD:
Man is eternal but only into the future (eternal life or eternal death)
There are two ways in which man is in the image of GodMan is a triune being as is God.
MAN HAS A MIND WILL AND EMOTIONS:
Man has a mind, will and emotions as does God.
A mind to know God, Will to choose God, Emotions to love God
God knows man (2 Tim. 2:19), chooses man (Eph. 1:3), and loves the world (Jn 3:16)
MAN IS TRIUNE:
Man is a triune being as is God.
Three parts (body, soul, and spirit) yet one being
Eternal but only into the future (eternal life or eternal death)
“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” Genesis 2:7
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, …” 1 Thessalonians 5:23
MAN WAS CREATED PERFECT:
Man was created as male and female.
Adam and Eve were created perfect.
God, who is spirit, communicated with their spirit.
Their spirit then directed their soul and thence their body which interacted with the world.
They were given only two tasks – to reproduce and to rule over God’s creation.
As created, man’s spirit was the strong man directing his entire being.
Today – Foundation #1 – Man a Perfect Creation
What happened to change this picture?
Next week – Foundation #2 – we will see what happened
Man separated from the life of God
God wants to turn you Inside Out
Better than Eden