Monday, May 10, 2010

The Image of God

The first time man is mentioned in Genesis, he is related to God in specifics way, first as creature, and then as an image.  The implications of this, other than raising man’s status above the animals, are first clearly seen in God’s words to Noah, when He tells this survivor that those who kill another man are to be killed by men for they destroyed the image of God.

Which is interesting, because Noah lived after the fall, as did all but Adam and Eve, so the image was not completely lost in that disastrous act.  But it was shattered, changed, no longer a true image.  We were meant to display to the creation the invisible attributes of God—His love, His patience, His goodness, His grace, His wisdom, His mercy, His kindness, His faithfulness, His beauty—but because of our perversion as a result of the fall we no longer reflect these attributes.  But that is only the least of it.  What we actually do is something far worse.  R. C. Sproul writes something chilling:

“When we sin as the image bearers of God, we are saying to the whole creation, to all of nature under our dominion, to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field: “This is how God is. This is how your Creator behaves. Look in his mirror; look at us, and you will see the character of the Almighty.” We say to the world, “God is covetous; God is ruthless; God is bitter; God is a murderer, a thief, a slanderer, an adulterer. God is all of these things that we are doing.”

This imaging of Yahweh that we were intended to do now has been completely perverted.  Instead of showing the world God’s glorious attributes, we are in a sense accusing Him of evil, accusing Him of basically being Satan.  How can we even contemplate sin if this is what it says about our Sustainer?

I desperately want to show in my life, not only to the creation, but especially those who are disenchanted with the “image” of God they see in man, the invisible attributes of God.  This aim is impossible in myself.  In no way are we in our own strength capable of reflecting God’s qualities.  He, the one who created us to image Him, has to reach down and rescue us from our complete and utter enslavement to sin so we can do what we were originally created to do, to display His invisible attributes to the creation.

The question of what we do with our lives grows small, even for someone nearing the brink of the rest of his life like me.  The question that truly matters is “How will I do what I do?”  Before doing anything with my time, or saying anything, my thought should be “What does this action say about my Creator?  Am I showing the world what He is like?  Am I mirroring my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

One aspect of a mirror is that nobody ever sees a mirror, nor are they supposed to.  A mirror is supposed to show what it is reflecting.  A shattered mirror makes the world see itself, it does not reflect; a mirror that God is through a miracle fixing makes the world see Christ.

(Adapted from the message by Brandon Hix for the 2010 Homeschool Graduation ceremony in Eau Claire, Wisconsin)

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