John 17:3 Now this is eternal life–that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
When you talk to people about eternal life they usually only think of the life for the believer in Christ that is yet to come, yet that is not what Jesus defined eternal life as. Eternal life according to His definition was to know the Father, the only true God. Another way to say this would be to know the real God. Jesus came to give to mankind a wonderful gift, eternal life. That gift of knowing God was significant in changing where we find our value or worth in life. Without knowing God we would continue to find our value and worth in the creation, and not the Creator.
Gen. 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Gen. 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
In the beginning when God created man He had made man in His own image. Man’s total worth and significance in life came from that image, the very image of God. As long as man received his worth from that image he had no problem walking in the dominion God had given him because he related who he was through God. So in the initial creation of man he originally received his identity or image from his Creator and not the creation.
Gen. 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
A couple of years ago I was looking at this verse of scripture and the Spirit of God revealed to me the first thing that man saw when he received his spirit and soul breathed into that body. He saw the face of God. This is significant because to truly get to know someone, to identify them, and in this case to then be identified with God you would have to see His face. This is where God intended for man to find his sole value and worth in life. It was to come from identifying with his Creator, God the Father, and not from the creation God had made.
Gen. 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Gen. 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Gen. 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
When Adam and Eve committed sin and fell they died just as God said they would. That death was not physical, but refers to them being separated from their Creator. They were now going to find their value in the very creation that they bowed down too. In verse eight we find that they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden. The word “sound” here is translated “voice”. God was looking for them and they went and hid themselves from God. They had now made themselves coverings from the creation when before God was their covering.
We also see in verse eight that they hid themselves from the “presence” of the Lord God. That word presence is actually translated in the original Hebrew language as “face”. Once Adam and Eve had sinned, they were no longer one with God. They did die, but that death was actually being separated from God, who is life itself. Because of this separation man could no longer look to God’s face to gain his identity or self worth. That was now coming from the creation itself, which includes other people. This has caused all kinds of problems as the devil has worked very hard at keeping people from getting their identity from God.
Remember in the beginning of creation God told man he had dominion over all the earth. After the fall that changed, but Jesus has done something about that. The key to walking in the authority we have been given through Jesus Christ is based on where we are getting our identity. Once we learn who we are in Christ Jesus we can once again walk in our rightful place of dominion in this earth.
Ex. 33:18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”
Ex. 33:19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
Ex. 33:20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”
Ex. 33:21 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.
Ex. 33:22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.
Ex. 33:23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”
We even see with Moses this very fact that after the fall man could not look to God’s face because of sin and therefore was unable to regain his identity through the Father. When Moses requested to see God’s glory in verse 18, this is translated as seeing the real you. Have you ever come up from behind someone thinking you knew who they were, but once you tapped them on the shoulder and they turned around you realized it wasn’t them? The face reveals the real you. God even tells us this as He responds to Moses’ request and says that he could not see His face. But thankfully Jesus did something about that.
Heb. 9:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
Jesus after being raised from the dead had to ascend into heaven itself, into the tabernacle in heaven where He appeared in the presence of God for us. You may have already guessed it; the word for presence here also means the face of God. In doing this Jesus having paid the price to cleanse us from all sin provided a way for us to once again regain the image of God in our life. Through this sacrifice He made for us we can regain our worth in God, finding our identity once again in our Creator, the heavenly Father, and not in the creation. Doing so will help us to live life as Jesus did. Jesus fully identified with the Father as He declared that He and the Father were one. Knowing that they were one Jesus also tells us in the Word of God that it was not He who did the works, but the Father in Him. He walked in His rightful place of dominion and authority here on earth.
John 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
So how do we then look to the face of the Father to regain our God-given identity once we are born again? Jesus tells us how. If you have seen Him you have seen the Father. When you look to the Scriptures that reveal who Jesus is you see a picture of the Father. The more you learn to relate to Jesus the more you learn to relate to your heavenly Father. As we then learn who we now are in Christ Jesus we begin to regain the image that Adam lost in the Garden of Eden. We no longer have to base our self-worth on other people, what we do, nor what we have. We don’t have to fall for the lie that we cannot change because not only can we change how we live and what we do, God expects us to.
Far too many who have had a born again experience and received Christ as their Savior are still living under the old fallen Adamic nature that was separated from God. This is not only destroying peoples lives, it is keeping the body of Christ from taking their rightful place of dominion on this earth. They are allowing themselves to be ruled by the works of darkness and the circumstances of life around them instead of reigning over life, life is reigning over them. Every believer needs to regain their total worth and value in life through their Creator, their heavenly Father.
2 Cor. 5:17 Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.
We should no longer be living our life the old way through a fallen nature, but we should now get our minds renewed to who we are in Christ Jesus. There are many such verses as these that reveal who we now are in Christ Jesus. Feeding on these scriptures will help us get our minds renewed and our lives transformed from finding our worth in the creation to finding our worth in our Creator. We can now get our image back from God and experience the gift Jesus gave.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker