1 Cor. 15:49 And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven.
I am sure you have heard the expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words". But you know a picture is worth so very much more when it comes to where we get our image. A picture is a reflection or a copy of what it sees. All humans when born into this life have inherent within them the image of Adam from the fall. We come into this world with our origin founded from the dust of this world.
When Adam sinned this world became cursed. We have all been subjected to that curse. When Adam sinned and disobeyed God he no longer got is identity, his image from God, but from satan. The good news is that even though we initially have all borne the image of the first Adam, once we are born again we can now bear the image of God once again, which is where man started when he was created.
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.
When God first made man He made him in His very image. The word image that is used here is defined as godlike, to resemble, or a copy. Man when created was a resemblance of God. This is important to understand because it has everything to do with how a believer today can learn to walk in what God desires for their life, including an intimate relationship with Him. There are only two sources from which man gets his image as you will see. One is from God, but the other is from satan. This is where issues arise in feeling inferior to God, unworthy, and disappointed in life as we will study about this week.
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.
Man came into existence after God had formed his body from the dust of the ground, and then He breathed into the nostrils of that body the breath of life. Man then became a living being. This is a reference to the spirit and soul of man. What is interesting and something that is often overlooked is the first thing Adam saw when he came to life. The very first thing Adam saw was the face of God. This is where Adam had received his original identity from for this was the first image that he saw. Because he had been made in God's image Adam had only seen that which was good, and that was God.
Gen. 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
Gen. 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
Gen. 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Man had to have the choice of obedience to God, or he would have just been a robot. True relationship where love is shared comes by a choice we make, and Adam had to have the opportunity to obey God or disobey. Unfortunately he chose to disobey God's command. In doing so he would for the first time come to know evil because he would change the source of where his image and identity would come from. The word evil from the Hebrew language is described as distress, adversity, fear, calamity, injury, and harm. Adam nor man would have known any of these things for God is none of them. He is all that is good and has no evil in Him.
Gen. 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
After Eve was brought forth from Adam they were placed in the Garden of Eden that God had created for them. Even though they were naked they were not ashamed. This is a key point for the word ashamed means to feel inferior, unworthy, and disappointed. Neither Adam nor Eve felt inferior to God for they were created in His image and His likeness. Because his worth was found in his creator he had no feelings of being unworthy. He also did not deal with disappointment because God had appointed Him to have dominion over all the earth. This again goes back to where Adam had found his image, in God and God alone.
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.
Once tempted and lied to by the devil Adam and Eve fall prey to his deceptive counsel and ate the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat. Notice in verse seven it declares that their eyes were opened, and they now knew they were naked. Their eyes being opened means that their focus was no longer on God. They had now turned and receive the crafty deceptive counsel of satan and in doing so he became their focus. Because of this in verse eight we see that they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. They did not see Him because they now hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God.
This hiding of themselves from the presence of God is significant. The word presence here is translated "face". They no longer were looking to the face of God from where they had received their identity; they were now looking to the devil. This is why they now would know evil, but looking to the face of God they only saw good because God has no evil in Him. But when they now looked to satan they saw evil for all that is evil is rooted in him. The word that is used for "naked" here in verse seven is different from the word for naked in the previous chapter where they were not ashamed. It is referenced as receiving crafty or cunning counsel. They had known what they did was wrong.
Gen. 3:9 Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"
Gen. 3:10 So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
As Adam hears God call to him, Adam tells God that he hid himself because he was naked (received crafty counsel) and he was afraid. What is one of the definitions of evil? Fear. Adam and Eve now knew evil because the image they were now getting their identity from was the devil and his image is evil. This is why Adam and Eve came to know good and evil. They had only known good as they looked to the face of God, but now they were looking to satan. This is why God tells Moses that no man could see the face of God and live; because of the fall evil has entered in between man and God.
Col. 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
Col. 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Col. 3:11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
When Jesus came and died on the cross paying the price for man's sin He provided us with the opportunity to become born again, restoring within us the image of God once again. We now can look to Christ and who He has made us to be renewing our identity in God through this new image that we have been given. Our spirit man has been recreated in the very image and likeness of God. The more we learn this and renew ourselves to this new image, the better off we are going to be.
Here in Colossians we learn how this old man is put off, including the deeds or lifestyle of that old man, and how we put on the new man whom God created within us. The key is being renewed to the knowledge of the image of Christ. It does not matter what your previous background was nor what you had done. You simply put your faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for you, then go to work renewing your mind to the image of Christ Jesus, for you are now one with Him.
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'?
How is it that we can see this image of God's face in our present world? Simply by getting a picture of who Christ is and who you have become in Him. Jesus Himself declared to Philip that if you have seen Him you have seen the Father. You don't have to see Jesus' physical face to see the Father. The very life that Jesus lived reflects the image of our heavenly Father. He is a God who is only good and has no evil in Him. This is clearly portrayed in the life of Jesus Christ. The Father does not have a different nature from Jesus nor the Holy Spirit. Jesus is a direct representation of the Father and His love for us.
This is why it is so important to spend time in the Word of God, especially the New Testament, gaining insight and knowledge of our God through Jesus Christ. As your become renewed to this new image you will begin to see things differently and even act differently because you are no longer getting your image from the devil. This will lead to doing that which is good and will draw you farther and farther away from evil. Once restored in this relationship with God man no longer has to feel inferior to God, unworthy, or disappointed for we have been seated with Jesus Christ at the right hand of God. Get renewed to this new image and your life will be forever transformed and changed.
See You Again Next Week For More "Weekly Wisdom"
May God's Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker