His Image and Likeness
Today, we’ll begin a new train of thinking.
God created Man to bear His image and likeness and rule the world with Him as His perfect sons. When Man fell from grace, we maintained His image but lost His likeness. The fullness of God’s plan was to send His Son Jesus to bear witness to His likeness to a broken world that it might be redeemed through His goodness. As His Spirit takes hold of us, we are being made perfect through Christ and crowned as sons in inheritance, kings and priests in position, but still fully embedded in a broken worldly reality. We are daily transformed more and more into the glory and likeness of God, which will not be perfected until the end of time. We follow after the Way of Jesus, representing the power and authority of God to a broken world in the only way this love-starved world can receive: by the giving of ourselves for them.
Why God Created Man
Rev. 1:8 [NIV]
8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The last will be first; the first will be last. Most of us are familiar with this teaching of Jesus, when He admonished His disciples not to strive for position and honor, rather to learn to serve and love one another. Yet, this word is also one of the keys to unlocking the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. It will explain why He taught His disciples to do so.
The scripture above from Revelation points us to the omnipresence of God. Neither time, nor the history of creation, has any bearing on Him. He created them to serve His purpose to bring about His Kingdom and the fulfillment of His plan. He knows the end from the beginning and had set in motion everything according to His foreknowledge. And this is according to His pleasure. However, He never leaves man, the jewel that He made to crown His creation, outside of His counsel and wisdom. It has always been His will that Man would be able to put aside all that veiled his sight and marred his understanding, and come to Him to be taught by Himself as a son would to a father.
This was His good-will to Man when He created him, and is the target of His work unto him. Adam gave up this connection in the garden, but God created another way. Through faith in Christ Jesus, after receiving the life in the Holy Spirit, a disciple of Christ would be able to be taught directly by God. In this way he could grow in His wisdom and favor, partake of His divine nature, in the end, change into His glory and His very being.
God’s primary purpose of creation is to have His sons. They would be proven just and righteous, and worthy of His Name, to be endowed with glory and honor. In this way His sons could share His Kingdom as heirs and reign with Him as kings. And more than that, they would share His nature and desires, become the recipient and giver of His love and affection, and enjoy His love and wisdom. Thus He would be able offer them as Image Bearers to those who want to learn about Him. All creation will be judged by the sons of God and will learn of the Creator from them.
To understand this End, we will have to turn to the Beginning.
If you enjoy this post – share it with others.
This post is _Part 1_ in a series on God’s image and likeness. To continue with this series, click on Part 2. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series.
Photo credit: Edgley Cesar