Destined for His Likeness
So – Man is made in “His Image”, but is not currently in His Likeness.
We see clearly from the early Apostles who were directly passing on teaching from Jesus, that God created man in His own image, and He intended to give him the spirit of Sonship so that God can fellowship with you. And in so doing, you will be transformed into His likeness and thus become one with Him and in Him. This was stated by Jesus, Peter, John and Paul very clearly in diverse portions of the scripture.
Let’s us look at some key observations:
1. When God created man, He gave Man the full faculty toward fellowship with Himself. This implies that Man can see and hear God. And enjoy the full spiritual faculties to commune with God, just as he enjoys physical, mental and moral faculties to sense and analyze the natural world. We can memorize and reflect what happened in time; trace, form, process and express thoughts, emotions, patterns of thinking and decisions; form, discern and judge unto and within behavioral, moral, relational, communal, even social codes of right and wrong.
2. The natural or physical aspect of man’s faculty for learning, understanding, and intelligence is but the tip of the iceberg and simply a shadow of what God endowed man with in terms of the spiritual. An interesting theory is that the reason we only use 10% of our brains is that most of it was created to have perfect communication with God and that since that has been lost, those areas lie dormant.
Watchmen Nee wrote a book titled “The Latent Power of the Soul.” In it, he mentioned that the soul or mind of man can avail psychic power to its selfish and vile purposes. Spiritualism, the various forms of New Age, and witchcraft are of this nature. But these are a fatal and illegal path to avail spiritual power and understandings. They are very low and base compared with the rich, pure and glorious life of God and the inheritance of His Kingdom, of which He freely gives to us if we repent from our wicked ways, receive the Lordship of His Son, and seek after His Kingdom in faith.
3. God intends for Man to fellowship with Him as a son would a father, and He makes available to you His eternal life. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat, but not the tree of life. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the blame or curse – “cursed is a man who dies on a tree” (Gal 3:13-14) – and was lifted up to be a symbol of shame. This satisfied the holy and just God (who could not allow the wicked to spend eternal life with Him) with the necessary price of death for sin. In this, Jesus becomes our redemption, forgiveness, atonement, justification, righteousness, even sanctification and glorification. If we hold unto our faith, we are fully restored back to the Father, and the privilege of His fellowship and love.
But it takes a process for this life to be actualized in our own lives. This process is mentioned as sanctification and glorification, the process of maturity, transformation, the renewal of our minds, cleansing of our old self, etc. But the essence is the same. It is to partake in the nature of God, thus being changed from a natural man into a matured spiritual man. To grow from His image into His Likeness.
In this light, we might have a glimpse of how much Man lost from the Fall-almost everything that matters to the good will of God and the well-being of man. We’ll get deeper into these topics as we move forward in the coming posts.
This post is _Part 4_ in a series on God’s image and likeness. To continue with this series, click on Part 5. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series and then read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Photo credit: Tony Seaward