Bearing the Image of God in Our Conduct

Everything that exists was created by God (John 1:3). God is of eternity (Psalm 90:1-2). In the beginning God created all that exists (Gen. 1:1). The creation narrative of Genesis 1 is a picture of the deliberate and perfect establishment of a sin-free community of holy communion between God and man – life as it was meant to be.

The sequence of the six days of creation explains how every necessary and intricate detail of the communion ecosystem was planned and called into being. Everything was ready for Adam and Eve to do the work of exercising dominion in the cultivation of the expanse into which man was made to serve the Lord as a friend-servant and dependent. God was delighted in and had made and declared it good (Gen.1:31). Man had everything necessary for life, work and leisure. In his walk, he had fellowship with his creator. Walk and work were delightful, satisfying, fruitful, and gloriously honoring unto the Lord. The man and his wife (flesh of his own flesh) freely experienced the joys of a glorious existence. Man was made to discover and follow the thoughts of the Triune covenanting Divine Being (Genesis 1:26). God’s work was perfectly good. 

The destructive influence of sin (Gen. 3:1-15) had a tragic destructive impact upon the created order. Sin caused the whole created order to groan with pain and agony (Rom. 8:19-23). Communion of God and man was broken by entry of falsities beginning with the notion that he could declare good to be evil, and evil to be good (Gen. 3:5). The fall of man transformed him into a factory of evil thoughts, deluding images of the mind (Gen. 3:7), rebellious actions, and led to his walk and work becoming a cursed captivity of endless bondage (Gen. 3:17-19). The harmony of all things that existed before the fall was broken. Chaos is the order of the day for all who are outside of Christ.

Since the fall everybody lives in enmity towards his creator. The former glorious communion with God is no longer natural to man. Man fell into a bondage from which only a super-natural cause could redeem him. When Christ condescended in his journey of humiliation, entering Himself into the life of man he confesses that he is the Son of the Living God. He came with a gloriously redemptive mission. His entrance and confession are in direct conflict with our experience and our thinking, even being contrary to all the inclinations of our heart. No one can confess that Jesus is Lord except through the Holy Spirit, but neither can anyone speaking by the Holy Spirit call Jesus accursed; he must recognize Him as his Savior and King (1 Cor.12:3).

The disciples gradually learned to know Jesus over a three year period. Especially after that critical hour in Caesarea Philippi the light dawned on them of the divinity of Jesus the anointed One, that indeed He is the Son of the Living God (Matt. 16:16). They could not reconcile the Messianic claims Jesus made with His approaching passion and death (Matt.16:22). Jesus’ resurrection caused His disciples to recognize Him whom the Jews had condemned and destroyed, to be the Lord and Christ who had been exalted by the Father to be the Prince and Savior of His people. Jesus high-priestly prayer (John 17) reveals how His work reverses the consequences of sin and restores His elect saints into a glorious fellowship – an eternal communion between God and man.

Consider the concluding words of Jesus’ high-priestly prayer: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:16-24).

As you face the challenges of a sin-filled world, remember the works of Jesus and the glorious promises of which you are assured in Christ. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8), and seek what is pleasing to the Lord. The light of the Lord exposes darkness for what it is, so let the light shine on you.  Make the most of the time God gives you, because the days are evil. Submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. Remember whose image and likeness you bear! May God comfort you in your walk fill your heart with joy and lift up your soul in peace!