In God's Image

breath of life

Made Truly Alive In Christ


Psalm 51
1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 18Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 19Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

God made man on the sixth day so that the first day that dawned upon Adam was the Sabbath of God. As a result, they entered immediately into the enjoyment of the “rest” of their Creator.

Although man was made in God’s image, that image has been marred beyond natural repair. Man cannot fix it regardless of his efforts. Only God can make a new creature in Christ. In Christ we discover what it means to be truly alive and men and women of righteousness.

David, the author of Psalm 51, along with many other Psalms was totally dependent on God to renew his life. Just as only God could create the world and mankind, so also, only God can create a new heart free from the curse of sin.

A renewed life is man’s first need.

John 10:10, 11 (Jesus speaking)
10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Matthew 11:28, 29 (Jesus speaking)
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

God’s human creatures are a reflection of God Himself, and something of God’s nature may be seen in us if we will permit it.

Genesis 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 soul.

This verse calls attention to the fact that man is a creature of earth and heaven, made to live on earth and commune with heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:49
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Presently, for those who belong to Christ, the image of God is reflected through a new, heavenly, spiritual body. We shall then be made perfect in the image of Christ, who is Himself, the image of God, since God is spirit.

John 4:24 (Spoken by Jesus)
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

God is not confined to a physical body and we should understand that the image of God in man is primarily a spiritual likeness. Man is most like God in his ability to reason, to experience emotions, to commune with God, to love and to give expression to all those noble characteristics which define God Himself.

The Christian need not fall into the ruts that lead inevitably to despair. Because man is made in the image of God, his destiny is not the grave. God has better things in store for him.

Once God created human beings, He blessed them and gave them a task to do. Human beings were not handed the world on a silver platter with no responsibilities. The wealth of this globe was put at their disposal, yet they had to seek this wealth and learn to use it.

There is no worse folly than to live as though we are not spiritual creatures. The philosophy that we should “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” and that there is nothing after that, is false. The physical body will die, but we will continue to live in spirit and we will give an account to God for the deeds done in the body.

In Genesis 3 the Scripture tells us that Adam and Eve enjoyed daily personal visits from God in the Garden of Eden. God came and walked in the Garden and conversed with them. After they disobeyed God by sinning, they were afraid and hid themselves, showing that sin is destructive in our relationship with God.

Communion is fellowship and signifies a kindred bond between the parties to the fellowship. That we can and should live in communion with God is to be expected. We were created for this very purpose. We have a kindred bond with God for He made us and we are His people. It is this kindred bond, broken by sin which is reestablished through the redeeming, reconciling work of Christ that makes it possible to walk with God.

Proverbs 20:27
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

The person knowing Christ as Savior allows Christ’s spirit to shine into the depths of his life and bring renewal.

The enemy, the devil, is so subtle and sly. He said to Eve, “You shall not surely die.” The personality of the devil is clearly implied. He does not say there is no God but suggests that God does not mean what He says or if He does, He’s not a God of mercy. The devil’s great purpose is ever to mar the design of God toward man.

Even though man disobeyed, God said, “Where art thou?” God is always the first seeker. This is the Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep.

John 3:5, 6 (Jesus speaking to Nicodemus)
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night and asked Jesus a question. There are 17 verses where Jesus is explaining the new birth to him. Just as physical birth marks the beginning of an individual’s physical life outside the womb in this material world, the new birth marks the beginning of an individual’s spiritual life as a citizen of the Kingdom of God. The new birth is strictly a spiritual transformation brought about by the Holy Spirit in those who believe in Jesus Christ and it must begin with repentance of sins and faith toward God. With repentance comes divine forgiveness and cleansing from sin.

Every person who is born again does not have a dramatic or sensational conversion as Paul did on the Damascus Road, but every person who is born again undergoes a spiritual transformation by which he or she is enabled to live a new life of faith in relationship with God. Also, the Holy Spirit gives the Christian a new way of looking at the world and life in general. The Christian’s thoughts are enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit.

To really appreciate the “things of God” and to desire to live pleasing to Him, spiritual thinking is needed. We live in physical bodies and the needs and desires of our bodies demand much of our time and attention. Keeping the body alive and well and comfortable and entertained can become such an all-consuming task that the spiritual man may be neglected. How much better off we are in every way when we give priority to our spiritual needs.

Genesis 6:8, 9
8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

The story of Noah vividly illustrates the terrible nature of sin and the glorious power of God to save. All humanity (except for Noah and his family) were living in sin.

People refused to believe the truth of Noah’s righteous life as it witnessed to them of God. Yet for those willing to listen and obey, God was still speaking.

All these components from Genesis 3 to 6 remain valid for the Christian experience. We are no longer in the Garden of Eden, but our lives, in Christ, flow from His resurrected life.

God still speaks to us in His written Word, through ministries, through inspired Christians, through nature, and we as His children, speak to Him through prayer and meditation. What a privilege!

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan   (Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)

 

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